I’m very excited to introduce a new monthly series here on In Good Taste for our vegan and vegetarian friends – or anyone looking to make creative meals without meat. I was thrilled when my friend Laura Knapp approached me about writing some posts for us and I think you will be too. As an adventurous vegan, Laura whips up new ideas in the kitchen inspired by her Midwestern upbringing, Texan college days, four-year stint in NYC and her current home in sunny Los Angeles. Laura has been a vegetarian for more than 10 years and a vegan for about two.
A friend of mine recently challenged me to host a vegan dinner party for just the two of us. Up until this point I had only hosted (and co-hosted) get-togethers where I served finger food-type appetizers. I was immediately inspired by the challenge and accepted.
As I started to think about what to make I knew that I needed a proper entree, one that was filling but not too heavy for a hot July evening. I also didn’t want something that had to be served hot because my tiny apartment gets a bit toasty when I cook – so I needed something that could be made ahead of time and sit for a bit.
I decided on veggie spaghetti made out of spaghetti squash and zucchini “noodles.” Spaghetti squash is super easy to make, doesn’t take very long and it tastes great.
To make the zucchini noodles I used one of my favorite tools – a spiralizer. If you don’t have one you can simply leave the zucchini out – one whole spaghetti squash makes at least three servings.
Vegan Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes
What You’ll Need:
1 spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (you may want to add more, as directed below)
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano (feel free to use more if you like)
20 grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
3 zucchinis, spiralized (optional)
Marinara sauce (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice 1 spaghetti squash lengthwise, scoop out and discard the seeds (or save, clean and roast later). Fill a rectangular glass baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water. Place both halves of the squash in the dish, skin-side up
Bake for 30 – 45 minutes or until tender enough to easily pierce the rind with a fork.
Once it’s tender enough, take out of the oven and remove from the dish. Begin scraping out the inside of the squash with a fork – it should resemble thin spaghetti noodles. Put the “noodles” on a plate and set aside while you create the zucchini “noodles.”
Cut three zucchinis in half and begin spiralizing. Finished product should look like this:
Blend the two types of squash together in a saucepan; gradually add the white wine vinegar as needed. I didn’t measure this out, just kind of kept adding just enough to keep it moist and not burn the pan. Add the sliced grape tomatoes and dried oregano.
This dish can be served immediately or chilled in the fridge (covered) for a bit and can be served with or without marinara sauce. This will serve about 3-6 so if you don’t finish it all in one sitting, it will stay fresh for about three days.
Nutritional Benefits: Gluten Free, Nut Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Oil Free, No Added Sugar
Spaghetti squash is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber – plus, it’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Zucchini has only about 36 calories per cup, 10% of which is dietary fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. The high levels of Vitamins A and C and folate act as powerful antioxidants and act as anti-inﬂammatory agents.
Have you ever tried spaghetti squash? What is your favorite way to prepare it?