Lemony Garlic Prawns and Roasted Summer Vegetables with Spaghetti Squash

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My lovely sister sourced a paleo staple the other day – “spaghetti squash” that we have never before seen in Brisbane. How exciting. I have read so many recipes for this low carb alternative to pasta but have never been able to try. And because she paid $6.50 for one vegetable (six times the price of a packet of a pasta!) I wanted to make something memorable – here is what I came up with – Lemony Garlic Prawns with Roasted Vegetables on a bed of Spaghetti Squash. Outstanding!

INGREDIENTS

. 300 g packet frozen, ocean caught (from Australian waters) raw prawns, thawed
. 1/2 cup olive oil
. Zest and juice of a lemon
. 2 garlic cloves, minced
. 2 zucchini, thinly sliced
. 3 small yellow squash, thinly sliced
. 250 g cherry tomatoes
. 1/2 onion, finely chopped
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. Olive oil to drizzle over veg
. Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
. 1 spaghetti squash
. Large handful mixed rocket and baby spinach leaves
. Parmesan cheese to serve, optional

METHOD
1. Marinate prawns in olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, salt and pepper an hour before cooking time. Set aside in fridge.
2. Combine zucchini, squash, tomatoes, onion and garlic powder on a baking tray lined with baking paper and drizzle liberally with olive oil
3. Roast for 20 – 30 min in a hot oven (180dc) until tender and cooked to your liking.
4. Meanwhile, cut squash in half and microwave for 10 – 12 min until tender
5. Remove seeds and turn into spaghetti by scooping out flesh with a fork
6. Mix ‘spaghetti’ with roasted vegetables, salad leaves and prawns until well combined. Grate over a little Parmesan, if desired.

I found this a really tasty dish. The only thing I would say is that it is definitely tastier than it looks and next time I might try putting the spaghetti squash on paper towel so it doesn’t have such a ‘wet’ consistency – otherwise it was a great way to eat seafood with a host of different vegetables – very yummy indeed!

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Lamb Cutlets with a Marinated Zucchini and Cucumber Salad

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I love having our new barbie – summer days with some grilled meats and a light salad – it’s perfect paleo combination. Easy, healthy and delightful.

Whilst hubby was cooking some delicious lamb cutlets I whipped up a little salad of zucchini, cucumber, feta and herbs from our garden.

INGREDIENTS (more than enough for 2 people)

. 1 large zucchini
. 1/2 small cucumber
. feta, crumbled
. pine nuts, toasted
. capers
. 1 tbsp mint, shredded
. 1 tbsn parsley, chopped
. 2 tbsn olive oil
. 1 tbsn lemon juice
. sea salt

METHOD

1. Mix together oil, lemon juice, a large pinch of salt and herbs in a jar. Add in a spoonful of the vinegar the capers have come from if you prefer a tangier dressing – yum 🙂 Shake well and set aside.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, finely peel long ribbons of zucchini into a bowl. Slice the cucumber very finely into rounds and add to mix. Toss over feta, pine nuts and capers, as much or as little as you like and then dress with the prepared salad dressing.
3. Serve immediately with your choice of grilled meat.

This was a very simple salad that added a little ‘gourmet’ factor to our dinner. It went very well with perfectly grilled lamb chops. I just wish I had made more! Yum!!!!

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Another delicious Baked Veg combination

One of the main reasons I keep this blog is to record my tasty paleo dinner creations as I know that being a busy mum I will forget what I did in next to no time!

Last night hubby and I threw together a yummy Greek-inspired veggie bake which was so easy and satisfying.

We simply sliced a capsicum, zucchini, red onion, sweet potato and put into a tray with a whole punnet of cherry tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil and liberally sprinkled with Greek seasoning – a concoction of salt, garlic and onion powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and oregano. Baked in an extremely hot oven (220*C) for half an hour. The cherry tomatoes break down to give a lovely, sweet and juicy element to the dish. This was perfect served with grilled meat.

And now I have written it down I will remember for next time 😜

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Lovely Summery Paleo Zucchini and Mint Soup

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I’ve just realised that I have been writing this blog for six months now. I am firstly utterly astounded by how time is rushing by me, I can’t quite believe it’s been that long. Secondly, I am rather amazed that I have kept at this little pursuit for so long! Writing this blog has been a great motivator for me as well as a place to record and write down all my little cooking ideas. I often refer back to particular recipes I use over and over again, particularly my MEATZA recipe, yum yum!!

