Paleo Pesto Spaghetti Squash Bake

This recipe is a great potluck dish that fits most people’s allergy/food restriction requirements without sacrificing on taste!  I like to whip up a quick vegan pesto to have on hand for most weeks however you can easily sub a store-bought vegan pesto (see my recs below) or a dairy pesto if you can tolerate some cheese. 

I usually recommend going for pecorino cheese or other sheep’s milk-based cheeses since they contain a less inflammatory type of casein called A2 beta casein (goat and water buffalo dairy also fit into this category.  The majority of the cow’s milk in the U.S. contains A1 beta casein which tends to cause more digestive woes for most of the population.  Check out this article for more info on this topic 🙂

Anywho…(enough of my geeking out tangents), this recipe is also fabulous for weekly meal prepping!  Simply scoop out, top with some nutritional yeast or cheese, some fresh herbs and serve (hot or cold)!

GLUTEN FREEDAIRY FREESUGAR FREE WHOLE 30PALEOVEGAN

What you need:

Pesto Casserole:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1/2-3/4 cup vegan cashew pesto or dairy free pesto (I like Seggiano’s found at whole foods)
  • 1 organic zucchini
  • 1 can artichoke hearts (look for those in just salt/water vs. vinegar)
  • 1 3 oz container of organic shitake or baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 handfuls organic raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup organic halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • avocado oil

Vegan Cashew Pesto:

  • 1 good handful of fresh organic basil (~1.5 cups)
  • 1/4 c raw organic cashews (or walnuts/macadamia/pine nuts)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1/3-1/2 c olive oil (may need more or less depending on texture preference)
  • Salt and pepper
  • optional: 2 T nutritional yeast or cheese, 2-3 T chopped walnuts

How you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Slice spaghetti squash in half (hardest part of the whole recipe!) and scrape out the seeds
  3. Drizzle with a little avocado oil and then place (cut side down) onto a baking sheet
  4. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes or until you can easily pierce the yellow outer skin with a fork (skip to step 6/7 while squash is baking)
  5. Remove from the oven and let cool; reduce oven to 350
  6. If making vegan pesto: add all ingredients to a bullet blender/food processor and blend until combined (add salt and pepper to taste and more olive oil as needed depending on whether you like a more chunky or creamy pesto), set aside
  7. Wash, dry and dice mushrooms; heat a skillet on low heat with a few T avocado oil
  8. Add chopped mushrooms and saute for 6-7 minutes (until fragrant and browning)
  9. Dice zucchini (same size roughly as mushrooms) and roughly chop artichokes and spinach leaves
  10. Keeping heat on low/medium add all veggies to the mushrooms and add garlic powder (above is a rough measurement-I usually give a few healthy shakes)
  11. Saute for only about 2 minutes until spinach is just starting to wilt (veggies will continue to cook in the oven so we don’t want to overcook)
  12. Remove pan from heat, scrape out the “spaghetti” from the squash and add to the pan
  13. Pour in pesto and fold to combine all ingredients; scoop into an 8×8 baking dish
  14. Top with chopped cherry tomatoes, nutritional yeast/cheese and chopped walnuts
  15. You can store in the fridge for later baking if meal prepping or you can bake now at 350 for 20-25 minutes (should be slightly bubbling when done); serve!

Tip: I love to top over some arugula and sprinkle with fresh parsley for extra detox support 🙂

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