Spaghetti Squash with Cilantro-Macadamia Pesto

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Happy Friday! I am particularly excited that the weekend is around the corner because 1-olympics will be on (yay)! 2- we are going to go to our favorite coffee shop + a beach stroll. That’s a big outing for me these days! … What are you all up to?

On the cooking front, I am still trying to get through all that fennel in my fridge, so I decided to throw some into this dish. Although uncooked fennel has a licorice flavor, once it is cooked, the flavor becomes much more mild and the texture becomes much softer – adding a very pleasant and refreshing flavor! I really liked the addition of fennel, but you can leave it out, if it’s not your thing. I also made the pesto in advance, to help the flavors meld together better.

Spaghetti Squash with Cilantro-Macadamia Pesto

1 medium sized spaghetti squash
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken – cooked and chopped (you an use whichever parts you prefer, leftover rotisserie chicken works well for this too!)
1 fennel bulb, diced (optional)
Cherry tomatoes + fresh basil for garnish
1 tablespoon ghee (or other Paleo-friendly fat for sauteing)

Cilantro-Macadamia Pesto

2 cups cilantro, firmly packed
1 cup fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped (use mostly green parts)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup olive oil
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor, blend all of the pesto ingredients to desired consistency. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
  2. Place spaghetti squash in a baking dish and cook for 30 minutes or until you can easily pierce it with a knife.
  3. Remove from oven and cut lengthwise.
  4. Place back into baking the dish, rind side up. Add 1/2 inch of water to baking dish.
  5. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until you can easily lift the strands.
  6. Let cool for 20 minutes.
  7. Discard seeds and place strands of spaghetti squash in a seperate bowl.
  8. Heat ghee over medium heat in a heavy bottomed pan. Add fennel and saute until soft, then add cooked chicken and saute until chicken is warm. Add spaghetti squash and some pesto to the pan. Use enough pesto to make sure that all the squash and chicken is nicely coated.  Serve rest of the pesto on the side, or save it to top over lettuce wraps and eggs throughout the week.
  9. Garnish with fresh basil and tomatoes.
  10. Serve & enjoy!
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