Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spaghetti Squash with Edamame-Cilantro Pesto

Here is the second recipe out of four for Challenge #9: Cooking Light (part 2)! We chose the Spaghetti Squash with Edamame-Cilantro Pesto for two reasons. The first was that my friend had a spaghetti squash he wanted to cook. The second was that we were looking for ways to add protein to our meal. The squash/edamame recipe was perfect for those two goals! Too bad they did really go well together :(

This was actually my first time cooking spaghetti squash. It was so easy to make, I will definitely do it again! Since it comes out as strands when you scrape it out, it makes a great substitute for spaghetti, and in the future, I'll incorporate it into some Italian-style dishes. This recipe appeared to be Italian style, except that the "pesto" was flavored with cilantro rather than basil. This made it taste a bit Mexican, which gave me the sudden urge to mix salsa and avocados with it to make a higher-protein guac. I still don't think it would have went well with the squash as a guac substitute, but I may use that idea to make a taco salad or something in the future.

We followed the recipe almost to the letter. Our only substitution was vegan parmesan for the dairy parmesan.

Spaghetti Squash with Edamame-Cilantro Pesto
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups squash, 1/2 cup edamame pesto, and 2 teaspoons cheese)

2 (2 1/2-pound) spaghetti squash
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans), thawed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut each squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until tender. Cool slightly. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghettilike strands to measure about 8 cups. Place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss gently to combine. Cover and keep warm.

Place cilantro, broth, oil, pepper, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, garlic, and edamame in a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped.

Serve edamame pesto over squash; sprinkle with cheese.

Didi Emmons, Cooking Light, MARCH 2005

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