Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Pesto

This Meatless Monday, try Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Pesto. The centerpiece for this nut-free, vegan dish isn’t pasta, it’s a squash with flesh that mimics spaghetti.

One cup of spaghetti squash supplies Vitamin C; beta carotene (a form of Vitamin A); the B-vitamins thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2) and B6; and Vitamin K. B vitamins help the body convert food into energy. They occur naturally in eggs and dairy products, leafy green vegetables, beans and peas. They also help form red blood cells.

Vitamin K is important to your blood supply, too. It makes proteins for blood clotting. Some studies suggest that Vitamin K helps maintain strong bones in the elderly, according to the National Institutes of Health. Vitamin K also helps to make proteins for healthy bones and tissues.

There are different types of Vitamin K. Bacteria in your gut produce small amounts of one type of Vitamin K. The best way to get the Vitamin K that your body doesn’t produce on its own is from food that contains it. Besides spaghetti squash, that includes:

  • leafy green vegetables (such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, green leaf lettuce); and
  • cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.

Spaghetti Squash with Avocado Pesto

Dinner for 2 adults: 2.5 cup portion, 300 calories per serving, 22 grams of fat. 
Side dish for 5 adults: 1 cup serving; 120 calories per serving, 9 grams of fat.
The dish contains no sodium unless added; one tsp. of salt contains 2300mg.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 handful, fresh basil, chopped (or 2 Tbsp., dried basil)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove, garlic
  • 1 Tbsp., olive oil
  • Salt, pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Poke holes in squash with tines of a fork.
  2. Heat in microwave for 5 minutes or when piercings start to bubble
  3. Remove from the microwave. Cut in half and scoop out the seeds .
  4. Drizzle the squash with 1 to 2 tsps. of olive oil, then roast at 400 degrees on the center rack for 40 minutes.
  5. Remove squash from oven. Using a fork, scoop the flesh out from shell. It will come out in a stringy form and will look like standard spaghetti.
  6. Mash avocado together with chopped garlic, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, lemon juice and basil with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Mix into squash and enjoy.
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