With a few changes to the traditional spaghetti dinner I’ve grown accustomed to, I was able to make a healthier version that is both gluten free and vegan. Brands like Catelli and Barilla have done a great job at perfecting their gluten free pastas, however, it’s nice to change things up every once in a while and use spaghetti squash instead. It took me a while to figure out how to mimic the texture and taste of ground beef but lentils provided me with a great alternative. Finally, nutritional yeast is packed full of great nutritional value such as vitamin B12, which is an essential vitamin to add into your diet (via a supplement) if you are vegan, since this is very challenging vitamin to consume on a vegan diet.
Next time spaghetti is on the menu at your house, give this recipe a try:
Ingredients (serves 4):
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 3 – 4 cups of your favourite tomato sauce
- 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped broccoli
- 1 small chopped zucchini
- 2 tbsp chopped basil
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (typically available in your local bulk food store or the health food section of the grocery store. I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand)
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle each half with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet cut side up and bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes (until tender). Let cool and then use a fork to scrape out the inside of the squash into long strands.
- Cook lentils and set aside.
- In a large saucepan heat olive oil and saute onion, zucchini and garlic until onion is softened. Add broccoli and cook for a few minutes. Add tomato sauce and cooked lentils and leave to simmer until you’re ready to serve the pasta.
- Place the spaghetti squash on plate, top with sauce and sprinkle with basil, parsley and approximately 1 tbsp of nutritional yeast per plate.