Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Now that the time has come where I can’t even venture to my mailbox without a huge winter coat, scarf, boots, and gloves, I have found myself craving some of my favorite comforting, carb-loaded dishes.  But seeing that I would have to rename this blog to A Bigger Bite if I wanted to include these beloved recipes, I decided to craft a lighter version of one of my all-time favorite meals.

Ever since I can remember, a heaping plate of pasta topped with pesto has been my go-to indulgence.  (Just see Dinner with Grandma to find out why…) So since spaghetti squash seems to be the new trend this fall, my roommate and I decided to join the band wagon and indulge, while still adding our own flare to the meal.  I bring you…

Caprese Spaghetti Squash with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

INGREDIENTS:
Spaghetti Squash:
  • 1 Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • 6 Oz Fresh Mozzarella (omit for vegan alternative)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Pesto:
  • 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 handful of fresh basil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Pinch of sea salt
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lightly grease pan
  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds (You can save them to roast later!)
  4. Place squash face down on pan and cook 30-45 min, until soft
  5. Put all ingredients for pesto in food processor and pulse until smooth, pesto consistency
  6. Let squash cool enough to touch, and then scoop out “spaghetti” with a fork
  7. Toss with mozzarella, tomato, and salt and pepper
  8. Top with pesto and voila!

*Serves 2

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Acorn Squash Stuffed With Quinoa and Pistachios

A few days ago, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and made a recipe that seemed a bit more intimidating than usual. When my friend told me that I was “selling myself short” after writing off a few complicated recipes I had seen, I decided to accept the culinary challenge.  I’m not very experienced when it comes to cooking with fall foods (squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, etc) so I recently found myself in a food-rut, longing for the colorful salads and green smoothies from the summer. There was only one thing to do – take the leap and dive into these seasonal staples.

I came across this roasted acorn squash recipe the other day while browsing through Weekly Greens, and realized I just needed to go for it.  To my surprise – it took less than 30 minutes total for prepping and cooking, it was delicious, AND it was roommate approved.

I made two separate batches – one with feta, one without, and both were equally appetizing.  For the vegan alternative, I just doubled the amount of pistachios that the original had called for.

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Now to my next leap of faith?
I have somehow mustered up the courage to make peace with my juicer so that I can (hopefully) endure another 3-day juice cleanse.  College life has once again gotten the best of me, so in an attempt to rid myself of the various toxins that come with this 4-year package, I have declared today Day 1 of my juice extravaganza.

Stay tuned…