Recipe: Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Shrimp
There’s no denying it: Fall is officially here. Even though temperatures are still warm where I live, there is a definite change of season in the grocery store. I almost stopped in my tracks last week as I headed into the produce section and found giant displays of apples, pumpkins and squash of every color.
Not that I’m complaining. While I will always have a soft spot for colorful berries and heirloom tomatoes, there’s something extremely comforting about fall produce. These spaghetti squash bowls are the perfect way to welcome fall. Spaghetti-like squash strands, roasted broccoli, coconut shrimp and an addictive peanut sauce make for a lighter version of Thai takeout.
Once the vegetables are in the oven, this meal comes together rather quickly. To maximize prep time, I recommend making the peanut sauce beforehand, then marinating the shrimp while the broccoli is cooking. Just before the vegetables are set to be done, saute the shrimp, assemble and serve.
You can serve these bowls as described, or use the hollowed-out spaghetti squash as a literal bowl. (Simply fill the cooked squash boat with roasted broccoli and shrimp, then drizzle on peanut sauce.) Either way, you’ll be rewarded with an unexpected and delicious way to enjoy spaghetti squash.
Thai Peanut Spaghetti Squash Bowls with Shrimp
Makes 4 servings
Thai Peanut Sauce
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 garlic clove, minced
Red pepper flakes, if desired
Spaghetti Squash Bowls
1 medium spaghetti squash, halved
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cups broccoli florets (from 1 medium head of broccoli)
12 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut milk
Cilantro, for garnish
Crushed peanuts, for garnish
Whisk together the peanut butter, coconut milk, maple syrup, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic and red pepper flakes, if using, until the texture is creamy and smooth. You can also use a blender or food processor to make the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the spaghetti squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until squash is tender.
Remove the squash from the oven and run a fork over the cooked squash to create spaghetti-like strands. Place in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the prepared peanut sauce.
Thirty minutes before the squash is done, toss the broccoli florets with 2 teaspoons olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, until very tender. Remove from oven and toss with 2 tablespoons of peanut sauce.
While the vegetables are cooking, marinate the shrimp. Whisk together the shallot, ginger, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, soy sauce, lime juice, maple syrup and coconut milk. Add the shrimp and toss to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and cook until seared and just pink on each side, about 2-3 minutes.
Divide the spaghetti squash, broccoli and shrimp among 4 bowls. Drizzle with remaining peanut sauce and garnish with cilantro and crushed peanuts.
Per serving: Calories 487; Fat 29 g; Cholesterol 179 mg; Sodium 790 mg; Carbohydrate 32.6 g; Fiber 4.5 g; Protein 29 g
Alex Caspero MA, RD, RYT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher. She is the founder of Delish Knowledge (delishknowledge.com), a resource for healthy, whole-food vegetarian recipes. In her private coaching practice, she helps individuals find their “Happy Weight.”