Simple Pesto & Protein Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is a simple-to-prepare low-carb and low-calorie alternative to pasta! Although it has a different consistency than original pasta, it works very well as a base for many typical pasta dishes such as refreshing pesto or marinara alongside plant- or animal-based protein sources! It can be prepared quickly within 15 minutes in the microwave or roasted for about 40-45 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees F. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and B-vitamins. This dish calls for homemade pesto, which can be substituted for store-bought if you're looking for a quicker meal option!
Servings: 4 servings
Serving Size: 1.5 cups
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeds and fibers removed 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
Protein source (rinsed/drained canned chickpeas or cannellini beans or cooked fish, chicken, pork)
In a microwave safe dish, place one or both squash halves cut side down with 1/2 inch water.
Microwave for 10-12 minutes until a fork easily pierces the squash.
Remove from microwave and allow to cool for a few minutes. Scoop out flesh of spaghetti squash with a fork into a large bowl or storage container.
In a small food processor or blender, combine basil, garlic, nuts, parmesan cheese and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) and pulse to combine. With the motor running, add in olive oil in a slow stream until emulsified. Add in salt and pepper as noted or to taste and pulse to combine.
Add pesto to spaghetti squash and top with protein source of choice.
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