Time for a switch from all the sweets I have made this month to one of my favorite easy and healthy recipes, Shrimp Scampi, made “skinnier” and with spaghetti squash instead of pasta. I would like to thank the AMAZING people over at my favorite butter and cheese company, Kerrygold USA, for sending me some butter and cheese to try out that I used in this recipe.
I love shrimp. Its so quick to prepare and so versatile in many recipes, and my kids are FINALLY liking it!! Yay! What is it with kids and seafood?? I swear my 5 year old who has never really been a picky eater all of a sudden doesn’t want to eat it, even if she has never tried it. She has been good with fish, salmon especially, but shrimp has been SO GROSS to her, until now. We have a rule you have to take at least one bite before judgement is passed upon a food to determine if its gross or not. Then we discuss how we don’t eat yucky food because if it was really that gross? Why would we eat it. I will have my 5 year old saying ” Its gross, I don’t want to eat it” while my 3 year old, being her sassy self, will say ” I am eating it. I like it. Its not gross”. She just HAS to rub it in her sisters face that she is the self-proclaimed good kid… She just likes to antagonize. The little shit.
I know over time we become less picky eaters, but there are still some foods I just don’t like (brussel sprouts I am talking about you) that no matter how I prepare them ( bacon doesn’t help me eat brussel sprouts) that I just won’t eat. I don’t force my kids to eat things they just don’t like, but I do like them to try at least one bite of something new. And because of that, they have found out they really do like green eggs and ham..
I think with the wide variety of foods that we eat, and the fact that we have our kids help pick out fruits and veggies at the store and farmers markets, have helped them to have a ton of atypical kids foods they like to eat. I have never been one to give them “kid” food. They eat what we eat and because of that it makes meal times so easy. No making 4 different meals for each person in the house. My kids are pretty adventurous eaters like I am too. My kids love to eat clams and mussels, fish with pesto, artichokes, roasted green beans and carrots. They love miso soup and sashimi, steak and potatoes, roasted veggie soups, shrimp scampi and homemade mac anc cheese with kalua pork, and they always ask for fresh fruit for dessert. I know I am doing a good job when they ask for apples for dessert.
I love my version of baked shrimp scampi because it has SO much flavor with the marinade and it uses way less butter. I believe that butter is absolutely healthy for us, cheese too. But the quality is what makes it healthy, and our bodies NEED fat, healthy fats, and I believe that some high quality butter and dairy are healthy and they are staples in my family’s diet. I go for grassfed, non-gmo, organic butter and cheese, always. Kerrygold butter and cheeses are my family’s absolute favorites. My 5 year old would eat 2 lbs of Dubliner a day if I let her. She sees it and says ” THAT is my most favorite cheese EVER” and I can’t blame her, its really good. I also love the Skellig, or sweet cheddar, because it was love at first bite. Its got a sweet and savory flavor to it and I love using it in a variety of recipes like my shrimp scampi here and for mac and cheese.
Traditional shrimp scampi has a LOT of butter in it, which tastes amazing, but to lighten this up a but I decided to go with a marinade which really gives this dish a lot of flavor and just a couple tablespoons of butter. Spaghetti squash is my go-to for noodle replacement. In fact, we eat veggie noodles so often that I honestly can’t tell you the last time I ate actual pasta. Its just not really a food I go for, never really been a huge pasta fan but I am all for the extra veggies, and making veggie noodles is kinda fun.
- 1 Medium spaghetti squash
- 1½ lbs shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails still on
- 2 Tbsp Kerrygold unsalted butter, melted
- Zest of one large lemon
- 2 Tsbp fresh lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ C shallot, diced
- ½ c fresh Italian parsley, diced, divided
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- ¾ cup organic chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 cup Kerrygold cheese, divided ( ½ cup Skellig, ½ cup reduced fat Dubliner)
- Preheat oven to 400 Deg F.
- Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, place cut side down in a baking dish and fill halfway up the sides of the squash with water. Bake 30-40 min or until the tops of the squash indent when you press on them. Remove from the oven, immediately remove the squash from the pan and separate out the squash with a fork and place in a bowl. Mix in ¾ cup of the cheese. Spread the squash mixture in an even layer in a 9x13 baking pan and set aside.
- Place the shrimp in a large bowl.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the melted butter, lemon zest and juice, garlic, shallots, all but 2 Tbsp of the parsley, salt, pepper, chicken broth and vinegar. Pour the marinade over the shrimp and let sit for 20 min.
- Spread the shrimp mixture over the top of the squash, and pour any remaining marinade over the pan. Bake at 400 deg. for 20 min or until the shrimp start to turn pink. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake for another 5-10 min. Checking after 5 min to make sure all the shrimp is baked. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the remaining parsley over the top. Serve immediately.
Now you have a recipe for a healthier “lightened up” baked shrimp scampi that is super quick to make and with veggie “noodles” AND its kid friendly – win win win win in my book.
Kerrygold USA sent me some butter and cheeses to make a recipe with them. I received no other compensation. I only work with brands I believe in and use and I am a huge fan of Kerrygold and that their products come from grassfed cows.