A fun way to serve up a healthy meal
Serving this lime shrimp & roasted veggies over spaghetti squash right in the squash rind can make it fun and an easy way to get the kids interested in eating their veggies without complaints!
This recipe serves two, so be sure to make enough for a larger family.
A few health benefits of this dish
Shrimp is a nutrient-rich, low-calorie seafood that provides protein and many of the essential nutrients that Americans tend to be deficient in today, like iron, zinc, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids (1) (2). Iron is necessary for DNA synthesis and oxygen transport in the body. Iron deficiency anemia, which is common worldwide, causes extreme fatigue and can impair mental development and immunity (3). As an excellent source of iodine, shrimp consumption aids in proper thyroid function and brain health (4). When purchasing shrimp it’s best to consume wild-caught rather than farmed, as the farmed shrimp are given antibiotics to avoid infections, and this can lead to dysbiosis, or impaired gut health (5).
Spaghetti squash is another nutrient-dense, low-calorie food that provides essential nutrients like vitamin B3. B5, B6, and vitamin C, minerals like manganese, and fiber (6). B vitamins are necessary for energy production and detoxification processes in the body (7). Manganese is necessary for proper brain function, bone formation, and the metabolism of macronutrients (8). And, the fiber in spaghetti squash helps to prevent constipation, has a positive effect on body weight and composition, improves metabolic health, and influences the microbiome of the gut to increase metabolites, like short-chain fatty acids, that support overall health (9).
Lime Shrimp & Roasted Veggies over Spaghetti Squash Recipe:
1 small spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
16-20 wild-caught shrimp
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
1-2 limes, juiced
3-4 miniature bell peppers (red, yellow, orange), chopped
½ small onion, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
3 collard green leaves, chopped
¼ small red cabbage, chopped
3 green scallions, diced
½ tsp. garlic powder, divided
2-3 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
sea salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the halved spaghetti squash on the sheet. Sprinkle ¼ tsp. garlic powder over the squash, and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the squash over, rind side up, and bake on the baking sheet for about 40 minutes, or until browning.
Combine all the prepared veggies and spread them out onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
Drizzle ½ tsp. EVOO over the veggies and add the garlic powder, salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Roast in the oven with the spaghetti squash for about 30 minutes, or until cooked and browning.
When the squash and veggies have about 10 minutes left to cook, add the shrimp, the juice of one lime, garlic powder, and sea salt to a skillet and heat over high heat for about 5-6 minutes, or until the shrimp is cooked through.
Remove the squash from the oven (careful it will be hot!) and turn it over to cool.
Put one-half of each spaghetti squash on each plate, top with the veggies and shrimp, garnish with fresh cilantro, and enjoy!
Just a note: save the spaghetti squash seeds and roast them just like pumpkin seeds with a little sea salt and pepper – they make a great snack for the kid's lunchbox!