You know you’re supposed to eat a “healthy diet” to help reduce symptoms like belly fat, hot flashes, sleeplessness, moodiness. But how does that translate into lunch?
I’ll give you an example. You want a meal that will balance your blood sugar and insulin because you probably have something important to do after lunch that requires a clear mind. Like maybe you have a presentation, you are going to drive a car, or you need to control a room full of rowdy students.
This collaboration of fresh roasted pumpkin, deep green kale, and gluten free noodles will nourish your body in many ways. Winter squash and kale can make an impact by contributing vitamin A with it’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory powers. Both of those ingredients as well as the cashews contain fiber to make you feel full and slow the rise of your blood sugar. Cashews also improve your heart health, bone health, decrease your risk of cancer, and help you get a better sleep.
We’re tossing those ingredients with yam noodles or shirataki. These noodles are very low in blood sugar-spiking carbohydrates and contain no gluten or soy. They are made from the powdered root of the Asian konjac yam and consist mostly of a high soluble fiber called glucomannan. Glucomannan helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and even body weight.
The thing is they don’t have much flavor so they need a sauce or broth to give them some. This kale pesto coats each noodle well and made a quite satisfying lunch for me today. I’m looking forward to experimenting with more recipe creations for these fun noodles.
- for the roasted pumpkin:
- 1 small sugar pumpkin, trim stem and bottom, cut in half, remove seeds and pulp
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- for the kale pesto:
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 6 hours or overnight
- 1 ½ cups lacinato or dinosaur kale, chopped
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 8-ounce pkg yam flour noodles (shirataki), rinse with warm water in a colander, drain
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- Preheat oven to 425℉. Brush inside of pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Place cut side down on a foil-covered baking sheet. Roast for 50 minutes, until flesh is tender. Flip halves over and cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pesto. Place cashews, kale, nutritional yeast, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, 4 tablespoons olive oil, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a blender. Blend until smooth or desired consistency.
- Scoop pumpkin flesh into a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Rinse yam noodles with warm water, drain and add to bowl.
- Add ½ cup of kale pesto and toss everything together. Sprinkle portions with pumpkin seeds before serving.