Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Newlywed Dinners + Beating the Blues

Braedon keeps telling me that I need to start posting some "newlywed dinners", so tonight I'm taking his advice!  The point of a newlywed dinner is that it's inexpensive, simple, and easy- while secretly tricking your husband into thinking you're a gourmet chef.  Tonight I tried a new recipe, Spaghetti Squash Primavera. Braedon helped me with dinner, thank goodness, because it involved squash again and I was not in the mood for loosing a finger! 

This is a low calorie, light dish.  So if you're like us and always crave dessert, you won't feel too guilty after this meal.  
1 medium-large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and baked
1 bag pre-cooked medium or large sized shrimp (you can also use chicken)
2 roma tomatoes
handful of spinach, stems removed
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the top off of the spaghetti squash and then slice in half lengthwise...like I've mentioned before, Braedon knows my track record with knives and was more than happy to help. Place the squash face down into a 9 x13 pan with 2-3 tablespoons water- obviously I couldn't quite fit the squash in one dish so I had to use two.  Bake in the oven for 50 minutes.  

While your squash is baking you can get everything else prepared, plus probably read a book or study!  Dice the tomatoes, and tear the stems off of the spinach.  Easy enough right? Simplicity is key for these newlywed dinners :).  I seasoned my tomatoes with a little garlic salt.  

The advantage to buying the pre-cooked shrimp is you don't have to worry about anything besides reheating it.  Just add a little olive oil (or butter or coconut oil) and let the shrimp simmer in a large frying pan.  I would start this about 5-10 minutes before your squash is done.  

When your squash is finished baking allow some time for it to cool; then scoop out the seeds and all the squishy guts!  Next, take a fork and run it along the squash width-wise to separate it from the peel.  While your doing this, just turn down your heat on the frying pan to low, and make sure there is enough liquid that your shrimp won't start sticking to the pan- but not too much that it's swimming!

I kind of just threw everything in but was wishing I had added the tomatoes and spinach first.  Once the squash was added it was hard to get the spinach to the bottom so it could wilt.  I would recommend adding them first. Then once the spinach is wilted and the tomatoes are warmed, add in your squash.  It doesn't need to cook long since everything is already heated!  Just add a little salt and pepper and you're good to go!  To be honest I served it with some canned mandarin oranges. So glamorous.  Like I said, cheap, fast, and easy!  You can't mess this one up. If you aren't a fish person just substitute the shrimp for chicken!  You could even use a rotisserie chicken and just peel off bite sized pieces to throw in.  

By the way, we will definitely have leftovers!  Perfect for lunch tomorrow.

On another note:
Today was just one of those days.  I got some disappointing news and was just being dramatic, you know, feeling all sorry for myself.  After dinner all I wanted to do was get in the bubble bath and eat Nutella strait from the jar.  Sort of surprised I didn't!  But instead, I blasted John Mayer throughout our speakers, sang along while making oatmeal cookies (I know, not much better than Nutella), and forced myself to do a Jillian Michael's "killer buns and thighs" workout. (slightly counterproductive) My sister is letting me borrow the video until she visits again in a few weeks, and I told her that wouldn't be a problem because I'd for sure have "killer buns and thighs" by then. HA! Guess I'd better get going.  

Also, Braedon slow danced with me in the kitchen after dinner today and I realized, life could be so much worse.  

Photo Cred: Angela Welch Young