Garlicky Parsley Shrimp Spaghetti (squash) – a lesson in coming back from a break

It’s just been one of those weeks. The weeks when you are too busy and too tired to do things. The weeks when you want to sleep 12 hours but know you should work 12 hours plus clean the filthy house and pick the neglected weeds turned trees in the yard. The weeks when you find yourself eating apples and almond butter instead of cooking anything and you neglect your creative outlets.

The last few weeks have been exhausting, from bachelorette parties to weddings, to crazy work deadlines and falling into internet wormholes about the perfect pins and the healthiest foods. Life got in the way, as it is oft to do, and certain things fell to the wayside: exercise, relaxing and cooking.  I realized I hadn’t truly created something new in the kitchen for 2 weeks. 2 weeks! That’s a long time.

DSC02552Well, we cannot have that! I’ve got to get my center and my focus back, precisely because busy times are the times you need the most focus! So tonight, I changed things!!!! In the past 24 hours I’ve experimented with custard (DF,GF, RSF), egg white omelettes, kale salads, and Brazilian cut steaks. (Omelette and steak for the win!!) Instead of finishing all of my work at once, I took a break at 6:30 pm to walk around the lake and catch up with friends. It was amazing! And it was beautiful. And then I made a fabulous dinner that was filling and healthy and fun to make!

DSC02554I stopped by the grocery store before finishing up work, and I wasn’t really sure what I was going to end up with. I just knew it had to be filling and hearty and good. 🙂 I have to thank Melissa for helping me choose what ingredients to put in here- she was the main inspiration for this being a parsley dish instead of a cilantro dish- and it worked swimmingly 🙂 What I ended up with was a surprisingly delicious and amazing pasta dish that’s filling, comforting, and good for the belly and soul. I also ended up with a broken blender 🙁  Note to all- don’t fill a magic bullet to the brim and leave it unattended.

DSC02524So one food processor later, (sigh) we have this masterpiece.

Don’t worry- I recreated the sauce again in my back up food processor- the method described below should not harm any food processors.

DSC02558Here’s to restoring the passion, not getting too far off-track, and healthy hearty living!

Serves 2


  • shrimp, 12-14, raw
  • spaghetti squash, 1
  • potato, 1/4
  • cashews, 1/4 cup
  • water, 1/2 cup
  • coconut milk, 1/4 cup
  • parsley leave, 1/4 cup fresh
  • salt, 1/2 tsp
  • pepper, two dashes
  • olive oil, 1/2 tbsp +1/2 tbsp + dash
  • garlic, diced, 1 tbsp  (~1 cloves)
  • shallot, diced, 2 tbsp  (~1 clove)
  • red onion, dice, 2 tbsp


  • food processor


  • soak cashews in water for 2-12 hours. If you don’t have time, boild them for 4 minutes and let them sit in the warm water for 40 minutes
  • place a washed and forked russet potato on a cookie sheet in the over at 350 for 55 minutes
  • slice the spaghetti squash in half, hot-dog style aka long wise, and de-pulp
  • lightly coat the squash with olive oil using a pastry brush. Lightly salt and pepper
  • bake in oven, skins down, at 350 for 45 minutes – I added them to the same cookie sheet as the potato.
  • heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil on the skillet on medium high
  • dice shallots, garlic and onion. Add to pan and saute until caramelized. If they start to brown too quickly add a little water and cook until the water burns off.
  • leave 1 tbsp of the onion/shallot mixture in the pan, put the rest in the food processor
  • add water, coconut milk, 1/2 tbsp olive oil, cashews, parsley, and 1/4 of the potato into the food processor with the garlic mix and blend until well combined. Leave a mildly chunky consistency so you can still see pieces of parsley in the sauce.
  • add 1/2 tbsp olive oil to the pan with a the onion/garlic/shallot mixture and return pan to medium high heat
  • add shrimp to pan and saute for 7-10 min or until pink. Flip and cook an additional 3-5 minutes until onions are browned and shrimp is fully cooked (and fully pink)
  • using a fork, remove the spaghetti like strands from the squash and mix with the sauce from the food processor.
  • plate the spaghetti and garlic parsley sauce.
  • top with shrimp
  • add parsley leaves for garnish
  • serve and enjoy!


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Alicia,
    This looks way to good. I’m slightly confused though. So you used the squash as a substitute for spaghetti noodles? Does it come out pretty nice and clean? Or do the strands sort of fall apart upon taking them out? I can’t imagine that I could do it very nicely. What are the nutritional benefits of using squash? Is it considered a carb?

    1. Thanks! It was delicious! And you are exactly right. The spaghetti squash is a substitute for traditional spaghetti noodles. Once you bake the spaghetti squash, you just take a fork and pull out the squash flesh. It naturally falls into noodle form, hence the name. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll do it perfectly! For the second question, squash is a carb in the same sense all vegetables are, but it isn’t a starch. It definitely has fewer calories than noodles or other starches and it has more vitamins and minerals.
      I love using in it pastas and hashes. Hope you like it too!! Of course, you could use other forms of noodles here as well, like spiralized zucchini, spiralized sweet potato or a gluten free pasta.

  2. This looks delicious, I really need to try and cook it!

    1. So glad you liked it! Let me know if you make it! 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yum! Alicia, this looks marvelous!

    1. Thank you! It was very yummy 🙂

  4. Tori Kayson says:

    Looks yummy! So glad you reclaimed your center. xo

    1. Thanks Tori! It felt good 🙂 now I’m excited for the week ahead- and to make some delicious healthy lemon bars 🙂

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