Greek-Style Spaghetti Squash From Plant-Based Athlete
Check out this gluten-free alternative to traditional spaghetti! With the Mediterranean-inspired herb combinations and the subtlety salty feature of olives, this dish will satisfy all of your cravings. The complex carbohydrates will fuel through those tough workouts without batting an eye! The combination of protein — from the lentils — and carbs is the perfect way to pamper your muscles post-workout. This recipe comes from Plant-Powered Athlete, the incredible new book from Zuzana Fajkusova and Nikki Lefler. Grab your copy here for even more incredible recipes and helpful workout tips!
Greek-Style Spaghetti Squash
Easy to digest | iron rich | pre- & post-workout fuel
Soaking time: 8 hours Yields: 2 servings
- 1 (3-lb [1.4-kg]) spaghetti squash
- 1 cup (150 g) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1⁄2 cup (30 g) fresh parsley, chopped
- 1⁄4 cup (25 g) raw black olives, pitted and sliced (see pro tip)
- 1⁄2 cup (113 g) dried green lentils, soaked in water for 8 hours, or 1 cup (198 g) cooked
- 1⁄2 cup (80 g) red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) cider vinegar
- 1 bell pepper, any color, seeded and diced
- 1 Tbsp (6 g) dried Mediterranean herb mix or any combination of rosemary, oregano, marjoram, za’atar, thyme and sage
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp capers (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Scrape out and discard the seeds and membranes. Place the halves, cut side down, in a large baking dish and add 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of water. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until tender.
- Meanwhile, if using dried lentils, rinse them well after soaking and place in a saucepan in 1 cup (240 ml) of water. Cook, covered over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, adding more water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered. Once tender and no longer crunchy, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Remove the squash from the oven. Turn the squash halves cut side up and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, using a fork, scrape out the spaghetti squash strands. If your squash is very moist, you might have to place the strands in a colander and pat them dry with a clean cloth or kitchen towel.
- Place the squash strands in a large glass bowl. Gently mix in the lentils.
- In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of water over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the cider vinegar and cook for 5 more minutes, or until the onion is nicely browned.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and mix in the bell pepper, Mediterranean herbs and salt. Cook for another 4 minutes before gently stirring into the squash mixture.
- Toss in the cherry tomatoes, parsley, olives and capers (if using). Sprinkle with black pepper and serve.
Avoid using low-quality canned olives or gourmet-style olives. Instead, look for sun-ripened black olives without any dyes.
Use any leftovers for an easy “pack and go” lunch during your workday.
Reprinted with permission from Plant-Powered Athlete by Zuzana Fajkusova and Nikki Lefler, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Nikki Lefler