Spaghetti Squash With Kale Pesto from
Spaghetti Squash

The start of the new year is traditionally a time for resolutions, and many people will try to change a food-related behavior by setting a goal to lose weight or eat healthier. Since studies suggest that behaviors initiated on a Monday are more likely to be followed throughout the week, try making fifty-two small changes this year with Meatless Mondays. The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future reintroduced Meatless Monday in 2003 as a public health awareness program. (“Meatless Monday” was originally started in during World War l along with “Wheatless Wednesday” by the US Food Administration as a way to encourage American families to conserve key staples to aid the war effort.) The campaign has expanded to include other healthy behaviors and has taken off in social media.

This spaghetti squash recipe is gluten-free, low in calories and packed with vitamins and fiber. Serve the grated cheese on the side if you have vegan diners at your table.

Spaghetti Squash with Parsley-Kale Pesto

1 Spaghetti Squash (approximately 3 lbs.)

¼ Cup Olive Oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Salt & Pepper

6-8 Tuscan kale leaves (about half of a bunch) washed, stemmed and coarsely chopped

1 bunch of parsley, washed

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1-2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a large knife, carefully split spaghetti squash lengthwise in half, scoop out seeds and pulp, rub with about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil each, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. On a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper place the halves of squash cut-side-down with a garlic clove tucked underneath. Roast squash for 40 – 50 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, make the parsley-kale pesto: With the parsley still gathered in a bunch, remove the bottom half of the stems by tearing or cutting. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine kale, the top of the parsley bunch, a clove of garlic, lemon zest and juice and a pinch each of salt and pepper. While the kale mixture is processing, stream remaining olive oil through the feed tube. Scrape down sides and process again until parsley and kale are finely chopped.

Holding the roasted squash cut-side-up with an oven mitt or clean kitchen towel, scrape the flesh with a fork to create spaghetti-like strands. I discard the garlic that roasted with the squash, but for an extra garlicky kick it can be chopped and added to the dish. Collect the scraped squash in a serving bowl and toss with the parsley-kale pesto. Top with grated cheese and serve immediately, spaghetti squash doesn’t retain heat well and cools quickly. This dish re-heats well in the microwave.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.