Shrimp Pasta with Lemon and Spinach

This shrimp pasta with lemon and spinach recipe is so easy, fast, and absolutely DELICIOUS. I’ve been making some version of it for the past few weeks at least once a week because it’s so easy and fast, my entire family (toddler and baby included) will eat it, and it’s healthy and sticks to our current diet plan. 

I really love using sautéed shrimp in weeknight recipes because it’s so fast and can take on any flavor you pair with it. Even though lemon, shrimp, and spinach remind me of a summery dinner, I love it because it’s light and we are having a very healthy month since it’s January and we are trying to kick off the new year right! 

I always buy wild caught shrimp because the farmed ones are YUCKY. Trust me, you don’t want to eat what they are feeding the farmed shrimp. Get shrimp from their natural habitat – THE OCEAN. Always keep an eye out for deals on frozen wild caught shrimp. Whenever I see a good sale, I grab a bag or two to keep in my freezer. That way, I can run the shrimp under cold water in my sink for about 5-10 minutes in a colander to thaw them out and dinner is ready in a flash! 

Ingredients:
1 lb wild caught shrimp (if you can find it already peeled and deveined, I usually pay the extra couple bucks for this because with a baby and a toddler – I think it’s worth it!) 

6-8 oz organic pasta of your choice. Lately we have been using a lot of spelt pasta

1 lemon 

3 large handfuls of organic baby spinach 

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 

Salt, pepper, garlic powder 

Method:

1. Thaw out your shrimp by running cold water over them in a colander in your sink. Or if you’re thinking ahead, thaw them overnight in your refrigerator. Then dry them with paper towels. Season both sides with salt, pepper and garlic powder. 

2. Boil water for pasta and cook according to the instructions on the box. 

3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes on one side and an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side. When the shrimp start to curl up and become pink, they are done. Transfer cooked shrimp to a bowl and set aside. 

4. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet. It’s okay that it’s still dirty from the shrimp. It will all ended up married together later anyway. Add spinach and allow to cook down for about 5 minutes or until it’s all sautéed to the same consistency. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. 

5. In a large bowl or your pasta pot, combine your cooked pasta, cooked shrimp, sautéed spinach, the zest and juice from one lemon, and your last tablespoon of olive oil. Stir together carefully and check for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper and garlic powder if needed. Your shrimp pasta dinner is coming together!

I have been experimenting with all different kinds of pasta lately. We loved this spelt penne too:

 

If you have any other ideas for quick weeknight dinners, please share in the comments below!  Also, try out this shrimp pasta with lemon and spinach recipe and let me know what you think.

Vegan brownies

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My best friend Maggi has been dairy and egg free for 7 months because she is breastfeeding her son who has severe allergies to both. So while we are not religious vegans, I have been creating a lot of vegan treats for her. These vegan brownies are delicious and so easy and fast to make. They are perfect if you have a last minute invitation and you want to bring something yummy. You basically just need to preheat the oven, spend a couple minutes mixing the ingredients and 20 minutes to bake. Voila – you’re done and have delicious vegan brownies! I also have chosen to make them a little bit healthier with extra virgin olive oil instead of canola or GMO laden vegetable oil. Don’t worry, no one will ever know! 

Give these vegan brownies a try for your vegan and non vegan friends alike and I promise that no one will complain! Let me know how they turn out for you. 
Dry ingredients:


1 1/3 cup organic flour 

1 cup organic sugar 

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking powder 
Wet ingredients:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil 

1/2 cup water 

1 tsp vanilla extract 
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9 x 9 pan with cooking spray. 

2. Put all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk it to combine. 

3. Add your wet ingredients and whisk everything together. 


4. Press your batter down with a spatula to flatten. 


5.Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Have you heard about all the benefits of coconut oil but you just stare at the jar and wonder how the heck you’re supposed to cook with it?  These roasted sweet potatoes are a great “gateway recipe” for you to get your feet wet with coconut oil.  I recommend trying it out now for a weeknight dinner, and if you like it, it is a perfect side dish to add to your Thanksgiving Dinner menu. 