Anyhow, the other day I made zucchini chips that were a great success after buying a whole bucket of zucchini for $1.99. I still had loads left and whipped up this great little soup for lunch. The best part was harvesting the mint I have somehow managed to not yet kill in my little herb garden. I was feeling pretty pleased with my self 🙂

INGREDIENTS

. 1 kg zucchini, chopped
. 1 large onion, finely diced
. 700 ml good quality chicken stock
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1 tspn ghee (or cooking fat of choice)
. salt and pepper to taste
. chopped mint to garnish
. natural yogurt, optional (omit for full paleo version)

METHOD

1. Melt ghee in fry pan and sauté onions until translucent
2. Add zucchini, sprinkle over garlic powder and stir to combine
3. Pour over stock and bring to boil
4. Once boiling simmer 7 mins or until zucchinis are just tender
5. Allow soup to cool before blitzing in food processor
6. Return to pan to heat and then serve with chopped mint and a dollop of natural yogurt, if desired

This soup made a thoroughly enjoyable lunch. Bon appetite!

Savoury Zucchini and Carrot Slice – primal, grain and gluten free

Aren’t little children funny. My two year old is going through a phase where she will eat raw capsicum sticks, sauerkraut and sautéed mushrooms but not a whole lot else in the veggie department. I know, strange tastes, right? So I’m trying my hand at ‘hiding’ some veg in my cooking in the interests of adding a bit of variety.

All Aussie kids I’m sure were raised on zucchini slice. This is my primal version with added veggies and without the cup of flour! It’s very similar to a yummy crustless quiche.

This makes a great lunch or light dinner with side salad and is great cold in the lunchbox. Some bacon in it would be delicious – alas we ate it all for brekkie 😦 nevermind, the veggie version is great too.

Enjoy…

INGREDIENTS

. 2 medium carrots, shredded
. 2 medium zucchini, shredded and squeezed in paper towel to remove excess moisture
. 1 small onion, finely diced
. 1 tspn garlic powder
. 1 cup sour cream
. 6 eggs
. 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

METHOD

1. Line a 20 cm square baking dish with baking paper.
2. Spoon grated mixture into dish.
3. Whisk together garlic powder, sour cream, eggs and season with salt and pepper and pour over vegetables.
4. Scatter over grated cheese and place in a pre-heated oven at 170 dc for 40 min or until set.

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In the pursuit of “paleo” you sure can happen upon the truly delicious :)

Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum! 20 minutes after dinner and I still have a glorious taste of that delicious meal in my mouth! Mmmmmmm, pan-fried Orange Roughy (sea perch) fish fillets with zucchini in a lemon caper sauce with gloriously naughty potato bake from Aldi, of all places, on the side.

Yesterday, hubby and I drove out to Comslie to an awesome fish shop. It was a two-pronged approach, to pick up some delicious produce and to get the kids asleep, sadly the kids fell asleep only to wake up just as we pulled in to the place and the lure of seeing live mud crabs was just too exciting not to go back to slumber land 😦

1/2 kg of prawns and two fish fillets later we were down $32! Gosh dang it costs a lot to eat well in this insane Land of Oz. The prawns were gonna be our entree but we just couldn’t justify the price tag so last night was prawns and salad and tonight the fish filets.

We quickly pan fried the fish in olive oil, salt and pepper and served with a gorgeous combo of zucchini, capers and lemon:

INGREDIENTS – Tangy Zucchini Side

. 2 zucchini sliced thickly
. 1 1/2 tbspn olive oil
. 1 tbspn lemon juice
. 1 tbspn capers, chopped
. Few sprigs parsley, finely chopped
. Pinch Sea salt
. Generous grind of black pepper

METHOD

. Boil or steam zucchini until just tender, approx 4 min
. Mix remaining ingredients in screw topped jar and coat cooked zucchini

This made a gorgeous sauce for the cooked fish.

If I’m totally honest the potato bake didn’t quite go with the fish, however absolutely no regrets! This Aldi potato gratin is made from just potato, cream, cheese, milk, garlic and pepper. The only bad thing is stabilizer 461.

So what is this additive, 461?

According to the trustworthy Wikipedia (ahem), 461 is a thickener or emulsifier. Digging deeper, it’s not a natural substance :(.

Methyl cellulose does not occur naturally and is synthetically produced by heating cellulose with caustic solution (e.g. a solution of sodium hydroxide) and treating it with methyl chloride. In the substitution reaction that follows, the hydroxyl residues (-OH functional groups) are replaced by methoxide (-OCH3 groups).

And

The slimy, gooey appearance of an appropriate preparation of methyl cellulose with water, in addition to its nontoxic, nonallergenic, and edible properties, makes it popular for use in special effects for motion pictures and television wherever vile slimes must be simulated. In the film Ghostbusters, for example, the gooey substance the supernatural entities used to “slime” the Ghostbusters was mostly a thick water solution of methyl cellulose. The Aliens ooze and drip a great deal of methyl cellulose—especially the queen./em>

Greche…. I was really kidding myself that I could indulge in this yummy potato gratin following the Primal 80/20 rule. Whynis processed food so good? It must be that winning combo of carbs and salt. It just goes to show that home cooked is best.

After all, I really don’t want to end up like Sigourney Weaver’s character “Zuul” in Ghostbusters!

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