I must say, recipe testing for this big project of mine has been extremely fun. This one took a few tries, but I finally got the flavors just right. This recipe will be featured in my beginners guide to veganism as part of week 1. I wanted to give you guys something that mimicked a creamy pasta dish without being to calorically dense and high in fat. So here it is!
The garlic creates this perfect marriage with the parsley, and the creaminess of the cashew sauce perfectly mimics any high calorie, dairy filled unhealthy cream sauce.
This dish is full of fiber, in fact just one cup of spaghetti squash contains 6% of your daily value. The squash also contains 2% vitamin A, magnesium, 3% vitamin C and 1% of your daily value of iron and 2% of your daily value of calcium. From just one cup of spinach your body receives, 6% magnesium, 56% of your daily value of vitamin A, 3% of your daily calcium needs, and 14% of your daily vitamin C value. Despite popular belief, from one cup of spinach your body is only able to absorb 4% of its daily iron needs. Garlic is an excellent source of selenium, ad vitamin B6. Cashews are high in polyunsaturated fats (heart healthy fats), contain 10% of your daily iron needs, 20% of your daily magnesium needs, 32% of your daily copper needs, and 23% of your manganese needs. Being that this recipe is comprised of plants it contains a ton of chemicals known as phytochemicals that promote good health. This is one of the main differences between plant based and animal based products; animal products do not contain phytochemicals. From this recipe your body receives an ample amount antioxidants including antioxidant carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin, and bioflavonoids which work to prevent free radical damage. Free radical damage can lead to a multitude of diseases so eat your veggies kiddos! All nutrition information via the USDA.
- 1-2 cups spaghetti squash (Note** if you’re following my beginners guide to veganism, you should have spaghetti squash leftover)
- 1/2 cashews
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 1/2 – 2 garlic cloves (depending on how much you like garlic)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp healthy oil of choice (ex: Extra virgin olive oil, safflower oil, etc)
- If you are following my beginners guide to veganism, you have spaghetti squash left over from a previous recipe. Remove it from the fridge and set it aside. If you are starting from scratch, preheat your oven to 440 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut 1 medium sized spaghetti squash in half and place both halves (insides facing up) onto a baking tray. Brush both halves with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Bake at 440 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minuets or until inside is soft.
- Place 1/2 cup cashews in a small bowl. Boil about 1-2 cups of water in a small sauce pan. Once boiled, add the boiling water to 1/2 cup of cashews. Allow to sit for about 20 minuets.
- Once soaked, drain the water from the cashews, BUT SAVE THE SOAKING LIQUID.
- Add the cashews, salt, pepper, onion powder, and parsley
- to a food processor. Add soaking liquid 1 tbsp at a time to the processor until the mixture becomes creamy.
- Should look like picture below when complete. If you have added all of the soaking liquid, and it still doesn’t look like the picture below, add more water to the mixture until it looks like the image below.
- Add oil of choice, and garlic to a sauté pan, and cook for approximately 3 minuets on low-medium heat.
- Add spinach. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 5 minuets.
- If you’re following the beginners guide to veganism, add leftover spaghetti squash to sautéed pan and skip to step 13. If you’re making the spaghetti squash from scratch follow instructions below.
- Remove spaghetti squash and allow it to cool. It should look like this.
- Using a fork, remove the seeds and center mushier portion of the squash and discard. Then using the fork begin to scrape the squash. It will form strands that mimic noodles.
- Add 1-2 cups squash to the sauté pan containing the garlic and spinach.
- Allow to cook for 3-5 minuets. Then add about 1 cup cashew cream sauce. You may have extra. You can add more if you wish.
- Allow to cook for another 3-5 minuets.
- Serve spaghetti squash. Top with more parsley.