In the summer I try to make it a habit to stop at the local farm stands a couple times a week. There are a few right in my neighborhood that offer an amazing selection of fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs. I feel pretty spoiled. After all, who wants to be stuck in long lines at the crowded supermarket on a gorgeous summer day? Certainly not me. Oh, and it helps that the prices are extremely reasonable. I got all of this for just $20:
Which brings me to this evening’s easy weeknight dinner: Creamy Pesto over Spaghetti Squash and Seitan
Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? This stuff is a miracle. All you do is cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and throw it on a baking sheet for about 50 minutes. When it’s done, just take a fork and scrape out the insides. It will come out looking like perfect strands of golden spaghetti. Anddd it tastes amazing. Annnddd it’s high in nutrition. Annddd it’s low-calorie and low-carb (if you’re keeping count).
Why aren’t more people talking about this?!
Now, typically one squash is sufficient for two people, so you each get one half. Although, this last time I bought some from Whole Foods they were extremely small, so I got us one each. You might need to eyeball it the first few times to get the serving sizes right. If you’re unsure about the amount, I would suggest buying more than needed, because it’s much lighter than regular pasta, so you won’t feel as guilty if you gobble the whole thing up! Plus, you can just save the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
Okay, on to the recipe!
Creamy Pesto over Spaghetti Squash and Seitan
- 1T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-large spaghetti squash
- 2T extra-virgin olive oil
- 8oz (approximately) seitan, sliced (I use a brand that’s already marinated; if yours is plain, you might want to add some garlic or shoyu when you saute it, to give a bit more flavor).
- 2 cups fresh basil, washed
- 2 leaves kale, washed
- 1 avocado
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2T fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup veggie broth
- 2T nutritional yeast (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly oil a cookie sheet with 1T of olive oil.
- Cut the squash in half and scoop out the middle part filled with seeds.
- Put the squash face down on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until the middle is soft (test it with a fork). Depending on the size of the squash, it may take more or less time.
- Meanwhile, make the pesto:
- Remove the basil and kale from the stems and put into a food processor. Add the rest of the pesto ingredients except for the seeds.
- Blend until it’s a smooth consistency.
- Add the seeds and pulse a few times to chop them (don’t let the seeds turn to sunflower seed butter!).
- Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
- Make the seitan: heat the 1T of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the seitan and cook on each side until crispy (about 3-5 minutes per side).
- When ready, remove the squash from the oven and flip it over. When it’s cool enough to handle (or use tongs in one hand), use a fork to scrape the squash out of the skin. It will automatically turn into spaghetti noodle-strands.
- Top the squash with seitan and pesto and serve!
*Note: this recipe is filed under “gluten-free”, however, the seitan is the farthest thing from gluten-free. If you’re avoiding gluten, just sub tofu, beans, tempeh, mushrooms, etc. for the seitan.
Creamy Pesto – Dairy- and Nut-Free!!