After buying so. much. produce. for the week, I was ready to make dinner on day 7! Once again, I drew inspiration from one of my favorite pre-Whole30 meals. As a twist on a favorite pasta meal, I made vegan Whole30 spaghetti squash with garlicky kale and hazelnuts. I had never cooked spaghetti squash myself, but I am so glad I finally gave it a go. Cutting them open took a little effort, but the spaghetti squash was a great pasta substitute and it paired so well with the kale and hazelnuts. I can’t wait to make more of my beloved pasta dishes with spaghetti squash! The recipe below calls for steaming the kale before adding it to garlicky olive oil. For my favorite technique for steaming huge amounts for kale, check out my kale recipe here.
As a side dish, I made a vegan Whole30 take on avocado toast. Instead of bread, I piled mashed avocado and lemon juice on top of thick slabs of grilled eggplant. As I always do with avocado toast, I topped it off with a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt and red pepper flakes. I was surprised at how good it was, and will definitely make this again even after reintroducing bread to my diet.
This meal provides lots of plant-based protein from a variety of sources. You’ll get 2g protein from squash, 5.5g from kale, 4g from hazelnuts, 2g from avocado and 1.5g from eggplant.
- 2 large spaghetti squash
- 1 c. hazelnuts
- 2 lbs. kale, stems removed and leaves sliced, then lightly steamed
- ¼ c. olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp. sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Cut each squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, then brush the inside with oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Place cut side down on 2 baking sheets and bake until fork tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool, then use a fork to scrape out the squash strands.
- Reduce oven heat to 350F.
- Place hazelnuts on baking sheet and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, then wrap in a kitchen towel and rub together to remove skins. Discard hazelnut skins and roughly chop hazelnuts.
- Put the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt in a large saucepan over low heat. Let cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Add the kale and hazelnuts to the pan and toss to combine. Serve over spaghetti squash.
- 1 large eggplant (about 1½ lbs.), cut into 8 thick slices
- olive oil, for brushing
- 2 avocados
- juice of 1 lemon
- Maldon sea salt (or other salt)
- red pepper flakes
- Heat a grill pan over medium high heat. Brush one side of the eggplant with oil.
- Place as many eggplant slices that will fit on the grill pan, oiled side down, and cook until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes. While eggplant is cooking, brush the other side with oil. Flip and cook until grill marks appear on the other side.
- Remove and repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
- Lightly mash the avocado and lemon juice in a bowl until it forms a chunky puree.
- Top eggplant with the avocado mixture, then sprinkle with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.