Spaghetti Squash with Cashew Kale Cream Sauce

This weekend was wonderful. It was the first weekend in a long time where Scott and I had no set plans. I can't remember the last time we have had a weekend like that. We tend to overbook ourselves on the weekend. I am more guilty of this. Lately I have noticed that I straddle the very thin line of crazy and sane and often find myself a little more crazy than sane . I overbook myself and try to fit it all in (and then some). I feed off the energy of moving at a quick pace then before I know it, I am exhausted to the core. I have a hard time relaxing. I struggle to slow down. Scott is a good partner for me because even though his schedule can be, and often is insanely busy, he can turn it all off and truly relax. Regardless of how busy he is, he can sit down, put his feet up, and recharge when he needs to. He helps me slow down. And I appreciate that so much. 

This weekend was the first time in a long time where it felt good to consciously relax. I needed a recharge badly. 

Some weekends I feel really inspired to meal prep, make a recipe to share here on the blog, and grocery shop for our weeknight dinners. Some weekends I do not. Sometimes it takes everything I have in me to even go in the kitchen and cook. Sometimes the thought of chopping, cooking, then cleaning up the (huge) mess I made in the kitchen makes me want to crawl in a hole and hide. Don't get me wrong, most of the time I love cooking and being in the kitchen. I wouldn't be a food blogger if I didn't! But not allll the time...know what I mean?

This weekend was one of those weekends where I felt truly inspired to be in the kitchen cooking and creating. I felt excited to shop for ingredients, create a dish, photograph it, and enjoy eating it (duh). I was so excited to be in the kitchen that I made baked pumpkin spice donuts (more on that soon), chocolate chip pancakes (Scott's request), avocado kale salads for my work lunches this week, quinoa, lentils and beans, nutty banana hemp granola, and prepped all our roasted veggies for the week...and was happy to do it! 

I attribute my excitement for being in the kitchen to the fact that I felt rested, relaxed, and didn't feel like I had to do any of those things. I just simply wanted to be in the kitchen. 

Part of my excitement was also the fact that I couldn't wait to make this recipe. I have had spaghetti squash on the brain lately. I have a deep love for all squash, especially during fall, but spaghetti squash has sounded good lately. I have this little notebook where I doodle recipe ideas and while I was jotting down my initial thoughts about this recipe, my mouth was watering.

Here's the breakdown: 

Roasted spaghetti squash...

Creamy cashew sauce...

Sauteed garlic, onion, and kale...

YUM!

This dish tastes incredibly comforting while still feeling light and fresh. If you have never made a cashew cream sauce before, DO IT. Seriously, it's life changing. Who needs dairy when you have cashews?! Plus it has kale in it, so you definitely know it's healthy ;) 

You know it's a success when you go in for a sample bite, and it's so good you just sit down and call it a meal. It's savory, light, flavorful, and deliciously satisfying.

It was so nice to step back, slow down, relax, and veg out on this scrumptious dish. I'm thinking I need to have more weekends just like this one....spaghetti squash with cashew kale cream sauce DEFINITELY included :)

Spaghetti Squash with Cashew Kale Cream Sauce (V + GF)

|Serves 2 as an entree, 4 as a side|

Ingredients

PASTA

  • 1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash

SAUCE

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup filtered water *plus more if needed to reach desired consistency
  • 2 heaping Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small-medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large bunch kale, destemmed and roughly torn

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (F) and prepare a baking sheet with olive oil. 
  2. Carefully halve spaghetti squash using a sharp knife. *My favorite way to open spaghetti squash is to pierce the skin of the squash with your knife in the outline of how you plan to cut the squash (lengthwise). Put it in the microwave for 5 minutes. Then cut along where you made the knife marks to open. This makes it much easier (and safer!). Use an ice cream scoop or sharp spoon to scrape out the seeds and most of the stringy parts. 
  3. Brush the interior with olive oil and sprinkle with seat salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet. Roast for about 40 minutes, or until the knife easily pierces the skin and flesh. Remove from oven and set aside. 
  4. While the squash is cooking, add the cashews, water, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest to a blender or food processor and blend into a smooth sauce. Set aside. 
  5. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until the onions become soft and translucent (about 4-5 minutes). Add the kale and cook until the leaves become a bit tender (about 3-4 minutes).
  6. Turn off the heat and add cashew cream sauce to the skillet with the onion/kale mixture. 
  7. Use a fork to scoop out spaghetti squash into fine strings and divide between two serving plates. Top with desired amount of cashew cream sauce.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

*Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, though this dish is best when fresh.

*I like to use a towel or cheese cloth to strain the spaghetti squash noodles to get the excess water out before serving. 

xoxo,

Lauren

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