Baked Coconut Shrimp

I absolutely love shrimp however it’s prepared, and for a while now I’ve been wanting to try making coconut shrimp at home. I’ve had it when eating out, and you get these huge shrimp that have been butterflied and have this nice crispy coating—delicious stuff. Living in Iowa, however, I don’t always have access to those huge shrimp, or if they are available, they are outside my food budget, so I just drool and dream. That said, Hy-Vee will have occasional sales on seafood, especially around the holidays, so I usually stock up. While my go-to recipe for shrimp is shrimp scampi, I decided to try my hand at coconut shrimp, and my family thought the results were great. I used roughly 2 pounds of shrimp in my recipe (we’re big eaters and absolutely love shrimp), but you can definitely pare this back and use only 1 pound.

Some coconut shrimp is fried, but I wanted to keep my recipe as healthy as possible, so I baked mine. I also made this recipe gluten-free, so here is one more recipe for those of you who have celiac disease or wheat sensitivities. Of course, if you don’t have these medical problems, feel free to use regular all-purpose flour in place of the coconut flour.

A lot of recipes I looked at for coconut shrimp had a fruity and/or spicy dipping sauce that accompanies the shrimp. I saw one that had pineapple marmalade and one that used apricot preserves. I had neither of these items in my pantry, but I did have a bunch of homemade peach jam sitting on the shelves, so that was the inspiration for my dipping sauce. Feel free to experiment with whatever jams and preserves you may have. We each tried the shrimp first by itself and then with the dipping sauce, and we all agreed that the dipping sauce made the dish perfect.

Baked Coconut Shrimp

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined


1/2 cup coconut flour

1 can coconut milk (or enough to make a thick batter)

1 egg, beaten


1/2 cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs

1-1/2 cups coconut flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Peachy Dipping Sauce

8 ounces peach jam

2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or to taste)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes


Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl, combining thoroughly. Refrigerate to let flavors marry together until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside (for my 2 pounds of shrimp, I needed 2 baking sheets).

In one bowl, combine all the batter ingredients, whisking them together to thoroughly combine. You’re looking for a pancake batter consistency, so keep adding the coconut milk until you reach a thick batter. You may or may not need a full can of coconut milk.

In a separate bowl, combine all the coating ingredients, and thoroughly mix.

Dip the prepared shrimp in the batter and then into the coconut/breadcrumb mixture. Shake off excess coating, and place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheets. Bake shrimp for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce.

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Baked Scallops

I love scallops, but here in Iowa, we just don’t have access to fresh seafood, so we have to make do with the frozen section and hope we come across some good stuff. I’d stopped in our local locker the other day looking for soup bones to make bone broth, and I noticed they’ve started to carry some seafood. So, of course, I started browsing and found they had some really nice-looking scallops. Nice big ones that were actually more than an appetizer bite size. Of course, I came home with a couple of packages lol.

I wanted to make those scallops tonight, but I wanted to try something different. I usually make scallops in a large skillet, browning them and then using my shrimp scampi sauce. They are really good that way, but these were really nice scallops, so I wanted to do something that would “wow” my family. The fact that even my husband said I had to blog about this recipe “right now” must mean I accomplished my mission lol.

That said, this is one of those off-the-top-of-my-head recipes. I didn’t measure anything. I knew what ingredients I wanted to use, and I went strictly by taste. I’ve tried to approximate the ingredients below, but do yourself a favor and just taste the sauce as you make it. My family likes garlic, so I probably use more garlic than most families would like, so feel free to experiment to find the level of garlic you like. The wine is optional, but it really adds a nice layer of flavor to the sauce.

I topped the scallops and the sauce with a simple bread crumb mixture. Since I’m trying to go Paleo, I used gluten-free Panko, but you could easily substitute regular bread crumbs, regular Panko, or even seasoned varieties of the two to add another layer of flavor. This really is a simple recipe, but the end result was absolutely delicious.



