Spaghetti Squash with Baked Basmati Salad

Spaghetti Squash with Baked Basmati Salad
(Serves 4-6) ~ Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free

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It will all be worth it. That feeling of accomplishment once you’ve completed a project, despite all the lost hours of sleep… It’s definitely a balancing act sometimes as an adult if you have: a family, school, work, projects, and then try squeezing in a social life here in there. I’m so pleased and proud that Seth’s latest book has finally been released, “ApocaLips” but I will blog a separate post all about it, with links for purchasing if any of my fellow bloggers are interested.

About the spaghetti squash… This recipe served four generous portions, however, it should really probably serve six given the amount of food. This is a nice recipe to serve now that we’re in that holiday season. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 Spaghetti Squash, halved
1 (15oz can) Black Eyed Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (15oz can) Black Beans, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg corn, drained
½ Red Onion, chopped finely
½ Red Pepper, chopped
2 Cups (prepared) Basmati Rice
1 Handful Fresh Parsley, chopped (divided)
½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
½ Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Additional Salt/Pepper and EVOO to taste)
Nutritional Yeast, optional

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Cut Spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds then add a generous drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Salt/Pepper.
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-Bake cut side down for 45 minutes.
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-In a bowl toss together: Basmati Rice, Black Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Corn, half of chopped Parsley plus seasonings.
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-Remove squash from oven after 45 minutes and add rice mixture. Place back into oven for another 20 minutes.
-Top with Red Pepper, Parsley and optional (salt/pepper/nutritional yeast). I used about ½ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast. Enjoy
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Spaghetti

Ingredients:
2 Spaghetti Squash, halved
1 (15oz can) Black Eyed Peas, drained/rinsed
1 (15oz can) Black Beans, drained/rinsed
1 (11oz can) White Shoepeg corn, drained
½ Red Onion, chopped finely
½ Red Pepper, chopped
2 Cups (prepared) Basmati Rice
1 Handful Fresh Parsley, chopped (divided)
½ Tsp Italian Seasoning
½ Tsp Garlic Powder
½ Tsp Course Ground Pepper
½ Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Additional Salt/Pepper and EVOO to taste)
Nutritional Yeast, optional

Directions:
-Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
-Cut Spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds then add a generous drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Salt/Pepper.
-Bake cut side down for 45 minutes.
-In a bowl toss together: Basmati Rice, Black Beans, Black Eyed Peas, Corn, half of chopped Parsley plus seasonings.
-Remove squash from oven after 45 minutes and add rice mixture. Place back into oven for another 20 minutes.
-Top with Red Pepper, Parsley and optional (salt/pepper/nutritional yeast). I used about ½ Tbsp Nutritional Yeast. Enjoy

Spaghetti and “Meat” Sauce – Vegan!

Spaghetti and “Meat” Sauce – Vegan!

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I was inspired to make spaghetti today (01/19/15); I don’t really need much inspiration since Spaghetti is high up on my list of comfort foods. I was however inspired this day because I cut my hair, chopped it all off! The spaghetti was a warm reminder of my long locks. Speaking of locks…I donated to Locks of Love, this time 21 inches (braided) and 28 inches from 2013 [see pics below]! Now back to my spaghetti recipe. The great thing about this recipe, other than the yummy cruelty-free ingredients, is that it is unbelievably easy to make your own pasta ‘meat’ sauce. The ‘meat’ in this recipe is simply: chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mushrooms and whole walnuts. These three ingredients make a great ‘meat’ base; I’ve used this base in recipes from lettuce wraps to burgers or sloppy ‘joes’ among others. It is so versatile the possibilities are endless.

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Ingredients:

Meat Base:

1 (15.5 oz can) Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

4 Whole White Mushrooms

1 ½ Cups Whole Walnuts

Directions: Process all three ingredients in food processor, pulse for 30-45 seconds.

 

Pasta Sauce:

3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

½ large Sweet Onion or 1 Med. Yellow, chopped

¼ Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

4-5 Garlic Cloves, minced

10 fresh Basil leaves, chiffonade

2 (28 oz) cans Crushed Tomatoes

1 (16 oz) can Tomato Paste

½ Tsp Garlic Powder

2 Tbsp Sugar

½ Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp Salt, divided

½ Tsp Italian Seasoning

Directions:

-Heat olive oil in a large pot; add onions and crushed red pepper flakes sauté over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another 1-2 mins. Turn off heat. -To Food Processor/Chopper: Add walnuts, chickpeas and mushrooms, pulse for 10-15 seconds. Add in fresh basil and ½ tsp Salt then pulse for another 5 seconds to incorporate. -Add ‘meaty’ mixture to onion mixture. Turn heat back on to medium. Add tomatoes and remaining seasonings (garlic powder, sugar, pepper, salt, italian seasoning), heat to a low slow simmer and continue to simmer for an hour stirring occasionally so the bottom doesn’t stick/burn. – Remember low and slow that is the key.

-Prepare pasta according to package until al dente about 9 minutes. Sauce the hot pasta just before serving. My preference is to add a touch of olive oil or earth balance butter to the pasta then ladle in sauce and toss to incorporate. Top with extra fresh basil. Enjoy!

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Notes:

-This meat sauce recipe makes enough sauce for (2) boxes of pasta or make spaghetti one day and ‘sloppy joes’ the next. If I use the meat sauce for spaghetti both days, I’ll make a fresh box of spaghetti the next day.

-I do suggest organic as much as possible – mushrooms are on the list of always for me. It is suggested to wipe mushrooms clean with a damp cloth instead of submerging in water, why? Because they are like a sponge and will absorb the water and they just won’t cook up the same. This concept (sponge) pertains to their growing environment also – so shoot for organic.

-This recipe suggests canned tomatoes but can be easily made with fresh tomatoes. On about 10-12 plum tomatoes cut a shallow ‘X’ on the bottom and top. Place them in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from boiling water and place in ice-cold water. Once cooled to the touch remove skin. – Scoop out seeds and reserve liquid – you can add this liquid back in just before serving when you toss the pasta to coat.