Category Archives: Seafood

Delightful Shrimp with Avocado Pesto

Photo: Shrimp with Avocado Pesto

I found this lovely Creamy Avocado Pesto recipe at and adapted it to make this delightfully refreshing shrimp pasta with butternut rotini.

As I was contemplating my pasta substitute choices at the grocery store, I spotted Mann’s Butternut Rotini, whooped in excitement, and bought a package. You don’t have to use this exact thing in the recipe. Cubed or spiraled butternut will work just as well, or you can use zucchini noodles I am just excited that Mann’s is making these prepared vegetable options available. In addition to the butternut rotini, they also have cauliflower rice, sweet potato fettuccine, baby cauliflower caulilini, and kohlrabi linguini. I am eager to try all of these except the sweet potato since it is a little higher in carbs than the rest, although the serving size is 1-1/2 cups, so if you cut back to 1/2 cup, you could still have some. Check these out at the Mann’s website

Back to this recipe. The avocado pesto is easy to make. Fresh basil is a must. I had to buy a whole basil plant to get any at my grocery store, but with luck, yours might have some in their produce department. I used large shrimp, but you can use the medium ones.

Shrimp with Avocado Pesto

1 10 ounce-package Butternut Squash Rotini
1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)1 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 lemon, juiced or 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
1/2 cup fresh basil, or more to taste
4 tablespoons grated Romano cheese, halved
2 cloves garlic
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil, or as needed
1/4 cup diced tomatoes, or more to taste (optional)
salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cook the butternut rotini in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes to get them partially cooked. (They are in a steamer bag, but it popped open mid-way, so cut a small opening in it to let the steam out.)

In a large skillet, add one tablespoon oil, then add the rotini to cook. Stir it often until it softens, then add the cleaned shrimp and stir fry until the shrimp turn pink. Remove from heat.

In the blender, use a spoon to scoop out the avocado, then add lemon juice, basil, two tablespoons of the Romano, garlic, salt, and black pepper. If you’d like a little more spice, add about 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper. Pulse until smooth, then add remaining olive oil, pulsing until it looks creamy. Transfer the pesto to the skillet with shrimp and rotini and stir it to coat evenly. Add the rest of the Romano cheese along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately. You can refrigerate left-overs for a day or two. The avocado may turn a little darker, but it is still good, and it reheats well.

Makes four delicious servings.

Nutrition Info Shrimp with Avocado Pesto

About that Salmon Salad

Photo: Salmon and Bacon Salad

Heavy winds and rain are blasting my area as we approach the end of March. (I think it came in like a lion, but not sure it will depart like a lamb.) We can only hope April looks more like spring than March has. When the month started, I promised to post the recipe for a great salmon salad. Then it totally slipped my mind as I started getting more of the St. Patrick’s Day recipes up. But here it is. This works great if you have left-over salmon, or you can grill a piece before you make it. You can also use canned or packaged cooked salmon.

This is another yummy recipe from Paleo Leap’s web site, so it is good for Atkins, South Beach, Keto, and Paleo.

1 cup Salmon, grilled and flaked (8 oz)
1 hard boiled Egg, diced
1 Mini Pepper
1/2 Avocado, diced
2 slices Bacon, cooked and broken into pieces
1/4 Onion, minced
2 tablespoons Mayonnaise (homemade or your preference)
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 tablespoon fresh Parsley, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried Parsley
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 drop liquid Sweetener
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of fresh greens (Spring mix lettuce, spinach, arugula – your choice)

To make the dressing:

In a bowl, add the mayonnaise, parsley, lemon juice, cayenne, sweetener, and olive oil then whisk until it is blended.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the salmon, diced eggs, bell pepper, avocado, and red onion. Add the mayonnaise mixture and toss it together gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Divide the greens into two bowls, then top with half the salmon mixture into each bowl. Serve.

Makes two healthy servings.

TIP: If you’d rather have shell fish, make this with shrimp, crab, or lobster instead of salmon. It will work just as well.

Image: Nutrition Info

Scintillating Salmon with Orange Sauce

Photo: Salmon with Orange Basil Sauce

PK’s new doctor recently suggested she try the paleo diet to improve her health. With this pronouncement in mind, I took a look at some of the paleo recipes and chose some that I thought I could adapt to low carb that would suit both of us. As a result of this quest, I will be posting more recipes that work for both low carb like Atkins and South Beach as well as ones that work with keto and paleo.

This is a delicious recipe that I found as Orange Rosemary Salmon at I didn’t have any rosemary, so I substituted basil. Dried basil at that. But it worked exceptionally well, and we loved the flavor of this dish. I grilled the salmon on my new Copper Chef stove-top grill, which worked perfectly, and I cleaned it up in just a few minutes after I was done. Yay for that! I even grilled the asparagus spears along with it. The side serving that looks a bit like rice is actually riced kohlrabi, which is amazingly delicious when cooked with a bit of broth, butter, and basil.

If you were going true paleo, you would use all fresh ingredients and your chicken stock would be made from chicken bones. I, on the other hand, made mine from Better Than Bullion.

