Healthy Dinner Recipes ::: Sweet & Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Pasta

We are in serious rehab mode from our vacation. We ate literally everything and anything we saw in Europe (and for a couple quite a few days after too) and now it’s time to get back to reality. Cheese, pasta, pizza, salami, meatballs, and wine might be the daily diet in Italy {which btw makes no sense because the women there are like 100 lbs max}, but eating that combo doesn’t make me very excited to put on my bikini every weekend here in Miami.

I’ve been back on my P90x kick, so as an attempt at a healthier option I threw this pasta together tonight.  I used wheat Udon pasta, shrimp, broccolini, edamame, and peppers and it’s super easy!

Sweet & Spicy Shrimp and Veggie Pasta

  • 1 lb of raw shrimp peeled and de-veined
  • 1 box of Eden Wheat Udon Pasta
  • 1 stack of broccolini, cut into pieces (use the stem too)
  • 6 mini bell peppers, chopped in chunks (I used a mix of yellow and orange)
  • 1/2 cup of edamame beans
  • 3 scallions sliced thin
  • 1/2 a lime
  • 1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste (to season the veggies)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for the veggies & just bit to coat the pan for the shrimp
  • 2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
  • 4 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water

To make the sauce in small bowl combine Hoisin, Sweet chili, soy sauce, crushed red pepper and water. Whisk together and set aside. 

Boil water and cook the pasta as directed on the box. Drain and rinse.

While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a pan on medium low heat. Throw the broccolini, edamame, scallion, garlic and peppers in the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 7 minutes. In a separate pan heat a small amount of olive oil (just so the pan doesn’t stick) on medium. Throw in shrimp and season with the paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze 1/2 the lime juice on the shrimp. Cook shrimp for 5 minutes.

Combine shrimp, veggies, sauce, and pasta in the pan. After mixing squeeze in the rest of the lime juice. Set heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes (or more depending on how cooked you like your veggies, shrimp cook quick).  Before serving sprinkle with the fresh cilantro. This serves 3-4.

::: keelymarie :::

Tonight’s Dinner ::: Balsamic Drizzled Scallops with Spaghetti Squash

Thanks to everyone who voted on my post First RecipeBalsamic Drizzled Scallops over Spaghetti Squash was the winner (by far). I also realize I called them “balsamic glazed,” but in reality they are “balsamic drizzled” not glazed. Either way they are so delish!

Once upon a time I was trying to find the perfect recipe for scallops.  I checked  the Food Network (which is usually my “go to” place first for recipes), then Epicurious, then oodles of food blogs. Somewhere along the line (and I can’t remember where because this was probably 2 years ago now) I found one that called for shaking the scallops in a  mixture of flour and seasonings then pan searing them in a small amount of olive oil. I thought this was a fabulous idea so I attempted my own “flour mixture.”

A few notes that are crucial to this dish’s success:

  • Fresh sea scallops work better than frozen as the frozen ones retain too much water and do not hold the flour coating when pan-fried
  • Sea scallops are better than bay scallops as they are larger and better for searing (and to me tastier)

The balsamic drizzle adds an addicting flavor to the dish and the spaghetti squash is such a healthy alternative to a carb in this meal. Feel free to drizzle away! 

Balsamic Drizzled Scallops with Spaghetti Squash

For the Scallops ¤

  • 1 lb or about 18 scallops (serves 3-4)
  • 4 heaping tbsp All purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For the Spaghetti Squash ¤

  • 1 nice & plump spaghetti squash
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic

For the Balsamic Drizzle ¤

My way:

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp cup sugar

Quick fix:

You should start with the squash as it takes about 30-45 minutes depending on the size. Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Cut the squash in half, length wise. Careful girls… I always have Peter do this part so I don’t chop my hand off! Scoop out all the yuck (seeds) with a spoon.

Add about a 1/4 inch of water in a baking sheet then place both halves of the squash in the water flat side down. Season the water with the minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Stick it in the oven and set the time for 45 minutes. I usually check it at about 30 minutes to see how it is doing. {If all the water is gone (it shouldn’t be) you should add a bit more. You want to be able to stick a fork in it, but it shouldn’t feel too soft on the rind.}

Pat dry the scallops with papers towels and lay them out to dry. Grab a plastic zip lock baggie and fill it with the flour, salt, pepper, marjoram, paprika and garlic powder. Close the baggie and shake it really good to mix the ingredients.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat in a saute pan big enough to fit all the scallops. The oil should start bubbling as you put in the first scallop, if it does not it’ s not hot enough yet.  Sear the scallops for 3-4 minutes on each side.

For the drizzle put the balsamic and sugar in a pot, bring it to a light boil, turn the heat down to low, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. It can get very thick so watch it.

When the squash is done, take a fork and scrape out the squash into a serving bowl. It should come out in strings like spaghetti. To plate I usually lay down a  heap of squash and then set the scallops on top. Then drizzle with the balsamic drizzle and voilà!

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::: keelymarie :::

Montreal ::: some Frenchy love to prepare for Paris

In May my boyfriend Peter and I took a trip to Montreal for the weekend. I am in Canada all the time for work, but have rarely taken the time to stop and actually see the cities I am working in so I  loved the chance to do this in Montreal.

Writing this post is my little way of prepping for our upcoming vacation to Paris! We are staying at the Mandarin Oriental Paris right around its grand opening as they are one of Peter’s clients. I really cannot wait….the spa is supposedly to die for, Thierry Marx is the culinary director (French/Asian infusion maybe?), and it is smack dab in the center of Paris on rue Saint-Honoré. Ok clearly I am excited…back to Montreal.

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