Hey Guys, it’s been a while, I know. I’ve been enjoying some much needed time away from blogging the past few months. I tried to pop in here and there, but I know I’ve been pretty absent. Well, I’m ba-aa-ack and I’m sharing my first Meatless Monday recipe in what feels like ages.
We started a new routine this year – Sunday dinners with my sister-in-law and family. We live five minutes away and our kids are all close in age. We decided to try a little harder to get together more often this year in the form of dinner once a week. We take turns hosting and don’t fuss too much over dinner.It’s become something I look forward to all week and my only regret is that we didn’t start doing it sooner.
One challenge we face is coming up with meals to please everyone. I am the only vegan in the family, and my niece has celiac and is on a strict, gluten-free diet. This has forced all of us to explore new recipes and try new things, which is kind of cool. This past week I really wanted to try a vegan carbonara, but my beloved pasta was out of the question with my niece coming. I haven’t found a gluten-free pasta yet that I really love, but I do like spaghetti squash so that’s what I used. I will definitely try this sauce out on some fat spaghetti or fettucine eventually, but I have to say it was pretty good on squash.
Of course, traditional carbonara is laden with bacon, cream and cheese. This vegan carbonara sauce is super creamy with a hint of smokiness. There are no crazy ingredients here. I honestly whipped this up with just a few things I had on hand. The stand in for bacon here are shallots, sauteed with a little bit of liquid smoke added in at the end of cooking. One of the great things about this recipe is that the shallots and the spaghetti squash can be cooked ahead of time, and added to the sauce just before serving.
- 2 large spaghetti squash
- Olive oil
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Liquid Smoke
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, like Earth Balance
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 cups soy milk (or plant milk of choice)
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Step One: Cut spaghetti squash in half, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper
- Roast squash in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to one hour
- Once squash is cool enough to handle, scrape into strands with a fork and transfer to a bowl. Set aside.
- Step Two: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small frying pan
- Sautee shallots in oil over low heat for several minutes until soft and translucent. Add Liquid Smoke, stir to coat and remove from heat. Set shallots aside.
- Step Three: Prepare the sauce just before serving
- In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes
- Add butter to garlic and melt
- Once butter is melted, add cornstarch and about ¼ cup of soy milk
- Whisk until thick and smooth, then add nutmeg and remaining milk, little by little, whisking continuously
- Add nutritional yeast and whisk until combined
- Step 4: Add shallots to sauce, then stir in squash until thoroughly coated with sauce
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley
I ate this Spaghetti Squash Carbonara as a main dish because it’s very rich and creamy. Some of the family ate their squash as a side along with the rest of their meal. If you do serve it as a side you will get quite a few servings and maybe even have leftovers for lunch the following day.
So, this is the first of many meatless recipes I hope to share with you this year. I’ll be experimenting with more gluten-free foods and I’ll pass along my successes as I go. If you guys have suggestions for good, gluten-free meals I’d love to hear them!
What’s on your plate this Meatless Monday?