One of my family’s favorite things is our high speed blender. Hubby loves to make smoothies every morning. I still haven’t found the right green smoothie for me, but I’m not going to stop trying. One thing I am making in the blender is a fabulous, healthy raw spinach and walnut pesto. Using walnuts is significantly less expensive than using pignoli, or pine nuts, and adding spinach makes this pesto super healthy and green.
Last night I tried my pesto on some spaghetti squash and I found a new favorite meal. If you are a vegetarian/vegan or if you are looking for a great dish for Meatless Monday you will love this easy and delicious recipe. Making this is as simple as roasting a spaghetti squash and throwing the other ingredients in your blender or food processor.
How to Roast Spaghetti Squash
There are two methods I use to cook spaghetti squash. This recipe calls for one large squash. You will need to cut your squash in half, scoop out the seeds (I use a spoon), and brush with olive oil. I season with salt and pepper then place in a baking dish, skin side up.
If you are short on time you can cook a large spaghetti squash in the microwave for about 15 minutes. This is not my preferred method, but I often use it after a long day, or to have my dinner ready at the same time as my meat eating family’s.
Oven roasting your spaghetti squash is the most delicious way to cook it. I cook a large squash in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes.
After your squash is cooked, cool for about 10 minutes then scrape the inside with a fork to get your “spaghetti” out.
Spinach Walnut Pesto
My sister told me that I could make a raw pesto in my blender with spinach and walnuts and I got really excited. I started looking at recipes online and there were several variations. This is my interpretation of the pesto and I am in love with its garlicky deliciousness. It tastes super fresh and I know you’re going to love it!
This recipe is flexible – amounts of ingredients are approximate and can be adjusted to your taste.
- 4 cups spinach leaves
- 2 cups fresh basil
- ⅓ cup walnuts
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- big fat squeeze of a half a lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- Combine all ingredients except olive oil in blender
- Drizzle olive oil in a little at a time as pesto is blending
- Coat spaghetti squash with pesto
- Add any other veggies you like to this dish - I like to add some raw, sliced mushrooms
Combine all ingredients except olive oil in blender or food processor. Start on low speed and blend until it becomes a sauce, drizzling in olive oil as you blend.
Put it All Together
Fold pesto into spaghetti squash until completely covered. I added sliced baby bella mushrooms to mine as well. You could add anything veggies you like, or even some more chopped walnuts. If you are using a large spaghetti squash, you will get about 4 servings out of this recipe. If you are eating it as a side, you can stretch that to at least 6 servings. If you are like me, you are always looking for quick and easy yet healthy weeknight dinner recipes. It doesn’t get much easier or healthier than this and it’s tasty too!