(recipe & photograph from Green Kitchen Stories – thank you!)
While I used to have a lot of time to create and test recipes, my schedule this past month has afforded very little of that. I’ve been turning to to some pretty incredible wellness sites and Green Kitchen Stories is one of my favorites – this blog features a young, hip, family making amazing vegetarian food and inspiring us with innovative recipes!
That being said, I stumbled upon this recipe while looking for gluten free pasta inspiration. For those of us who eat mostly gluten free, minimally processed plant based foods –there is nothing as perfect as the spaghetti squash. As spaghetti squash cooks, its meaty interior literally turns into beautiful spaghetti like strands. Even better, spaghetti squash is a nutrient dense and low calorie food that is loaded with antioxidants.
This recipe combines the benefit of spaghetti squash with protein rich lentils and herbaceous pesto. I suggest choosing any combination of sautéed mushrooms to complete the dish, although meaty shiitake are perfect. Shiitake mushroom boost immune function that helps stave away cancer and have been studies for their prevention of tumor growth and infections.
This anti-inflammatory and immune boosting dish is perfect to make for your next meatless meal!
Spaghetti Squash with Beluga Lentils, Parsley Pesto & Shiitake
1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash
1 T organic coconut oil
1/2 cup beluga lentils, rinsed
1 cup water
pinch of salt
1 cup fresh shiitake (or any blend of) mushrooms
sea salt & pepper to taste
2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked
3 T pine nuts or nuts of choice, toasted
3 T grated parmesan cheese
3 T extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide the spaghetti squash lengthwise with a large sharp knife. Rub the cut sides with coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Place both halves on a baking tray, cut side down. Bake in the oven for 40-60 minutes (depending on the size of the squash). The halves are ready when the skin is bubbly and slightly browned.
While squash is cooking, prepare lentils, pesto and mushroom. Place water and lentils in saucepan, cover and bring to a boil, lower the heat and let gently simmer for 30 minutes or until tender. Drain any excess water and set aside.
Place all pesto ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy, set aside. Remove the squash from the oven, turn it so you’ll have the cut side up and let cool for a couple of minutes. Meanwhile heat the mushroom in a frying pan with a little coconut oil until soft and browned, set aside. Use a fork to scrape out the spaghetti strands. Place on serving plates, top with beluga lentils, pesto and shiitake.