This roasted sweet potatoes recipe is super simple and loaded with superfoods.  I love roasting sweet potatoes in the oven with coconut oil for a little bit of natural sweetness, rosemary for a fragrant woodsy heartiness, and salt and pepper to balance it out and make it savory.  It’s so fun to make something so healthy that tastes delicious and feels decadent.

Ingredients:

5-6 medium or 2-3 large sweet potatoes

1.5 tablespoons organic virgin coconut oil (cold pressed)

1 tablespoon fresh or dried rosemary, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Scoop out 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil onto your baking sheet.  (I like to cover mine with aluminum foil for easy clean up).  If you’re new to cooking with coconut oil, the weird part about it is that it changes form with the temperature.  In the summer, your coconut oil might be completely liquefied.  In the winter, it might be rock hard!  The good news is that it’s very malleable and you can soften hardened coconut oil in your hands easily.
  3. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into pieces somewhere between 1/2-1 inch.  You are going for 2 things here: size uniformity so that they cook evenly and a size that looks pleasant to bite into.
  4. Add your cubed sweet potatoes to the baking sheet.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, and rosemary over them.  I love using rosemary from my garden, but dried rosemary works great too.  Thyme works perfectly here too.  This is where you will get your hands dirty.  If the coconut oil is solidified, work it in your hands for a minute first to soften it.  Toss with your hands to coat all the sweet potatoes completely. Try and get them all in an even layer. 
  5. Roast at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  Halfway through, take them out and turn them with a spatula so that they caramelize evenly.  They are done when you see them start to brown on the outside and the inside is tender.

Do you have any healthy recipes that feel like a cheat? Share them with me in the comments! 

Paleo Pad Thai

This paleo pad thai recipe came to me on a snow day last winter. With 6 inches of snow, I certainly wasn’t going to the grocery store.  I looked in the fridge and realized I had a bag of broccoli slaw that needed to be used. I also saw that I had frozen shrimp in the freezer and had a lightbulb moment 💡 (Try and hold your applause, this doesn’t happen often when you’re a toddler mom).  Try it and let me know what you think!

Paleo Pad Thai
healthy asian recipes
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Ingredients
  1. 1 bag organic broccoli slaw
  2. 1/2 bag frozen raw shrimp – I used about 20 shrimp. (Try and get wild caught if possible!) run the shrimp under cold water in a colander for 5-10 minutes until no longer frozen. Dry off with paper towels.
  3. 2 organic cage free eggs
  4. 1/4 cup organic coconut oil
  5. 1/3 cup almond butter. (I make my own every week but jarred is great too)
  6. 1-2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid Aminos
  7. Garlic powder (or fresh if you have it)
  8. Ground ginger (or fresh if you have it)
  9. Sea salt and ground black pepper
  10. Cayenne (optional)
Method
  1. 1. Heat coconut oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the thawed shrimp and season with salt, pepper, ginger, and garlic powder and flip over after about 1 minute. These will only take about 2-3 minutes to cook. Once they are pink and curled up, they are done. Put the cooked shrimp in a bowl and set aside.
  2. 2. Turn the heat down to medium and add the almond butter and liquid Aminos to the coconut oil that you just cooked the shrimp in. Add another tablespoon of coconut oil as you whisk these together.
  3. Once whisked, add the broccoli slaw and use tongs to continually cook your “noodles”.
  4. 3. In a separate pan, scramble 2 eggs with salt and pepper. Break apart into bite sized pieces with the spatula.
  5. 4. Once your broccoli slaw noodles are cooked to your liking (I would say it took me about 8 minutes), turn off the heat. Add your eggs and shrimp and a little cayenne for heat if you want. You can also top with sesame seeds if you like them.
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