I try to eat healthy. For a moment I almost wrote, “I try really hard to eat healthy” and before I committed to those words, I thought to myself, “do I?” I immediately decided that I don’t try as hard as I could, and so it would be disingenuous to say “I try really hard” when the “healthy” part plays second fiddle to “yummy”. So basically, I am the adult target of those cookbooks that teach you how to hide vegetables in “regular foods” so that your kid will eat them. I am the picky person who goes to an organic sandwich shop and finds herself in a pickle (despite not liking pickles) because I don’t like most of the offerings, and so end up choosing the relatively boring “grilled ham and cheese”. Seriously. I’m in my 30s and I’m doing this.
Fortunately, the internet is full of amazing food writers and chefs who are dreaming up recipes for me to try. And when I saw this one I said to myself, “I love spaghetti. And the kale is just sauce. This is perfect.” It was another case of a “I have almost all the ingredients for this in my pantry, I have to make it”. I think the only thing I had to go buy was a half pound of frozen kale. That’s right – I’m a ridiculous enough semi-hipster to have flax seed and the means to grind it sitting in my cabinet as we speak, but not actually healthy enough to keep kale around, even in frozen form. *facepalm*
And the good news is that the recipe is super yummy! Even my cheese fiend self didn’t miss sprinkling on a little parmesan (well – not too much. I am mentioning it here, aren’t I?). In fact, this was such a hit overall, that the girls ate it without complaint. I think it helps that there was pasta involved. Which makes me laugh a little – E and I may not share blood, but we are the same when it comes to our love of pasta. The point is – this was a winner. And will probably get made again later in the fall. And it’s a good meatless dish for those who are either vegan, or do a meatless day during the week.
Green Spaghetti Pie
2 1/2 tablespoons ground flax seed
7 1/2 tablespoons water
1 pound spaghetti (see headnotes)
8 ounces / 1/2 pound kale, spinach, or other greens (frozen or fresh)
1 1/2 cups / 12 ounces almond milk (or any unsweetened non-dairy milk)
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
to serve (any/all of the following): mixed sesame seeds, chopped herbs, herb flowers [Note: I used sesame seeds]
Preheat oven to 425F with a rack in the top third. Wrap the outside of a (deep 8-inch or standard 9-inch) spring form pan tightly with foil – to prevent leaking.
Whisk the ground flax and water together and allow to thicken – 10 minutes or so. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta per package instructions, minus a minute or two – just shy of being fully cooked. Drain, and let cool for a few minutes.
Make the green sauce: In a blender, or with a hand blender, pulse together the kale, almond milk, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, and whisk in the flax mixture. Transfer the pasta to the mixing bowl and toss the noodles and sauce together until every thing is uniformly coated.
Pour into your prepared pan, gently patting the spaghetti into an even layer. Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes. If pie gets too dark, cover with foil. If you want more color on your pie, turn on the broiler. Remove from the oven, let sit for five minutes before running a small knife or small spatula between the pie and pan to release it.
Remove the pie from the pan, transfer onto a serving plate, and finish with any seeds or herbs, extra seasoning/salt you like.