Creamy Avocado Pesto Spaghetti Squash Pasta

Last night I hopped on a video call with a new friend from across the pond in the U.K. Some of you might already know him, Sid from Team Bike Beyond. We have known each other as our Instagram pseudonyms for the last two years and every now and then would message each other with words of encouragement and comment on each others shared love for coffee and bikes. Earlier this week I reached out to Sid asking him about a ketogenic diet. Sid was ecstatic to speak with me about the subject, so much so, that we were on a call for over 2 hours!Sid shared with me his personal experiences with following a ketogenic diet and how it has positively impacted his diabetes management and his day-to-day life overall. In my courses studying holistic nutrition, I have only scratched the surface of the ketogenic diet and it has been something that sparked my interest and have been considering for the past year or so. We ended the call on an positive note and Sid promised he would send links and resources for me to do my own in-depth research. Sid kept his promise and the next morning my inbox had an email filled with resourceful website links and videos.

When I woke up this morning after my call with Sid, out of curiosity I thought just for fun I would check my ketone levels. I had woken up with a blood glucose of 4.7. When I went to check my ketones, to my surprise I had 1.3! How was this possible? I rarely eat meat, poultry or dairy. I do normally follow a fairly low-carb diet, but have I been in ketosis without even knowing or trying? I quickly started thinking about the types of foods I eat regularly, and glanced through the resources Sid had sent me in search of ketogenic food lists. The passed few weeks I have been obsessed with this Avocado Pesto Spaghetti Squash Pasta recipe which I had for dinner the night before, and turns out it falls under a ketogenic diet!

Ever since I first heard the word ‘ketogenic’ I have been hesitant to try as I had the misconception that it is a diet high in only meats and dairy, which is something that I typically avoid. Needless to say, I still have a lot of my own research to do, and who knows the ketones this morning could have been a total fluke. After receiving so much positive insight from a fellow type one, I am feeling even more intrigued by this dietary lifestyle. I’m a firm believer that you have to walk the walk before you can talk the talk, and I am always looking for new and effective ways to better manage my diabetes and overall health.

For anyone out there on a low-carb or ketogenic diet, or anyone who likes good food for that matter, this is an incredibly easy low-carb meal. It’s also great if you like to do a weekly meal prep as it can last you for almost a week by divvying up the squash into 4 portions. I keep the sauce stored in an airtight glass container in the fridge and when ready to eat I simply toss the squash and pesto sauce in a frying pan and sauté for a few minutes to warm it up.

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juice squeezed
  • 1 tsp red pepper chilli flakes
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F.
  2. Using an edged baking sheet, add a thin layer of water to the sheet. This will ensure the squash doesn’t dry out while it bakes.
  3. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and scrape out the seeds and stingy bits.
  4. Place both halves on the baking sheet with the inside facing down. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and taking a fork to the squash scrape out the “spaghetti”.
  6. For the sauce, place the pine nuts, cashews and nutritional yeast in a food processor and pulse until its mixed well into a granular mixture.
  7. Next, add the basil, garlic, avocado, sun-dried tomato, olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper chilli flakes and sea salt to the dry mixture in the food processor and pulse until it is smooth and creamy. Add more olive oil as needed if it is too thick.
  8. Serve with warm spaghetti squash, and top with pine nuts and red pepper chilli flakes for an extra kick!
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