Orange Basil Salmon

Atkins, Keto, and Paleo-friendly

2 salmon fillets (about 1/2 lb)
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon fresh Basil, minced 0r 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Use a grater or zester to scrape the orange skin until you have 1 teaspoon of orange zest. Cut the orange and squeeze out as much of the juice as you can from one large orange. I use a little of the pulp as well since I like to have it in my sauce. Combine the orange juice, lemon juice, chicken stock, and zest.

Heat the grill on high heat until hot, then turn to medium heat. Brush the salmon fillets with a little olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill with skin side up and cook until the salmon is about half-way done, about 5 minutes. Flip so the skin side is down and continue to cook another 4 to 5 minutes. (Time will vary based on the heat and thickness of the salmon.) Add any vegetables to the grill at this point.

On another burner, heat up a saute pan and add a teaspoon of olive oil or cooking fat. Cook the garlic and fresh basil in it for a minute or so. If using dried, add it to the orange juice mixture. Pour the juice and broth into the pan and stir well. Lower the heat to medium-low and add salt and pepper to taste, about a pinch of pepper and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. Stir and cook until the mixture begins to thicken.

Meanwhile, check on the salmon as you work and turn any vegetables that need it. When the flesh looks done all the way through, use a pancake spatula and slide it between the skin and the meat. The salmon will lift off easily. Transfer it to a serving plate and spoon or pour half the orange sauce over the top.

Serve with vegetables and riced cauliflower or kohlrabi. Makes two servings.

Photo: Riced kohlrabi

Riced Kohlrabi with Basil

1 medium (4″) Kohlrabi
1/4 cup Chicken Broth or Better Than Bullion
1/2 teaspoon dried Basil
Pinch Salt
1 tablespoon Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Butter

Prepare this before you begin the main meal.

Peel kohlrabi, cut into cubes and put in the food processor. Pulse until the vegetable is chopped into rice-sized pieces.

In a skillet, add oil or butter, then add the kohlrabi. Stir and cook for about a minute, then add the broth, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Add water if it is too dry. The kohlrabi will take about 20 minutes to cook until it is tender. Add seasonings about part way through.

When done the kohlrabi should look like rice in texture. Makes about three half-cup servings.

Nutrition: Salmon with Basil Orange Sauce


Delightful Summer Tuna and Cauliflower Salad

Photo: Tuna and Cauliflower Salad

Looking for summer to come around the corner any time now and my thoughts are turning to fresh, tasty salads. Actually, we had a hint of the warmer season this week in Reno before it turned chilly again. In celebration of those two days of bright sunshine and heat, I made this yummy tuna and cauliflower salad. It’s packed with delicious vegetables and enhanced with a light lemony mayonnaise dressing. If you like tuna, you should love it. If you don’t like tuna, here’s a tip… you can substitute in chopped chicken or turkey.

Tuna and Cauliflower Salad

2 cups Cauliflower flowerets
9 ounces White Tuna, water packed
3 tablespoons Lemon Juice, divided
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup Jicama, cubed
12 oz. jar Artichoke Hearts, drained and quartered
2 tablespoons fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Cheddar Jack or Swiss Cheese
1 teaspoon Sugar Substitute
2 cups Mixed Lettuce, (Spring Mix)
8 Cherry Tomatoes (optional)*

Bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the cauliflower for about 15 minutes until fork tender. Drain thoroughly.

Drain tuna and place in a large salad bowl. Use a fork to flake it apart. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and gently toss.

Add artichoke hearts, cauliflower, cheese, jicama, and eggs and toss together gently.

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise with remaining lemon juice, sugar substitute, and parsley to make a creamy lemon dressing. About 30 minutes before serving, add dressing to the salad, toss gently and chill for about 15 to 30 minutes, then serve over a 1/2 cup mixed lettuce in each bowl.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: (without tomatoes)
Calories: 430 Fat: 32.8 g Net Carbs: 4.5 g Protein: 26.1 g

* With tomatoes, add 0.5 net carbs per tomato.

TIP: Use foil packaged tuna packed in water instead of canned tuna. It’s a little dryer so it doesn’t need to be drained, and it doesn’t carry the tinny taste of canned tuna.

Without the tomatoes, this recipe is suitable for Induction on the Atkins Low Carb Diet.

Turn up the spice with Blackened Salmon

Photo: Blackened Salmon on parchment

Of all the fish in the sea, not counting the shellfish, but the ones with fins, I think salmon may be my favorite although Icelandic cod is swimming right behind.  I also like spicy food, so this combination is a no-brainer. If you like salmon and hot spice, you’ll love this. I admit, I over-spiced a tad, so I cut the Cajun spice down a bit in the recipe. If you want it at a higher level of burn then add another teaspoon of Cajun spice.

Photo: Blackened salmon dinner

Cajun-spiced Blackened Salmon

3/4 lb salmon filet
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice or 1 lemon juiced
2 tablespoons fresh Parsley or 1/2 teaspoon Dried Parsley
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 teaspoons Cajun Seasoning
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F.). Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients except the salmon and the salt and pepper and mix well.

Place the salmon on the baking sheet and spread the oil mixture on both sides. Rub it into the fish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15 minutes until the fish is done. If there is skin on the bottom, the skin should separate easily from the flesh if it is done enough.

Makes two servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories:377.5 Fat:24.4 g Net Carbs:5.8 g Protein: 34.4 g