I get so inspired by Italian cooking shows, partly because the flavours are so fresh and partly because that’s where my are roots are. Different regions are known for different dishes and ingredients. This week, I’ve learned that peach tress grow abundantly in Capri, along with almonds, so most of their baking is done with almond flour instead of the white, refined wheat flours that so many of us have trouble digesting. I also learned that Italy is the biggest producer of green asparagus in Europe.
As an Italian girl, I like me some pasta. As a Nutritionist, I like me some fresh, nutritious ingredients that work in the body. This is a pasta salad that goes beyond flavour and beauty. It’s a salad that nourishes the skin, hair and brain with healthy fats. It contains all the liver supporting lemon juice, parsley and asparagus, and it’s packed with fibre for digestive and heart health. This is a salad with benefits.
Healthy Mediterranean-style Asparagus Chickpea Pasta Salad (no mayo)Course: Salads, Vegan/Vegetarian Reipes
Mediterranean-inspired Asparagus and Chickpea salad (no mayo)
1 red bell pepper
1/2 C feta cheese
8 asparagus spears
1/4 C chopped parsley
4 basil leaves
1 can chickpeas
2 C bowtie pasta
1/4 C olive oil, plus 4 Tbsp
1 lemon (rind plus juice)
2 Tbsp diced red onion
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt & pepper to taste
1 garlic clove
- Cook pasta according to directions. When there is 3 minutes left for pasta to cook, add in asparagus that has been chopped into 1 inch pieces. Once cooked, spoon out the asparagus from the pasta pot with a slatted spoon, and place into an ice bath for a few minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.
- Chop cucumber, bell pepper, garlic, red onion, herbs and add to a large bowl. Crumble in the feta cheese, and add in 1/4 C olive oil.
- Add in rind from 1 lemon, plus juice.
- In a separate bowl, add drained and rinsed chickpeas, plus 4 Tbsp olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt. Let marinate while your pasta is cooking and cooling.
- Combine cooked and cooled pasta, asparagus spears, marinated chickpeas, and bowl of veggies and stir until is combined. Garnish with parsley and a wedge of lemon.
- Best served chilled. Can be stored in the fridge for a few days. This makes a great meal prep salad to serve with different protein throughout the week.