janet @ the taste space

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with a Peanut-Miso-Sesame Sauce

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on May 2, 2013 at 6:43 AM

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with a Peanut-Miso Sauce

Are you familiar with The Dish column in the Toronto Star?

They routinely give the nutritional stats of local eats based on laboratory analysis. Not surprisingly, most meals get a failing grade.

Salad King’s Chicken Pad Thai: 1114 calories and 3479mg of sodium

Burrito Boyz’s Steak Burrito: 1000 calories and 1452mg of sodium

Veggie options are not usually any better:

Gandhi’s Spinach and Paneer Roti: 1482 calories and 3360mg of sodium

a1 Sweet’s Indian veggie thali: 1690 calories and 2134mg of sodium

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with a Peanut-Miso Sauce

And what about vegan eats? Not any better.

Urban Herbivore’s sweet potato date muffin (just one! one muffin!) is 986 calories and 689 mg of sodium.

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with a Peanut-Miso Sauce

And supposedly “healthy” restos? Depends on what you order:

Fresh’s Buddha Bowl (brown rice bowl with peanut sauce, tofu cucumber, tomato, cilantro, bean sprouts and peanuts) is 1168 calories and 1076mg of sodium

And Fresh’s Green Goddess Bowl (steamed bok choy, kale, swiss chard and broccoli with grilled tempeh, pickled ginger, toasted sunflower seeds, tahini sauce, toasted nori and ginger tamari sauce) is only 687 calories with 647mg of sodium.

Moral of the story? If you are eating out, be mindful of your portion sizes and the amount of non-veggies…. and preferably, only eat half your meal.

The portion sizes are so huge at my beloved Hot Beans that it is equally wise to share a meal there, too.

This always encourages me to try my hand at making the food at home, more in tune to my regular portion sizes. The culprits for the giant calorie counts are mostly due to the sheer amount of food, including heaping portions of rice and rich sauces. Fresh’s Green Goddess Bowl is lighter because it is filled with less caloric dense green veggies.

And yes, because I still couldn’t get Hot Bean’s peanut miso sauce out of my head, I made another version.

Last time, it was just chickpeas and broccoli but this time I went more extravagant by adding spaghetti squash, shallots and sesame seeds to the chickpeas and broccoli. I also wanted to test my theory of a thicker sauce by using some toasted sesame oil with the peanut butter and miso dressing.

Compared to my last attempt, this dressing was thicker, coating the veggies nicely. This version also had a more pronounced sesame flavour from the toasted sesame oil. In fact, a little of the sauce goes a long way. Big bold flavours means you don’t need to use as much. If you like it to cover everything, thin it or make a double batch. Both dressings were good, though. Side-by-side, I preferred the first dressing (I like dressings a bit more tart) whereas Rob preferred this one, but it was close.

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with a Peanut-Miso Sauce

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Elena, and to Cate for Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian legume dishes.

Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl
Adapted from The First Mess

1 medium spaghetti squash (2 lbs)
2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
4 cups coarsely chopped broccoli florets
1 shallot, thinly sliced, soaked in water for 10 minutes, then drained
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
Peanut-Miso-Sesame sauce (see below)

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Place rack in center of oven. (I prefer to roast it whole and cut it later, but if you are fancy, try smearing a halved squash with garlic, oil and salt and pepper first). Pierce the spaghetti squash multiple times with a fork or knife. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate squash and bake another 30 minutes or until the shell feels soft. Remove from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Once the squash has cooled, cut it in half and remove and discard the seeds and scrape the strands of squash out with a fork. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, prepare your sauce (see below).

3. Prepare the rest of your ingredients: slice and soak the shallot (I find soaking it relieves some of that bite). Toast your sesame seeds. Chop your broccoli.

4. Just prior to wanting to eat, steam broccoli for 2 minutes, or until slightly al dente and a brilliant green.

5. To serve, plate spaghetti squash. Top with chickpeas, broccoli, shallots and sesame seeds. Drizzle with dressing.

Serves 4.

Peanut-Miso-Sesame Sauce
Adapted from Your Bella Life

3 tbsp peanut butter
1.5 tsp white miso
1 tbsp Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
1/4 cup water, to thin to your desired consistency

1. Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. It will thicken once cooled.

(I prefer more flavourful dressings in moderation, so thin further if you want to drench your noodles, or make a double batch)

  1. This looks delicious and I’ve been trying to find ways to use spaghetti squash since it is a favourite of mine! Think I might have to give this recipe a try. BTW, just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! I’m a fellow Canadian, too and live about three hours from Toronto in a town called Goderich.

