Pesto Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli, Sundried Tomatoes, and Shallots
(First off: it’s really hard to make what is essentially a pile of sauteed veggies look aesthetically appealing.)
Okay! First recipe from this week’s menu. If you’ve never had spaghetti squash before, let me be the first to introduce you to this magical vegetable. When it’s cooked, its flesh comes apart in thin noodle-like strands. It also has a faint sweet taste and takes on other flavors well, making it a perfect vehicle for other veggies, sauces, and seasonings! This meal is a GREAT way to get your veggies in without that ugh-shoveling-yet-another-salad-down feeling (not to dis salads!). It’s warm, flavorful, and has so many textures going on, not to mention it comes together in about 15 minutes.
Small spaghetti squash
Sundried tomatoes, not packed in oil
Spices: sea salt, pepper, garlic powder (not shown)
First you’re going to hack the spaghetti squash in half length-ways. When I say hack, I mean it. Spaghetti squashes are notoriously difficult to cut. BE CAREFUL. That said, if my dollar store knife can cut through one, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem. Once it’s cut, take one half and place it upside down in a small, microwavable casserole dish. Add water to about an inch high and poke holes in the squash as air vents. Microwave about 6-8 minutes, checking to see if a fork can easily go through the flesh. Mine took 7 minutes.
While the squash is microwaving, chop one head of broccoli into bite-sized pieces, about a cup total. Add it to a skillet with a couple tablespoons sundried tomatoes and quarter cup water. Season with salt and pepper and let steam for a couple minutes until the water is absorbed.
Go ahead a dice half a shallot and add to the skillet, along with a tablespoon pesto and another spoonful of water. Cook on low.
Meanwhile, take your cooked spaghetti squash, scrape out the seeds, and use a fork to scrape the strands of squash from the skin. I had a scant two cups of cooked flesh. Add this to the skillet with another spoonful of water on medium and saute. Season with spices (I added a lot of garlic powder—I’m Italian after all!) and add two more tablespoons pesto. Cook until hot and serve up!
This is HUGELY flexible. Add diced, cooked chicken breast or crumbled bacon if you want meat, serve with Parmesan, or make vegetarian/vegan by using a pesto without the Parm. But I can tell you right now it is super filling and so tasty as is!
Per serving (whole recipe, about 2 cups total): 342 calories; 21 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated), 4 milligrams cholesterol, 433 milligrams sodium, 34 grams carbs (8 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar), 9 grams protein. Vitamin A: 35% Vitamin C: 160% Calcium: 18% Iron: 15%
Note: the high fat count in this recipe comes primarily from the pesto. If you’d like to reduce it, use less pesto and add in dry herbs and garlic powder.