Better Bites

My experiments in healthy eating, cooking, and living

A Lemony Spring Pasta Dish with a Side of Herb Avocado Spread and a Kitchen Mystery

spring pasta

A mystery, you wonder? Yes, a mystery, but not a murder mystery ( at least I should hope not). Last night, I arrived home after a long night of conferences. As I walked in the door at 8:00, all I could think about was food. I practically lunged at the fridge like a foodie jumps at the chance to try a new restaurant.

Then, all of the sudden, I noticed the quiet. I was alone. The dogs were no where to be found. Usually before I even reach to turn the door knob, the poodles are pawing at the door ready to greet me upon entry. Yet, it was silent. Eric and the poodles were not there and as I looked down at the shelf in the fridge, neither was the Easter calzone that sat there untouched before I left for work that morning.

I was slightly perplexed. I heard music upstairs and I assumed Eric had taken the dogs up there to play, while he played pool with the upstairs neighbors. I thought maybe Eric had brought the calzone to share with the other guys that live up there, as sort of an offering. Maybe if he offered them a calzone full of meat and cheese, he would be offered more meat in return. In his dreams, I’m sure.

At some point later, the dogs ran down the rust-colored carpeted stairs, Eric in tow. I asked him about the disappearing calzone. He mentioned casually that he had eaten it for dinner. I said “You ate the whole thing?” He stared at me, noticing my disbelief. I mean it was a pretty big and rich stuffed bread. He said with a lowered voice, “What, you mean that wasn’t healthy?” I shook my head and laughed. He pouted a little bit, feeling slightly bad about eating the entire thing, but after proudly mentioned that he had loaded it up with barbecue sauce. How that goes with a bread filled with a variety of cheeses and meats, I don’t know, but I do know that my meat-free spinach calzone is still in the fridge (safe and sound). Read on for a totally unrelated recipe for a spring pasta dish with a lemon sauce and a side of bread with avocado “butter.”

spring pasta 2

Ingredients for spring pasta with a lemon twist:

*Serves 6

1 tbsp of olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves, sliced thin

2 cups of baby bella mushrooms, sliced

1/2 tsp of salt and dried basil *fresh would be preferred, but I only had dried basil (if using fresh basil add it in at the last minute, before serving)

1/4 tsp of garlic powder, pepper, and red pepper flakes

2 cups of asparagus, diced into 1 1/2 inch spears

1/2 cup of frozen peas

1 package of spaghetti (about a pound) *GF option – GF pasta choice like rice pasta

1-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

the juice of 1/2 a lemon

Method:

1- Heat a large pot with water and set it over high heat. While waiting for the water to boil, slice the garlic and red onion.

2- Heat a frying pan and add olive oil to it. When the olive oil is hot in the frying pan, add the red onion. Let it brown before adding the garlic slices. Let the garlic slices get brown around the edges before adding the mushrooms. Let the mushrooms brown a bit and then add the spices, asparagus, and frozen peas. Stir the veggies and let them cook.

3- Add the spaghetti to the pot as soon as the water is boiling. Meanwhile, take your veggies off of the heat when the asparagus is slightly softened, but still crisp.

4- Drain the pasta. Add it to a serving bowl and squeeze the juice of half of a lemon over the top. Then add the extra virgin olive oil. Stir. Then add the vegetables and mix well. Serve alongside bread topped with avocado spread.

 spring pasta 4

Ingredients for herb avocado spread:

*Serves 4

1 avocado

1 tbsp of fresh basil, sliced OR 1/4 tsp of dried basil

1/4 tsp of salt, pepper, and garlic powder

1-2 cloves of garlic, diced

1 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

Method: 

1- Cut the avocado in half. Scoop out the insides into a bowl. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Mash well until the spread is smooth and butter-like. Enjoy on fresh toasted bread!

Do you have any favorite seasonal spring recipes? If so, please share. I’m always looking for new recipes to try!

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