seven suppers: walnut pesto with spaghetti squash.

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i am a huge pesto fan. huge. i was curious how a vegan one would work, but when i found this amazing recipe from 22 days vegan challenge, i was stoked, and then hooked. it is obvs vegan, also gluten & soy free. the recipe is so simple, and the pesto is so flavorful and filling. the only substitution that i make is that i use flaxseed meal instead of nutritional yeast, and it tastes great. this pesto can be eaten cold, room temp or heated. last night i made the pesto with some roasted spaghetti squash, along with some roasted eggplant, red bell pepper, and some black olives. a very easy, quick dinner.

ingredients:

  1. for the pesto: 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  2. 2 1/2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
  3. 1 large garlic clove
  4. 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  5. juice of 1 lemon
  6. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or flaxseed meal)
  7. 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  8. salt & pepper to taste
  9. for the veggies: 1 spaghetti squash, cut length wise in half
  10. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  11. 1 small eggplant
  12. 1 red bell pepper
  13. 1 can chopped olives

directions:

  1. preheat the oven to 425
  2. cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds & top layer of stringy flesh
  3. line a baking sheet with foil
  4. drizzle the squash with olive oil and place face down on the foil lined sheet
  5. roast until tender & flesh can be scraped out (like small noodles) with a fork, about 1 hour
  6. cut eggplant into small rounds and cut bell pepper into matchsticks, drizzle with olive oil & place on baking sheet. add to oven about 15 minutes before squash is done
  7. make the pesto. grind walnuts in food processor until finely ground
  8. add in basil and pulse until it forms a coarse mixture
  9. add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, and nutritional yeast (or flax meal), and pulse a few more times. turn motor on and run as you add olive oil in a thin stream. add salt & pepper to taste
  10. top the spaghetti squash with pesto & roasted eggplant, peppers & handful of olives

the end.

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