Spaghetti Squash with Balsamic Vegetables and Toasted Pine Nuts
Next time you are craving a big bowl of pasta for dinner, why not try spaghetti squash instead! It’s very easy to prepare and can even be made quickly in the microwave. Believe it or not, this hearty meal is vegan, low-carb and even gluten-free! Even if you don’t haven any dietary restrictions, it is sure to satisfy. I like that it is packed with colorful veggies and then offers beans for protein and pine nuts for a little crunch!
Keep reading…I think this is a recipe you will want to try!
Congratulations to our “Easy Weeknight Meals” monthly winner, Deanna McDonald!
Deanna says, “I’ve been making variations of this recipe for a couple of years, but just recently got around to measuring out the ingredients and writing them down. The recipe came about because I was looking for a creative alternative to pasta with sauce. Spaghetti squash makes a great substitute for pasta. It’s so easy to prepare and doesn’t take much longer to cook than boiling noodles. I love the bold flavor of balsamic vinegar, and when the fresh veggies are simmered in it, it makes a wonderful sauce. I love this recipe for how elegant it looks, but how easy it is to throw together. It’s such a satisfying, healthy, and delicious dish.”
Preparing spaghetti squash is easier than you think. It can even be microwaved! Slice the squash in half and place cut-side down on a microwave safe plate. Pierce the top a few times with a knife to release steam. Microwave on high for 10 minutes. When it is done, be careful, the squash will be very hot! Grab one end with a pot holder and then use a fork to pull out the strands of “spaghetti.”
Deanna also recommends chopping all the veggies before beginning the recipe. “This will ensure a quick, efficient preparation of this dish. Steaming the squash in the microwave, rather than roasting it, saves a lot of time. The veggies can be prepped and cooked while the squash is cooking and the meal will be on the table in 30 minutes or less!”
1 Large Spaghetti Squash, halved and seeded
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Large Red Onion, sliced
1 cup Chopped Carrots
4 cloves Garlic, minced
15 oz can Diced Tomatoes
14 oz can Artichoke Hearts, drained and rinsed
15 oz can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
3 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Medium Zucchini, chopped
2 tsp Fresh Thyme
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Pine Nuts
Poke several holes in the shell of each squash half several times. Microwave each half on a plate for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat oil, onion, garlic and carrot on medium high heat for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, artichokes, beans, balsamic vinegar, thyme and zucchini, then simmer on low for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scrape the cooked squash into a large serving bowl and cover to keep warm. In a small frying pan, toast pine nuts over medium low heat for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove from heat and set aside. When second squash half is done, scrape cooked squash into serving bowl. Top squash with cooked vegetables. Top entree with toasted pine nuts and serve hot.
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