Last week I visited my daughter in Seattle. She’s a couple of weeks into the Whole 30 plan so I was inspired to convert one of our favorite recipes into a compliant meal for her. We’ve been eating Clam Linguine for ages. It’s one of my husband’s favorite dishes but recently I’ve started substituting spaghetti squash for linguine to save some calories. Then in an attempt to make it more palatable to our 16-year-old I started adding shrimp, one of his favorites. And then I had some leftover clam juice in the fridge, and then…see where this is going? Molly avoids garlic because it upsets her stomach so we used an onion instead, and she had a lemon and red pepper in her fridge, and she lives in Seattle so we got really good shrimp, and next thing you know we have a winner! The rich flavors of seafood, the punch of lemon, and calorie-saving spaghetti squash, all in a pretty simple recipe you can put together quickly. Added bonus — it’s even better the next day.
If you’ve never cooked spaghetti squash, do it Molly’s way — put the whole thing in a 350°F oven for 45 min.-1 hour, till it’s softened. Let it cool till you can handle it, then cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Use a fork to shred the flesh, which shreds almost by itself. If you don’t use it all the leftover squash can be refrigerated for several days. It’s a good thing to keep on hand, already cooked. Molly cooks a couple every weekend to have for quick weeknight meals. Even her 7-year-old likes it.
— Joan, 3 February 2016
WHOLE 30 SHRIMP SPAGHETTI
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, if desired
- 1 medium red, yellow or orange pepper, diced
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 small-medium spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
- 1 8-oz. jar clam juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons clarified butter
- 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
- ¼-½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 lb. raw peeled shrimp
- 2-4 tablespoons toasted almond meal, optional
Heat the oil and clarified butter in a large skillet with the marjoram and pepper flakes. If you’re using garlic add it now and let it cook till it’s soft enough to crush with a fork in the pan. Be very careful! I poke the garlic with the fork and then press down so it doesn’t slip away from me and splash hot oil onto my hand (voice of experience, ouch). Remove garlic and discard or set aside to put back in later. Add the shrimp and cook just a few minutes, till pink. Remove shrimp and set aside.
Add the diced onion and red pepper and sauté till slightly softened. Pour in clam juice and bring to a simmer. Add spaghetti squash (may not want to use all of it, so start with half and add as needed), salt and pepper. You can put the garlic back in now if you’d like. Let it simmer for several minutes to reduce the juice.
Place the cooked shrimp on top of the squash, sprinkle with lemon zest and a tablespoon or two of the lemon juice, and cover the pan for about 5 minutes to warm the shrimp. Adjust seasonings to taste — more red pepper flakes if you like spicy, maybe more lemon juice but be careful with the lemon juice. It’s easy to overpower all the other flavors. Sprinkle with toasted almond meal and serve in shallow pasta dishes.