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Fusilli with Peas, Asparagus, and Walnut Sauce

September 3, 2020

This is where you put a caption

Welcome back to BB, my dear readers! It has been too long since we last met and the whole while I have been saying to myself that Bumbleberry Breeze is in hibernation… I love food, that’s pretty clear. Reading about it, talking about it, thinking about it, shopping for it, preparing it and of course, eating it. But maybe what tops the list is creating delicious food and sharing it with others. I love to offer nourishment and four years ago, my little voice was calling loudly that I needed to delve into another area of nourishment. Click here to read more. Scroll down to the September 2020 entry.

Another thing, too. Over a year ago I was having tummy issues. I was getting more bloated and feeling uncomfortable. I consulted with a G.I. doctor, but I didn’t really want to go the route of medications. Around that time, an acquaintance was talking about a wonderful documentary that she had seen, called The Game Changers. It looks at what happens when athletes switch to a plant-based diet. This of course, is nothing new. Some of my old buddies at Food Bloggers L.A. have been cooking this way for years (Shout out to Nancy Eisman [Tuna Salad made with garbanzo beans!] and Cathy Arkle [Cashew Cheese!] to name only two). The benefits are amazing: improved performance, improved stamina, quicker recovery time from injury. Who doesn’t want that? Near the end of the film the narrator challenges the viewer to try a plant-based eating plan for a few days. My husband and I watched it together, and I was delighted when he was so blown away by the documentary that Mr. Meat-loving Novio actually agreed! See for yourself… Check it out on Netflix.

It’s made a significant difference in the way we eat around here. But no, I am not exclusively plant-based. After our experiment, I noticed immediately that my tummy bloating had diminished. It was as if I had had a generalized inflammation in that area and by shifting what I put in my mouth, the door was open to finally reducing that inflammation. Then, I began re-introducing other foods. I noticed I did not miss chicken as much as I thought I would and the same with eggs and fish and dairy. But it was clear that overall I was doing better sticking to predominately plant-based food. These days, breakfast, lunch and dinner are mostly plant-based, with chicken a few times a month and the same with fish, eggs and a little dairy. I do still love ice cream and gelato, though I am occasionally pleasantly surprised by a dairy free version.

BB will be reflecting these shifts and I hope you’ll enjoy the upcoming dishes as much as we are.

There are tons of resources online to research and this is not an exhaustive list by any means but here are a few sites and books that I recommend:

The website Running On Real Food is terrific. The creator, Deryn Macy, is a runner and an extremely healthy eater and she doesn’t have time for multi-step recipes or spending inordinate amount of time in the kitchen. I love that her recipes are so helpful, straightforward and simple to prepare. Not to mention delicious!

Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moscowitz

The Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon

The Vegan 8 by Brandi Doming

Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli… whose Pasta Italiano inspired the creation of this post’s recipe

Chloe’s recipe calls for cannellini beans added to the pasta and more cannellini beans to make the sauce. There are way way more beans in my pantry these days but I had just run out of cannellini beans! I am never the type to hurry to the market for a single item (especially in these crazy times), and I decided to use what I had on hand to create something else. So roll up your sleeves and get ready to NOT spend lots of time or effort in the kitchen, and pick up that fork of yours and enjoy!

Bb Notes: the original version of this recipe calls for a pound of short pasta. I tend to like more veggies and a little less pasta and I have fallen in love with a particular brand of brown rice pasta that is a little more pricey but so delicious that it is well worth it. It’s called Jovial, and the box of fusilli is 12 ounces in weight rather than a typical 16 ounces.

So if you’re using regular pasta or another brand of brown rice pasta, simply cook the whole box and use ¾ lb. for the recipe and throw a quarter of the pasta into soup or salad or a scramble…

Experiment with different brands of pasta. I adore pasta but my tummy tends to feel bloated when I have too much regular pasta…  there are so many alternates out there that it is worth checking out to find a brand that you like. Expand yourself… Try brown rice, and there’s also lentil pasta, quinoa and all kinds of combinations. Whole wheat pasta is too dense for my taste and I think corn-based pasta is just too gummy.

Asparagus not in season or you don’t feel like it? Swap it out for the same amount of broccoli florets. Try swapping out the peas and adding a 15-oz. can of garbanzo beans after the pasta and veggies are drained and rinsed.

Ingredients:

¾ lb. fusilli

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into thirds

1 c. frozen peas

½ c. walnuts, roughly chopped

1 c. of almond milk, unsweetened (or your favorite dairy-free milk)

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, cut into four

2 T. lemon juice, about half a lemon

1 t. dried thyme, or an Italian blend (salt-free)

½-3/4 t. sea salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Pinch or 2 crushed red pepper,  optional

1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise

Directions:

In a large pot, cook the fusilli in boiling salted water for 8 minutes. Turn heat down to low and add asparagus. Stir, return to a moderate boil and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, until both are tender. Just before the pasta and veggies are ready, throw in a cup of frozen peas. Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining the walnuts, almond milk, olive oil, cut-up garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and crushed red pepper in a food processor, or as I did, in two batches in a mini processor. Process until smooth.

Toss the warm pasta and veggies in a large bowl with the sauce and add the halved cherry tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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7 Comments
  1. Glenda permalink

    Hi there my judy I am so happy you are back I love cooking your dishes and my self cook meat fee dishes for my sons are vegan and it help me so mush so happy cooking 🥘

  2. Lynn Stevens permalink

    WELCOME BACK BUMBLEBERRY! I was so excited this morning to find you in my in box, and read your deelicious and informative blog. This is dinner tonight! Thank you for all the good info! I’ll check out the brown rice pasta – where do you buy it? FYI Trader Joe’s (my favorite neighborhood store) has a wonderful quinoa/brown rice pasta that I’ve been using. We’re not ready to go plant based entirely, but do eat a lot of fish (thanks Fisherman Phil), no red meat, and little chicken. Best to you…. Love, Lynn

    On Thu, Sep 3, 2020 at 11:07 PM bumbleberry breeze wrote:

    > bumbleberry breeze posted: ” Welcome back to BB, my dear readers! It has > been too long since we last met and the whole while I have been saying to > myself that Bumbleberry Breeze is in hibernation… I love food, that’s > pretty clear. Reading about it, talking about it, thinki” >

  3. Kelly permalink

    Judy!!!! How are you?!? So happy to see bumbleberry breeze back in action.

    All well here. Able to work for home and stay put for the most part other than errands. I’ve seen Shirley and Leia a few times – all is well for their family.

    Send my best to Joel.

    Be well!

    Miss you,
    Kelly Lockett

    ________________________________

  4. Deborah Engel Kollin permalink

    I’m so excited to be part of your bumble berry breeze family now. I look forward to all your yummy creations and of course your beautiful writing.

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