Spaghetti Squash with Zesty Kale Pesto

Spaghetti Squash with Zesty Kale Pesto

Butternut squash was the main ingredient of the first meal I cooked when I decided to convert to a vegetarian lifestyle. I had grown up eating mainly frozen and canned vegetables from our local small town grocery store and had never tried butternut squash. I loved its sweet, nutty taste. I now regularly cook with butternut squash and acorn squash but have been trying others. This is the first year our local farmer's market has been open for the winter and they've had tons of squash to pick from. In the following recipe, I used spaghetti squash and kale that had both been purchased at the farmer's market.

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Spaghetti Squash with Zesty Kale Pesto
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed*
1 bunch of kale
1/3 C chopped walnut pieces
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 C Parmesan cheese (nondairy for vegan)
Juice from 1/2 a lime
1/4 C + 1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 green onion, sliced
4 Roma tomatoes, quartered
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake spaghetti squash facedown on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 30-40 min. After baking, set aside to cool. Once cool enough to touch, use a fork to shred the insides out into spaghetti-like strands.
Meanwhile, boil kale in salted water for 4-5 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and press excess water from kale. Use a food processor to combine kale, walnuts, 1 garlic clove, Parmesan cheese, and lime juice. Add 1/4 C olive oil slowly. Salt and pepper to taste.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add green onions and cook for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, 1 garlic clove, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried thyme. Salt to taste. Cook about 5 more minutes before removing from heat.
Split spaghetti squash among plates and top with pesto and tomato mixture.
Serves 4

Estimated nutritional information: 384 calories, 31 g carbohydrates, 7 g dietary fiber, 13 g sugar, 27 g fat, 4.6 g sat. fat, 11 g protein

*Save the seeds to roast.

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Recipe inspired from:
http://www.culicurious.com/spaghetti-squash-recipe-with-spinach-pesto-pan-roasted-tomatoes/
http://www.shutterbean.com/2011/kale-pesto-pasta/

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