At times I felt like it would never happen, but SPRING is finally in the air. Seattle had a gorgeous weekend- the sun was shining, birds were chirping and I spotted several optimistic locals sporting shorts and dresses sans tights (never mind that it was 50 degrees out). Although I am beyond excited for a new season and the promise of what’s to come, I can’t help but be a tad bit sad it’s time to say farewell to some of my favorite produce. Squash do you really have to leave so soon?
Now I know it may seem sudden, but don’t fret too much fellow squash lovers, we’ve still got a few weeks left to hoard as many of those yummy, starchy gourds as we can. Whole Foods continues to stock butternut and I was able to snag a 13 lb beauty of a spaghetti squash at Met Market just the other day.
I’m sure most of you know (or can at least guess at this point) that spaghetti squash when cooked resembles that of actual spaghetti noodles. You simply roast the squash until it’s cooked and the flesh will flake off into long pasta- like strands. The only difference is these noodles are packed with vitamins ( A, C, B6) and minerals (primarily Manganese which aids in the production of healthy bones, tissues and sex hormones) not to mention high in fiber and low in carbs. It’s pretty much the perfect food.
My favorite (and the best) way to eat spaghetti squash is just like the traditional spaghetti dish (duh). Top it with homemade marinara, vegan Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of fresh basil and you’ve got yourself a meal even Vito Corleone would be proud of.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Homemade Marinara & Brazilian Nut “Parmesan”
1 spaghetti squash, sliced lengthwise in half and seeds removed
2 cloves garlic, minced
sunflower oil to drizzle
sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Marinara Sauce adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook
4 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 gloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
2-4 tbsp fresh herbs ( I used rosemary & basil)
6 cups fresh chopped tomaters
1/2 cup organic tomato paste
1 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Brazilian Nut “Parmesan” adapted from Thrive
2 cups brazil nuts (soaked for at least 4 hours)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sea salt
1. Pierce holes in the skin of squash with a sharp knife. Drizzle with sunflower oil and rub minced garlic, sea salt and pepper on the flesh. Place both halves face down on a baking sheet and roast at 425 for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on the size).
2. Once your squash is in the oven, set to work on your marinara sauce. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Then add minced garlic and sea salt. Saute about 2 minutes more.
3. Toss in fresh herbs, chopped tomaters, tomato paste, agave and apple cider vinegar. Simmer uncovered over low heat for about 20-25 minutes.
4. Once your sauce is finished spoon the mixture into your blender and blend on high until smooth.
5. Last but not least make your vegan parm by tossing soaked brazil nuts, sea salt and minced garlic in a food processor or high speed blender and pulse until small and granular.
6. Once your squash is finished roasting flake the flesh with a fork and it will separate into long, pasta like strands. Scoop squash onto a plate and top with marinara sauce, parm and fresh basil. Serve with a green salad and some roasted asparagus if you’re feeling ambitious.
MLB (meat-lovin’ boyfriend) and I ate the ish out of this dish. I should mention MLB is Italian and he thought this was the best spaghetti sauce he’s ever had. And asked for seconds. And left overs. This is an excellent dish to make for your meat-lovin’ family/friends/loved ones and a perfect excuse to drag out your love affair with squash as long as possible.