fresh basil and sun-dried tomato spaghetti squash pasta

Under the constant and warm Hawaiian sun, my backyard basil plant has bloomed and I can barely eat the bright green, organic leaves fast enough! I feel like I am constantly walking outside to grab some fresh basil to go with my scrambled eggs or to finely chop the leaves into a salad.  My recent favorite has been making homemade balsamic basil dressing (which I will post soon!).  The new puppy seems to love my basil plant too!

As basil naturally lowers blood sugar levels, with my blood glucose issues, I happily consume lots of this natural, fresh medicine!  Basil also acts as a natural detoxifier and normalizes adrenal and stress levels.  Yes, the Italians know what they were doing when they serve appetizers with fresh basil leaves and sauces to accompany your glass of wine.

This spaghetti squash pasta recipe is quick and simple to make for a dinner party or for an easy meal for one!  The fresh ingredients fill your plate with color and leave you satisfied, but this recipe definitely wins for comfort food…without all the harmful carbohydrates of course :)

Serves 2 for a side dish or 1 for a complete meal.

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
  • 2 cloves garlic (large), crushed
  • dash of sea salt
  • 2 generous handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
  • 4 fresh basil leaves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground pepper

Directions

  • Heat a sauté pan to medium heat.
  • Melt butter or ghee with crushed garlic.
  • Briefly sauté spinach leaves then add spaghetti squash.  Add dash of sea salt.
  • Continue to sauté until dish is hot, adding sun-dried tomatoes at the end.
  • Plate and sprinkle fresh basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese on top (add fresh ground pepper if desired).

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Tips for cooking spaghetti squash—

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wash the outside of the spaghetti squash and place on a cooking sheet.
  • Using a knife or fork puncture the squash with small slits as to allow air to escape when cooking.
  • Some people like to cut the squash in half before cooking, but I find the skin too tough to do this.
  • Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size of the squash.
  • Cut open and allow to cool before removing the inside seeds.  Use a fork to flake the strands of squash like spaghetti.

For more spaghetti squash inspiration see my grain-free chicken parmesan recipe. For more information about cooking spaghetti squash click here!

Rosemary Olive Crackers, Grain-Free

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Those of you who know me, know that I love cheese!  Maybe it is my love of all things French or simply the wide range of salty, nutty, pungent, sharp, or creamy flavors that cheese offers.  As I do not eat grains, most carbohydrates, or any sugar, cheese has become my fall-back comfort food!  A slice of cheese is my go to quick snack or addition to any salad or breakfast eggs.

Although I have gotten used to eating cheese as a slice, there is something about cheese and crackers with olive tapenade, basil pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, or fresh berries.  Enjoy these buttery and salty grain-free crackers with a sharp cheddar, smoked gouda or soft goat cheese.

These crackers are now my excuse to go on a picnic with red wine, cheese, and fresh fruit!  I must add that the husband loves these grain-free snacks… :)  Healthy, grain-free snacks are hard to come by so these will definitely be made again in the future.

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups finely ground almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tbsp kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried italian herbs
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt (for sprinkling on top of crackers before baking)

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Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with clean hands or a fork.
  • Roll cracker dough into a ball.
  • Place dough in between 2 layers of parchment paper.
  • Using a rolling pin, spread dough into a thin layer (1/4-1/2 inch thick).
  • Remove the top layer of parchment paper and slice (knife or pizza cutter) into 2 inch squares.
  • Place dough, with bottom parchment paper, onto a cookie sheet.
  • Sprinkle sea salt onto pre-cut cracker dough before baking.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes until the crackers are a light golden brown.

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