This dreamy favorite is getting a dairy-, gluten-, grain-free makeover. Spaghetti squash makes for a low carb "pasta" dish and the cauliflower bechamel just might fool you!! (AIP-friendly)
Prep an 8 in. baking dish (glass, ceramic or enamel), whatever you'd use for a casserole for example. Grease it lightly with coconut oil and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 350f degrees.
Pre-heat oven to 400f degrees.
Cut squash into 1-inch "rings" and discard seeds.
Lightly drizzle olive oil on both sides of squash rings and bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for approx. 30 mins, flipping half-way.
When done, remove from oven and set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350f degrees and grease an 8in. baking dish, set aside.
Chop onions small and set aside. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the ghee/lard, let it melt. Once melted, toss the onions in the pan and using a wooden spoon, stir around, let cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent and soft.
Add ground meat and break up with your wooden spoon into small pieces, stirring with the onions. Sprinkle your seasonings over top and continue mixing. If using tomato paste, add in. Lastly, add the minced garlic so it doesn't burn.
Cook meat until the juices that release start to evaporate and no red meat remains. Taste the meat and season to your liking! When done, set aside.
In a pot, steam cauliflower florets with boiling water until it's tender when pricked with a fork (approx. 8 mins.).
Make a "slurry" by combining the arrowroot starch with 1/2 cup of water by mixing it together until it thickens.
Blend all bechamel sauce ingredients including cauliflower, in a blender with HALF of the slurry mixture (use more as needed to loosen), and set sauce aside. You'll want the sauce to be thick enough to coat a spoon but still pourable.
Make a quick topping to set aside: mix 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast with 1-2 tsp of cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt in a bowl. Keep for the very end!
To your greased baking dish, add two-thirds of your spaghetti squash to the bottom and pack it in a single layer. I patted mine down with a fork to make sure there were no empty pockets.
Then, add all of your ground meat on top of that, also packing it in well with a fork in a single layer.
Now, pour two-thirds of your bechamel sauce over the meat. With your wooden spoon, lightly push the sauce to cover the meat fully. If at this point you feel more liquid will be needed, add that to the remaining sauce in the blender and blend it on high for 30 seconds. If two-thirds of the sauce covered the meat well and you have one-third left, you're in good shape and don't need the remaining liquid.
Now, with your hands, pull apart some of the squash to the width of your baking dish. Place the squash "in stripes" so you are controlling the amount of squash and can make sure it's even but not sinking into the sauce. Make sure you've covered it in a single layer.
Lastly, add the remaining bechamel sauce over top, lightly pushing with your wooden spoon again to cover the squash. And add your nutritional yeast-cinnamon topping lightly and evenly over the whole dish.
Bake for 40 minutes until the top is golden-brown and bubbling on the edges. Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it. Enjoy! This will keep well in the fridge for a week.
Paleo Spaghetti Squash Pastitsio (Greek Baked Ziti w/ Bechamel Sauce) https://foodbymars.com/home/2017/paleo-spaghetti-squash-pastitsio/