Make Model Meals at Home: Cajun Shrimp + Butternut Squash Grits – Model Meals National

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Cajun Shrimp + Butternut Squash Grits

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Mmmmmm, Southern Cooking. As soon as you hear the phrase, you can probably already smell those delicious aromas and taste the distinct spices. The recipes and flavors that have come out of the south have been well loved and passed down through generations of talented home cooks and professional chefs. Here at Model Meals, our job is to take old favorites and recreate them in a way that does the body, mind, and soul good. 
If you are doing a Whole30 challenge, Paleo or grain free diet, corn and grits are a thing of your past. And to be honest, you won't really miss them after you give this recipe a go.  
And let's talk about okra. It's probably not something you regularly cook with but it's such a cute little veggie and a staple in southern cuisine. So swipe right next time you see it at the grocery store because baby this is a match! Also, we decided in the kitchen last week that it kind of looks like a dinosaur. I digress. If you are new to using okra, this is an easy way to get to know it a little better. Roasting it makes it crispy and brings out its flavor. We are sure you will be adding it to your favorite vegetables list in no time. 
Chef Tony, our Protein Prince, made the clean version of everyone's favorite "Old Bay" seasoning. If you read labels, you probably know that there can be dangerous additives or ingredients in spices, like MSG and gluten. We only coat our shrimp in pure organic ingredients. We have nothing to hide!  
Serves 4
*use organic ingredients whenever possible*
butternut squash grits
1 lb. butternut squash (roasted and pureed)
1 1/2 TBSP lemon juice
any sort of stock (vegetable, chicken, bone broth)
1 TBSP fresh thyme 
1 cup okra
1 cup chopped leek
1 TBSP olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
cajun shrimp
1 lb. raw shrimp
3 TBSP minced garlic
1 1/2 TBSP chopped parsley
3 TBSP "Old Bay" seasoning
{1 TBSP ground bay leaf, 2 1/2 tsp celery salt, 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard, 1 1/2 tsp pepper, 3/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp clove, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp paprika, pinch cinnamon, pinch cardamom, pinch red pepper}
For the butternut squash grits
Roast your squash and puree or mash in a large bowl. Add your lemon juice and thyme and stir. Add your stock 1 TBSP at a time until you have your desired grits consistency.
For the okra
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut off the stem and tip of each okra and slice lengthwise down the center. Put the okra, along with your chopped leeks into a bowl and toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Spread the okra and leeks onto your baking sheet and place in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
For the shrimp
Raise your oven temperature to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place all seasoning ingredients in a small bowl and mix together well. Add your shrimp to a large bowl and sprinkle 3 TBSP of the seasoning, your minced garlic and parsley over the shrimp. Toss with your hands until each little shrimp is coated evenly with seasoning. 
Lay the shrimp out onto the baking sheet and place in the oven until they turn pink. About 6 to 8 minutes.
Spoon your butternut squash grits onto a plate and top with okra and shrimp.

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