Baked Scallops

2 pounds large scallops (I worked with 22 – 5 each plus 2 for the boys to fight over)

1/2 stick butter, melted

About 1/3 cup dry white wine

Garlic salt

Freshly ground black pepper (or use a coarser/restaurant-style black pepper)

Gluten-free Panko (or your favorite bread crumbs)


Extra-virgin olive oil


Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the melted butter, white wine, about 2 to 3 teaspoons of garlic salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

Dip each scallop in the melted butter mixture to completely coat. Place the scallops in a medium-sized casserole dish or on a large rimmed baking sheet (I used a jelly roll pan). Once all the scallops have been dipped in the butter mixture and are on the baking dish, pour the remaining butter sauce over the scallops.

In another small bowl, combine about 3/4 cup to 1 cup bread crumbs, about 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic salt, more freshly ground black pepper, and about 2 to 3 tablespoons parsley. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bread crumb mixture, and combine until the mixture starts to clump together. Once everything is mixed, sprinkle the bread crumb/Panko mixture on top of the scallops. (The bread crumbs will soak up any extra butter sauce as it bakes.)

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 15 to 20 minutes, depending how big your scallops are, until the fish is nice and flaky. Serve with veggies or a green salad and homemade bread, and you’ve good a great meal that will impress your family and friends.

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Pressure Cooker Jambalaya

I absolutely love jambalaya and any other Cajun-inspired dish. My family traveled to New Orleans after my senior year of high school, and I fell in love with the cuisine, so I’ve tried to recreate those flavors in my recipes.

My youngest son requested that I make jambalaya, so since I’d recently bought an Instant Pot, I decided it was high time I made this for dinner. The pressure cooker makes it super easy to pull this recipe together quickly, and in no time I had a delicious meal on the table.

You can certainly brown the meats in the pressure cooker using the sauté function, but I prefer to use my large cast iron skillet to brown the meat. I then added the meat to the recipe after the rice had finished pressure cooking.



Pressure Cooker Jambalaya

1 pound chicken breast tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces

12 ounces Andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided

1 teaspoon chipotle powder, divided

2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 green bell pepper, diced

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 small onion, diced

2 cups diced tomatoes, drained (I used 1 quart of home-canned tomatoes)

2 cups Jasmine rice

2 cups chicken stock

Fresh parsley


In a cast iron skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil, and brown the chicken and sausage pieces. Sprinkle the meat with half of the Cajun and chipotle seasonings and half the dried thyme. When just about browned, add the raw shrimp, and cook until the shrimp just turns pink. Set aside.

In the cooking pot of the pressure cooker, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Select the sauté function, and sauté the garlic, onion, and green pepper with the remaining Cajun and chipotle seasonings and half the dried thyme just until tender. Add the tomatoes, rice, and chicken stock, and stir to combine.

Lock the pressure cooker lid in place, and cook at high pressure for 8 minutes.

Use the quick-release setting to release the pressure. Remove the lid, and add in the cooked meats and the parsley to taste (I used about 3 tablespoons). Replace the lid, and let the jambalaya sit for 6 minutes on the warm function. Serve.

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Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna

My son and I went to Lucky’s Market in Iowa City and found some beautiful Ahi tuna steaks. Since seafood is on the Paleo diet, I decided to try my hand at cooking these, something I’ve never done but always wanted to try.

I surfed the Internet looking at a variety of different Paleo blogs and recipes, and there’s even one that Chris Kresser included in his Paleo literature, which called for Chinese 5-spice, which sounded good, but I wanted to try something simple for my first time cooking an actual tuna steak.

I found this recipe at Paleo Hacks, and it sounded perfect for what I wanted to do. Her recipe called for poppy seeds, which I’m sure would be a tasty addition, but I decided to omit those this time. I paired our tuna steaks with roasted baby carrots and some organic greens topped with a delicious balsamic lemon vinaigrette, and we finished off the meal with fresh berries and whipped coconut cream for dessert. Not a bad way to start out our new Paleo lifestyle 🙂


Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna

1 Ahi tuna steak

Generous dab of grass-fed ghee

Extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Poppy seeds (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Take your tuna steak out of the refrigerator 30 minutes or so prior to cooking. Rub it with salt and pepper.

