:::Gluten Free/Dairy Free/ Yummy Pumpkin Pasta Bake:::

I recently was flipping through the pages of the "Whole Deal" coupon book from Whole Foods. Usually it's kinda "ehh", but the one they put out in late October/early November was obviously planned in advance to help Terrence and I with our No-Spend-November challenge. Coupons on broth, coconut milk, coconut yogurt, coconut butter, gluten free apple tarts, I was a COUPON QUEEN!

However, that wasn't all the treasure that the Whole Deal booklet contained. It also had a recipe for:
Gluten Free Pasta Bake. And my brain, said "Hmmmm" and then after reading it, my brain said, "Mmmmmm". And so it was settled. I would be cooking the shit out of that Pasta Bake. 

But, if you know me at all, or think you do from reading this blog, you might have realized that I am not super good at following directions. No, I will not make the recipe the way you told me to. I must add. I must expand. I must improve.

I was going to attach the Whole Foods version of the recipe to this, but no. I will not aid you in your search for mediocrity. Instead, I give you the genius and delight that IS the Nolandia version. 

Gather Together:
-8oz of Quinoa Pasta (Brown rice pasta is fine too)
-One 15oz (regular can sized can) of Diced Tomatoes. (I got the Italian herbs flavored kind)
-8 oz pkg of frozen corn (or half of a lb bag)
-8oz pkg of frozen peas, 
-1 prepared (baked or boiled) spaghetti squash
-1 15oz can of pureed pumpkin
-1 15oz can of tomato sauce
-2 cups shredded Daiya dairy free mozzarella cheese. (use whatever mozzarella cheese you like. I'm trying to avoid dairy because I am worried it might be causing my acne.)
-1/4 cup chopped basil
- I tbsp coconut butter (or regular butter)
-Salt to taste

{A word about the ingredients. I cooked the tomato sauce in a skillet and added the coconut butter and basil to the sauce and let it simmer for... oh... like 5 minutes. I wanted my tomato sauce to be like pasta sauce...because it's a pasta bake. If you don't want to do this, then you're silly because it takes 5 minutes. Just do it.) 

-Preheat the oven to 350*F
-After preparing the pasta sauce (see above^^^^), cook the corn and peas according to pkg directions. I cooked them together in a bowl to save time. 
-Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. 6-8 minutes.
-Drain well and transfer to a heatproof bowl. Combine pasta with spaghetti squash.
-Stir in pumpkin, diced tomatoes, corn & peas, pasta sauce, salt and 1 cup of the cheese
-Scoop it all in to an oiled 9x13 baking dish. (I used the spray coconut oil from Trader Joe's) 
-Scatter the additional cup of cheese over the top
-Bake until hot throughout and cheese on top is melted- ~40 minutes. 
-Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

In the original recipe, you use a full pound of pasta. But to me, that's a lot of calories. Even if we're talking gluten free. By subbing in the spaghetti squash your meal is going farther, you are upping the vegetable content and you will be much more satisfied (fiber says what?)  Also, I don't own a 9x13 baking pan. Mine's like 10x10? So I used that one and a smaller one that I have from God knows where. Someone probably bought it for our wedding or something. Anyways, this will easily feed Terrence and me for 3 days of dinner. So... make it. Now. What are you waiting for? Go!

Eat well! xx

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