No one will know this Paleo Cajun Shrimp Pasta dish is dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free and low carb! It masquerades as a rich, spicy comfort food and will satisfy your soul. If your Paleo or low-carb diet has you wanting for comfort food, this recipe will come to your rescue.
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I was first introduced to using raw cashews to make a cream sauce years ago from a book called The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook by Marjorie Hurt Jones, R.N. I have altered her recipe slightly and used it as a base for this sauce. Cashew cream thickens beautifully without the addition of any starch or flour. Cashews make the perfect cream sauce because they are mild in flavor which allows the other flavors in the sauce to sing. If you have people in your household who are dairy free, this cashew cream can be a real life-changer.
The spiralized squash works perfectly with the cashew based sauce. It picks up and holds the flavors beautifully. I love the colors of the squash noodles too! So much more interesting than grain pasta! If you don’t have a spiralizer, you could probably grate the squash for this recipe, but it won’t have the same pasta look and feel. Besides, using the spiralizer takes me back to the days of playing with Play-doh machines. It’s just downright fun to spiralize!
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please share it with your friends and family members–especially if they are dairy-free and would appreciate some comfort food.
- Spiralizer- We use this.
- 1 1/3 cup raw cashews, chopped
- 3 1/3 cup filtered water, boiling
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 Tablespoon cajun seasoning (no MSG)
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon (or to taste) crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 pound of shrimp, defrosted, peeled and deveined.
- 1 16 oz bag of frozen broccoli florets, defrosted.
- 3 zucchini or summer squash, spiraled into spaghetti sized noodles
- 1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped
- Place cashews in a large (about 2 quart) pourable container such as a 2 quart glass measuring cup.
- Cover cashews with the boiling water.
- Cover and let sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour or until about room temperature.
- Pour water and cashew pieces into a blender.
- Blend at high speed until cashews are completely incorporated in the water and the solution looks like cream. There should be no evident grains or pieces of cashew left.
- Refrigerate until needed. This may be made one day ahead if desired.
- In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until onions are translucent and starting to brown.
- Turn heat to low.
- Add garlic cloves and cajun seasoning.
- Stir about 1 minute.
- Add lemon juice to pan and stir, releasing brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
- Add crushed red pepper flakes and stir 30 seconds.
- Stir in all of the cashew creme mixture.
- Add salt, shrimp, and broccoli.
- Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a simmer, while stirring.
- Once mixture has reached a simmer, turn heat to low and continue to stir.
- Add squash noodles when shrimp just starts to develop some opacity.
- The dish is finished when the broccoli and noodles are crisp tender, shrimp is opaque and the cashew cream has reached a creamy, sauce-like consistency.
- You may add water to thin if the sauce gets too thick.
- Garnish with parsley.