It’s been a while! Sending out my best and warmest for the new year. I sort of checked-out from screens in a general way around the holidays. Something about the busyness of that time combined with 24-hour media fatigue/total saturation made dwelling in the real world more appealing. I watched a lot of basketball, made delicious food without documentation, hung out in real time with my people, played boardgames, read books–kind of boring simple stuff, but great all the same. I think when you start seeing those boring things for the real blessings that they are, your perspective changes a bit.
While I’m trying to go gentler on myself in 2017, I know that going easy on food and certain lifestyle habits is also very much a thing for many in the month of January. The juicers might get dusted off, it’s possible that you’ve read a 12th article about the Whole 30 in a matter of days, and I don’t know about you, but our gym is waaay more happening lately. It’s easy to roll your eyes at it all, but I kind of love that everyone gets on board with a healthier way of life for at least 2 weeks.
This recipe is pretty simple and all-the-way good for you, but totally lush too. There’s 10 core ingredients with a simple blender sauce that brings plenty of sparkle. When I need a touch of richness or a fast sauce, I almost always start with raw cashew butter. I make the butter up in large batches so that I don’t have to remember to soak cashews all the time essentially. It’s amazing blended with some hot coffee and a dribble of maple syrup too.
I’m not sure if I got lucky with this squash or what because the strands were PREMIUM. Sometimes spaghetti squash cooks up super moist to the point of not being… spaghetti-like. I find that roasting the halves facing up does help with the strand-making because it forces the squash to dry out a bit more. If I’m being honest, I typically eat spaghetti squash quite simply–just roasted with salt, pepper, and a couple shakes of white wine vinegar. This one, smothered with chickpeas, shallots, and that peppery/creamy sauce, is definitely a fancier outing, and I imagine a more appropriate main course option for most people ;)
STUFFED SPAGHETTI SQUASH WITH CHICKPEAS & GARLICKY ARUGULA CREAM (VEGAN RECIPE)
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: This recipe makes extra sauce (almost all of my recipes do because extra sauce is obviously great to have on hand), so if you decided to double the squash, chickpeas, shallots etc., there would definitely be enough sauce for 4 servings. If you want to try a nut-free version, I’d replace the cashew butter in the sauce with tahini and add a bit of maple syrup or other sweetener to the sauce. The toasted pine nuts on top could be replaced with any toasted seed that you like.
1 medium spaghetti squash (mine weighed 1.25 kg)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/3 cup raw cashew butter
1/2 cup filtered water
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1/2 teaspoon gluten-free tamari OR coconut aminos
1 cup packed arugula, plus extra for serving
1 medium shallot, small dice (about 1/2 cup diced shallot)
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Place the halves face-up on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the olive oil. Season the squash with salt and pepper and slide the sheet into the oven. Roast the squash until tender strands start to pull away, about 45 minutes. Remove the seeds from the squash and set aside.
While the squash is roasting, toast the pine nuts in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Once pine nuts are golden brown, remove them and set aside.
Make the arugula cream: In an upright blender combine the cashew butter, water, garlic, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, tamari, arugula, salt, and pepper. Blend this mixture on high for about 45 seconds, or until totally smooth and fluid. Check the cream for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Transfer the cream to a sealable container and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Return the medium sauté pan with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil to the stove over medium heat. Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring often, until very soft, about 4 minutes. Add the chickpeas to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Once the chickpeas are warmed through, stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice.
To serve, place warm squash halves on plates and gently pull out some strands of “spaghetti” to make a pocket of sorts. Divide chickpea mixture between both squash halves. Drizzle garlicky arugula cream over both servings, and garnish with toasted pine nuts and extra arugula.