Hi all! I’m currently sitting in a Starbucks enjoying a delicious hot latte made with coconut milk of course, and as I begin to write, I look out the window to my right and I see two enormous turkey’s trying to cross a four lane busy street! I’m very confused at the moment, as I have no idea how two giant turkeys ended up here; this Starbucks isn’t exactly in the middle of nowhere. Needless to say, witnessing those turkeys only reassures me that fall is upon us, and makes me all the more excited to share several of my fall creations with you -the first of which being my butternut squash pasta and garlic Swiss chard topped with a savory maple tahini dressing.
This recipe is gluten free, dairy free and soy free. The flavors just scream fall as the sauce’s base is butternut squash. Toasted pecans add crunch while the entire plate is topped with a maple tahini drizzle to tie everything together. Every time I eat pasta, I feel that I must pair it with a vegetable of some sort because otherwise the meal isn’t complete in my opinion. For this recipe I decided to lay the pasta over a bed of garlic roasted rainbow Swiss chard, which turned out beautifully might I add.
First and foremost, this dish is composed of gluten free veggie pasta I found at Trader Joes that contains a full serving of vegetables (you can use any whole grain or gluten free pasta of choice).
Butternut squash: contains calcium, vitamin C, and iron as well as ample amounts of vitamin A. Butternut squash is a good source of carbohydrates to fuel your everyday tasks.
Swiss chard: contains iron, fiber, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium and zinc, which are all necessary for proper bodily function. Many people are often deficient vitamin E, and sometimes in vitamin K as well. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant in the body consequently preventing free radical damage, and vitamin K participates in the blood clotting cascade. Swiss chard is also an excellent alternative to kale, as some people find kale to be very bitter.
Pecans: I feel that people don’t cook with pecans very often and don’t understand how beneficial they can be for your health. Pecans contain calcium, iron, and are loaded with healthy fats. Healthy fats help lower bad cholesterol levels, and ultimately promote good heart health.
I also just want to point out that each ingredient I mentioned above contains iron, and calcium; two nutrients which experts claim vegans tend to lack in. This dish will not provide you with all of your daily iron and calcium needs, but it most certainly contributes. If you would like to look into just how much you’re receiving per serving, I’ve listed all of the nutrition information from the USDA below.
To see more nutritional facts about some of the main ingredients, click the links below!
- Swiss chard nutrition information
- Butternut squash nutrition information
- Pecan nutrition information
- 1 Package of cubed butternut squash OR 1 medium sized butternut squash cubed.
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp pumpkin spice seasoning
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 package pasta of choice
- about 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- 4-5 Swiss chard leaves
- 1/2 glove garlic
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp Olive oil (Or safflower oil/avocado oil/ coconut oil)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
- Prepare pasta as directed, drain, and put pasta back into pot. Turn heat off, and set pot aside until sauce is complete.
- Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. In a bowl add butternut squash, oil, paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add sage leaves, but save two sage leaves for later. Mix everything in the bowl and make sure it’s coated evenly.
- Pour contents of the bowl onto tray and bake for 5-10 minuets or until squash is fairly soft. Keep oven on for Swiss chard.
- Once squash is soft, discard sage leaves. Put roasted butternut squash into a Vitamix, food processor or high speed blender. Add almond milk, nutritional yeast, pumpkin pie spice and the two fresh sage leaves from earlier. Blend until mixture is smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Turn stove on medium heat and add sauce to the pot with pasta in it. mix until combined. Reduce to low heat, and allow to sit until rest of dish is complete.
Method (Swiss chard):
- Roughly chop one clove garlic. Add 4-5 leaves of Swiss chard to baking tray and evenly distribute garlic around and on top of Swiss chard. Sprinkle with a pinch of granulated garlic, salt and pepper. **Optional, add 1 tsp olive oil. Bake at 300 degrees F for about 5-7 minuets.
- Remove baking tray from oven and allow chard to cool slightly before you plate it.
Method (Maple Tahini Drizzle):
- Combine tahini and maple syrup in a small bowl. Add water a few drops at a time if consistency is too thick.
- Add a pinch of salt and a pinch of black pepper to taste.
- Add Swiss chard to the plate first.
- Add pasta.
- Drizzle with maple tahini.
- Add pecans.
- Add hemp seeds for decoration.