Melt the ghee in a cast iron skillet on fairly high heat. Drizzle in a little olive oil if using.

Sear the tuna steak for about 1 to 3 minutes on each side, depending how rare you want the steak to be. Remove steak from the pan, and let it sit for a minute or two before serving.

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Lemon, Garlic, and Herb Baked Salmon

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but rest assured I’m still doing my Paleo diet! Work has kept me busy, and then there were all the garden veggies that needed to be canned or worked up (green beans, sweet corn, dill and sweet pickles, and tomatoes).


I do have a couple new Paleo recipes to share, though. I tried these both last night, and my family said they were hits and I could make them again. If you like salmon, this recipe is super easy to make, and it only takes a few minutes in the oven before dinner is ready. I paired this salmon dish with Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower and a nice green salad, and dinner was on the table in no-time flat.



Lemon, Garlic, and Herb Baked Salmon

8 salmon fillets

3 ounces grass-fed butter or ghee

1 teaspoon sea salt

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh dill, chopped

1 garlic clove, finely minced


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray (or use a little melted butter or ghee). Place salmon fillets skin side down in the baking dish.

Melt the butter or ghee in a small bowl in the microwave. Add the salt, herbs, and minced garlic to the butter, and stir to thoroughly combine.

Using a pastry brush, brush the melted butter mixture over each salmon fillet.

Bake fillets at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through and easily flakes with a fork.

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Baked Cajun Honey Garlic Shrimp

I love shrimp in any form I can get them. My go-to recipe is usually shrimp scampi, but I thought I’d change it up a bit this time and do a marinated spicy shrimp dish.

I’d seen recipes on Pinterest for Cajun shrimp, honey and garlic shrimp, and barbecue shrimp, so I decided to take a bit of several recipes and combine them to make these Baked Cajun Honey Garlic Shrimp. You can serve the shrimp over cooked rice or pasta, whatever you have on hand or whichever you prefer. Since you’ll pour the shrimp and all the yummy marinade on a pan to bake, use the sauce over the shrimp and rice/noodles, or use the sauce as a tasty dipping sauce for bread. The recipe calls for 1 pound of shrimp, but the recipe makes enough marinade for 2 pounds if your family happens to devour shrimp as fast as mine does. We like things spicy, but you can back off the Cajun seasoning if your family only wants a little bit of heat.


cajun shrimp on rice


Baked Cajun Honey Garlic Shrimp

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 a large lemon)

1/4 cup garlic-infused olive oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (use your favorite – I like Wildtree’s Cajun seasoning)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, garlic-infused olive oil, soy sauce, honey, Cajun seasoning and chopped parsley. Add the peeled and deveined shrimp, and stir to completely coat all the shrimp. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.


Cajun shrimp marinating


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer the shrimp and the marinade to a large baking dish (or two if you’re using more than 1 pound of shrimp) that is large enough to hold the shrimp in a single layer.

cajun shrimp on baking sheet


Bake uncovered until firm and pink, about 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t overbake, as shrimp becomes rubbery and tough when overdone. Serve with cooked rice or pasta.

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Shrimp Scampi

I’ve always said I’d love to live on the coast where I could have access to fresh seafood any time. It’s one of my favorite things to eat, but here in the Midwest it can be expensive, so we usually only have it as a treat on special occasions. While Kevin and the boys would probably choose crab or lobster as their first seafood choice, mine would definitely be shrimp. I love shrimp however it’s prepared, and shrimp scampi is one of my favorite ways to prepare it at home.



shrimp scampi


Shrimp Scampi

2 pounds raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 stick butter
Half a small onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Hot noodles or rice

In a large skillet, melt the butter. Cook the diced onions for about 2 minutes, and add the minced garlic. Cook a few minutes more until the onion is translucent but not browned. Add the chopped parsley and white wine, stirring to combine.

Add the peeled and deveined shrimp to the skillet, and cook just until all the shrimp have turned pink — no longer or they will turn tough.

Serve shrimp and sauce over hot cooked noodles or rice, and garnish each serving with grated Parmesan cheese.