    • Hi Mary, Nice to meet you! It may surprise you but while I have never been in Goderich, I know where it is since I live in London for 4 years. 🙂 Thank you for your comment. If you try any recipe, please let me know how you like it. 🙂

  2. Looks so great Janet! Glad you were inspired 🙂

    I am, however, CRUSHED by my favourite muffin of all time having over 900 calories. Guess I’ll have to slide that over to the very rare treat column from now on. Also, I always get the green goddess bowl at Fresh, so at least I feel alright about that one. Aaaaaand you just made me crave Hot Beans nachos for breakfast :)))

    • OMG. I have been following your blog for the longest time but forgot you were local, to boot! 🙂

      If you mosey down here to Toronto, definitely let me know… we can relish in all good eats. 🙂

  3. I remember the first time I saw the stats for a burrito from one of the populate tex me chains. If I’d been eating one I’d have spit it out. And the sodium!!! Not to mention that they aren’t THAT amazing. I can make something better at home that is much more reasonable in size. Like this deliciousness! Love peanut miso sauce. And I’m 2.5 days away from it. 😉

    • Yes, I think the worst is that the food doesn’t even taste good enough to justify all the salt they throw in there! I am very curious if you will gain a few lbs after your comp from water alone once you start using salty things again. 🙂 I am routing for you, girl… I hope we get some action shots! 🙂

  4. Ooh, chickpeas *and* broccoli! Yum! And I’m always buying spaghetti squash and not knowing what to do with it…

  5. those nutritional stats make me curious about how my meals would compare – I use more salt these days and sometimes wonder if it is still better than I get eating out – a friend of mine always tells me that everything tastes good when you eat out because of all the salt, butter and cream!

    I love how veggie full your meal is – hard pressed to find that sort of vegie portions in most places where I eat out

    • Johanna, I am quite sure your meals have a lot less sodium. Using packaged foods is the worst offender, and for me I just need to be wary of soy sauce/tamari, miso and fermented foods like sauerkraut. In restos, they know people like salt, sugar and fat, so it does not surprise me that the meals are swimming in the good stuff. They want you to come back because it tastes good. 🙂

  6. Love your pictures! This recipe looks great. I’ve been leery about trying the spaghetti squash but I just might have to know.

    • As long as you don’t expect it to taste like spaghetti, then you should be ok. It is probably one of the most fun squashes.. like magic it turns into long strands of noodles after baked. 🙂

  7. I have yet to try a Buddha bowl and this might be my first :). Cheers for the great share and for a great idea and for reminding us that the lable “Healthy” doesn’t necessarily mean “low fat” 🙂

    • Or low sodium.. if you make it, please let me know how you enjoy it. 🙂

      • I am planning on making it for tonights evening meal (it’s only 3.46am here at the moment so it’s a little bit further down my daily track 😉 ). I have been eying off Buddha bowls and wondering about them and your version has given me a great idea for how to use some of the remaining summer veggies in our little veggie garden to best use 🙂 Cheers for the wonderful share janet 🙂

      • You are a night-hawk. 🙂 Summer is just around the corner here as you wrap it up.

      • Yup, basking in our woodfired oven’s glow and it rained all last night and we love it! Our summer was horrific, dry, we only got 3 rain events in 5 months and everything was starting to die. We also had some bad fires here in Tasmania that took out all of the undergrowth that the native animals would usually have lived on in the bush and so they all decided to move into our gardens and eat everything that wasn’t nailed down :(. Our poor garden almost sighed audibly when the first real rain came in April and so did we! I think winter is going to be extra cold here though as our autumn foliage is incredibly vivid. I think the trees think that they have moved to Canada… we should take heed! 😉

  8. I ate two whole blocks of chocolate and half a a jar of almond butter between lunch and dinner today. Take that, calorie counters.

    But I do like the sound of your dinner.

  9. Ooh, look at that big bowl full of deliciousness! 😀 That sauce sounds incredible!

  10. We don’t have readily available spaghetti squash in Australia – I’ve never seen it or tried it – so I am always intrigued by recipes that make use of it as an ingredient. One day I’ll finally encounter one and will go to town putting it to use 🙂

    • I think Hannah has eluded in her posts that squash is a purely NA-infatuation. You must have some winter squashes, no? It took me a while to warm up to spaghetti squash but once you get past that it isn’t pasta, you are golden. 🙂

  11. I feel like restaurants must go out of their way to make their food so caloric…I mean I eat a LOT and my meals are almost never that calorie dense! Crazy. I love your peanut sauce! It sounds perfect for the spaghetti sauce and broccoli.

  12. This looks delicious Janet, I am totally craving that whole dish now!

    So a little birdy told me you might have some time in May for cooking/dining adventures? 😉

  13. Yikes! Didn’t know that about Fresh… Really puts eating out, even at “healthy” restaurants, into perspective.

    This recipe looks delicious 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  14. the recap is on line!
    I’m sorry for the delay, bye!

  15. Loved this! Forgot what fun spaghetti squash can be. Was surprised that it cooked so quickly (30 minutes because we cut it in half to bake it).

  16. Im sorry, you mention Bragg’s. which of bragg’s products do you mean?

  17. […] one of the meals The Dish featured was Ravisoup’s Corn chowder with blue crab and Thai basil. It fared pretty well: 288 […]

  18. […] First Mess: Her Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash Bowl with a Peanut-Miso Sauce was delicious and I have had my eye on her Busy Lady Veggie Bowl for a […]

  19. […] of choice are chickpeas, which I contemplated for my second iteration. Worried it would be a tad repetitive (broccoli + chickpeas + peanut sauce is a common occurrence on this blog), I stuck with kale and […]

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