Two winter squash in one dish?!? Yup. I did it. And I'm not even sorry.
Winter squash might be the only reason I make it through the fall months. I know, I know, fall is everyone's favorite. Not this girl's. To me, it is another harbinger of winter's impending arrival- which is just difficult for me to get excited about. I'm trying harder this year though, with lots of foliage hikes, garden sessions and crisp air runs. We'll see how it goes.
Anyway, there are so many reasons to love winter squash. Nutritionally, it is stuffed full of Vitamin A and C, fiber and potassium, which is needed to balance sodium levels. This combination makes it a super star for immune support. Never a bad thing as the air gets cooler. More importantly, it is sweet, starchy and just plain delicious. L.O.V.E.
This dish could be likened to a lightened-up version of fettuccine alfredo. That is a bit of a stretch, since it is both gluten-free and vegan, but gets you in the ballpark. Hopefully you aren't too intimidated by the ingredient list- it really isn't too scary. Just save it for a rainy fall Saturday sometime soon. Just don't forget to set your cashews out to soak in the morning, so you are all set and ready to go for a yummy lunch or dinner.
Roasted Spaghetti Squash in Butternut Cashew Cream
1 small/medium spaghetti squash
1 tbs. oil
6 cups butternut squash
1 tbs. oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbs. nutritional yeast
1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk, plus more as needed
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp. mustard
pinch of nutmeg
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper, to taste
1 tbs. oil
8 medium crimini mushrooms
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup fresh sage, minced
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut spaghetti squash in half, remove seeds and drizzle interior with 1 tbs. oil. Place, cut-side down, on another parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Peel butternut squash, scrape out seeds and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss with 1 tbs. oil, 1/2 tsp salt and spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake both squash sheets for 20 minutes. Remove to check butternut squash- if browning and soft, remove and set aside. If they need a bit more time, just rotate the pan and keep checking every 10 minutes. Rotate spaghetti squash and continue to roast until the shell is easily pierced when poked with a fork, another 10-20 minutes depending on the size of the squash. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
Drain and rinse cashews. Place cashews through ground pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Measure out 2 cups of roasted butternut squash cubes, add to blender and continue to process until smooth, adding additional soy/almond milk as needed to reach the desired consistency. Taste, and adjust seasonings with additional salt + pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 1 tbs. oil. Clean and slice mushrooms. Add to skillet and sauté until golden, about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt. Scoop spaghetti squash into the hot skillet, using a fork to loosen the strands. Add cashew cream and spinach. Cover skillet and cook until heated through and spinach has wilted.
To serve, spoon spaghetti squash into 4 bowls. Top with remaining roasted butternut squash cubes, sautéed mushrooms and fresh sage.
Relax. Eat Well.