We are in the home stretch of Whole 30, and I can’t believe it! In 4 days, we get to start reintroducing foods and evaluating how/if they affect us. I would be lying if I told you I’m not excited! I spent the morning re-organizing my schedule after the long weekend and started working on our reintroduction plan for the week after Whole 30. I am a mixture of good and bad anxiety: anxious that foods I love are no good for me, anddddd at the same time SO looking forward to reuniting with beans, cheese, and of course my truest food love: pasta.
Even in the anticipation though, I have been really happy with the results so far from doing Whole 30. Overall I feel like I have a lot of energy, and aside from a few moments here and there (mostly when I talk to other people about food), my cravings are way, way down. I’ve also realized that I am craving fresh, compliant foods more often than I’m craving things I can’t eat.
Going back to my food love though: I can’t tell you how much I love a good pasta.
I find such a simple beauty in the fact that pasta can be quickly cooked, or it can be an all day ordeal that you dedicate love and care to. Because of that, it was important for me to find a good substitute for that craving for me. I find that pasta is especially good this time of year, when all the farmer’s markets are opening up and full of the freshest ingredients.
Whenever I find myself in any kind of cooking rut, I like to go to the Farmer’s Market to get inspired. There is something about all the vibrant colors and smells that makes the wheels in my head start turning. It’s also such a cool way to get involved in your local economy, and support the farmers, growers, and cultivators in your region.
This Spring Pasta was the result of some early Farmer’s Market hunting. Although our asparagus season was cut somewhat short this year thanks to the ENDLESS winter, there has still been some really beautiful asparagus. When I saw these babies at my first week of FM hopping, I knew I had to make some kind of spring pasta with them. As an added plus, this entire recipe is Vegan and Gluten Free–so almost anyone can eat it!
Some Notes On Spaghetti Squash
I had never had spaghetti squash until our first round of Whole 30 in 2016, and I was really skeptical about it’s magical pasta-like qualities, but when there is only so much you can eat, you take what you can. I was pleasantly surprised though! Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say that it tastes JUST like al dente angel hair pasta, but when cooked correctly, it DOES taste really good, and is a really close pasta imitation, without having to deal with weird textures of some GF pasta flours.
I like to cook my spaghetti squash in the oven, and I always pour in a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic into the middle to start letting it soak up some of my favorite flavors
About Fake Cheese
Okay, here’s the list of things I miss the most on Whole 30:
pasta, gelato, cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese,cheese. There’s no need for subtlety with a love this big.
But, I do realize that consuming dairy in large quantities isn’t always the best, so I’ll say (while VIOLENTLY rolling my eyes) that it’s (probably) been good for me to detox from cheese for the past few weeks. That having been said, making a pasta alternative meal is hard when there isn’t going to be any cheese around! In my head, I can ALMOST taste a pinot noir-aged Asiago on this pasta. Almost.
I did have a thought while I was cooking this up though, to make something that looks like cheese to go on top. What I didn’t expect, was for it to actually taste good though! Now, I’ll say the only reason I thought of this idea was because I have a really great cheese grater and I stocked up on all sorts of nuts when we started Whole 30. Since I made this recipe, I realize that many, many, manyyyyyy vegan friends know about this trick, but it was new to me, so it might be new to you too!
Okay, okay, here’s the secret:
if you put nuts in a cheese grater, like this lovely I have: you can make look-alike cheese! I took it a step further and mixed in some Jacobsen Black Garlic Salt into the grated almonds, and this stuff was amazing! The texture is almost identical, and the light salty flavor is the perfect finishing touch for a dish like this!
Seriously you guys???? DOESN’T THIS LOOK LIKE THE REAL DEAL? Except you can call home and tell your mama you ate allllll vegetables for dinner, and eat three plates-full without feeling a single ounce of guilt or regret.
This dish is taste approved by both of us (even me, the incorrigible pasta lover), and we’ll for sure be making this again off whole 30. This is a great recipe to have on hand for anytime you have GF/Dairy Free guests, as it (for the most part) is allergen-friendly and can be easily adapted with whatever vegetables are in season!
Love & a newfound obsession with fake cheese,