I’m so proud that we have all survived our first week of eating healthy and working out! I also had a HUGE bonus: nobody complained a single time about eating healthy food. I’m just determined to keep things fresh so that nobody burns out on any one particular food.
That’s where this recipe comes in! Everybody in this family LOVES shrimp. For real. We are like Forest Gump about shrimp. We like boiled shrimp and fried shrimp and shrimp and grits and roasted shrimp…
We love shrimp.
We also love pasta. And pasta is not in our immediate future. We’re doing the whole low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie, no-sugar thing.
So spaghetti squash it is!
Do not be frightened of spaghetti squash. They may look a little intimidating, but they won’t hurt you. I promise.
Unless you’re allergic or something.
The thing is, you cannot go into your first spaghetti squash experience thinking that it’s going to taste exactly like pasta. It doesn’t. The strands mimic spaghetti, but the texture is starchier than any al dente pasta. Just be sure you season it well and use a sauce that you really love.
Spaghetti squash are crazy hard to cut when they’re raw – even with a REALLY sharp knife – so forget about those recipes that tell you to cut them in half before baking them. I actually once broke an electric knife trying to cut a spaghetti squash in half!
I just leave mine whole. Use a knife to poke holes all over the surface of the squash. Then place them (I usually bake two for my tribe) into a rimmed baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Be sure to flip them over at the 40-minute mark. Take them out of the oven and let them rest for 15-20 minutes. They aren’t tired. You’re letting them rest and cool a little so you don’t burn your hands when you cut and scoop them. When they’ve cooled a bit, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp from the middle of each half and discard it. Then use a fork and shred the inside of the squash. It magically turns into long spaghetti-like strands. If you’ve never seen it, you will be amazed the first time you cook spaghetti squash!
The sauce is something I daydreamed about. I was happy that it turned out just as yummy as I dreamed it would be!
Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Coconut Sauce
- 2 spaghetti squash (cooked using the instructions above)
- 1 pound of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 cup of coconut water
- 1 tablespoon of minced ginger or ginger paste
- 3 medium avocados
- 1 cup of coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon of minced ginger or ginger paste
- 2 tablespoons of finely-chopped basil or basil paste
- olive oil
Cook spaghetti squash and take it out of the oven. Do not cut yet.
In a large, zippered bag, combine soy sauce, coconut water, and 1 tablespoon of ginger. Add the shrimp, seal the bag, and marinate for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drain shrimp from marinade. Spray a large baking sheet with baking spray. Spread shrimp onto the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Slice avocados in half, remove the seeds, and use a spoon to remove the flesh from the skin. In a food processor or blender, blend the avocados, coconut milk, ginger, basil, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and add salt if needed.
Cut and shred spaghetti squash into a large bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss to combine.
Place a serving of spaghetti squash into a bowl, top with sauce, add shrimp, and grate Parmesan over the top.
Well Duh #1: Use sauce on each serving rather than adding it to the whole bowl of “pasta.” If you have leftover squash, you can refrigerate it, but the sauce will turn brown after a couple of hours because of the avocados.
Well Duh #2: I find the tubes of ginger paste and basil paste in the produce section of my grocery store. I prefer them because it is usually hard to find fresh ginger or basil where I live. Use fresh if you have it. Just chop or mince really finely.
Well Duh #3: You read that correctly. This recipe uses both coconut milk AND coconut water. These are really not interchangeable!
Well Duh #4: Be sure to budget your time. Remember that the squash takes a long time to cook. I didn’t start any of the rest of the dish until I had taken the squash out of the oven. Then I just turned the oven temperature up to 400 and put the shrimp in the marinade.
My family really, really, really liked this dish! Michael added a little Cajun seasoning to his, but he does that to pretty much everything he eats. Spaghetti squash will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days once it’s cooked, but we didn’t have any left over!
I think you’ll like it, too. Eating healthy food is so much easier when it’s this decadent and delicious!