Spaghetti squash noodles are drizzled with tangy, nutty sauce in this Thai-inspired dish. All of the separate components of this recipe come together beautifully, including crunch from the roasted cashews and brightness from the lime.
The recipe is loaded with vegetables including bok choy, onion, and broccoli. The bok choy alone is packed with your daily recommended amount of vitamin A and C. You could also serve the dish with some chicken or shrimp to add protein and round out the meal.
The first time that I ever tried Thai food I ordered the pad thai. The non-spicy noodle-based dish was an instant favorite, but that is of course before I knew how good all of the other menu options could be. Still, I had to start somewhere, and pad thai was my so-called ‘gateway’ dish into the cuisine.
Throughout college my friend and I devised a system where we would order one spicy dish and one noodle dish and then mix everything together. Leap forward into the present day, and I have found that I really miss a good peanut sauce with noodles. So I have created a creamy Thai sauce to go with the versatile spaghetti noodle in order to fill that gap. It does not exactly replicate peanut sauce, since almond butter is used instead of peanut butter and the red wine vinegar adds a bit of tanginess. But it tastes delicious – I went back for thirds. If you do not use all of the sauce for the noodles, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
This nutrient-rich dish is much healthier than the restaurant version and just as tasty. Bok choy and broccoli add bulk to the noodles made out of spaghetti squash for a completely meat-free meal that is still very filling.
- 1 medium spaghetti squash
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 head broccoli, de-stemmed and cut into florets
- 2 heads baby bok choy, sliced into 1-inch strips
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup cashews, toasted and chopped
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp almond butter
- 3 tbsp coconut milk
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash in the microwave for 3-4 minutes to soften. Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the halves, with the cut side up, on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 45-50 minutes, until you can poke the squash easily with a fork. Let cool until you can handle it safely. Then scrape the insides with a fork to shred the squash into strands.
- While the squash cooks, make the sauce. Combine the lime juice, ginger, garlic, and red wine vinegar in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the almond butter and coconut milk and blend until completely combined. Adjust the levels of almond butter and coconut milk to reach desired level of creaminess.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until translucent. Add the broccoli and sauté for 8-10 minutes, until just tender. Then stir in the bok choy and cook for 3-4 minutes until wilted. Lastly add the cooked spaghetti squash into the pan and stir to combine.
- To assemble, top the spaghetti squash mixture with the scallions and cilantro. Sprinkle with roasted cashews and drizzle with Thai sauce.
- Servings: 4
- Difficulty: Medium
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