Spring Asparagus and Pea “Alfredo”

This hearty pasta is warming, nourishing and loaded with fiber. I love to make this in the spring when the asparagus is in season and fresh. It’s a good transition dish for when switching form the cold winter months in into the early and chilly months of spring. This pasta can also be stored overnight and eaten the next day as a cold “past salad.”

INGREDIENTS:

(Serves 4)

2 T. Shallots, diced

2 cloves of garlic, diced

1 T. lemon juice

1 t. salt

Ground black pepper

1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped (plus extra for topping)

1.5 c. Cashew cream (see recipe below)

1.5 bundles of Asparagus, chopped

1 cup of peas

1-8 oz. box of pasta (I used Banza Cavatappi shaped pasta)

1 c. pasta water reserved

 

Cashew Cream Recipe

1/2 c. raw, unsalted cashews

3/4 c. water

Place ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend for one minute on high until all nuts have been purified.

Pasta Recipe:

Bring a medium sauce pan of water to a boil. Add in asparagus and peas. cook until tender, roughly 4-5 minutes. Immediately strain the veggies and run ice cold water over the vegetable to blanch them. Set the veggies aside.

In a large sauce pan on medium heat, saute a splash of olive oil with shallots and garlic until translucent. Adjust heat to very low. Add in the whole blender of cashew cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Allow this mixture to slowly warm for about 3-4 minutes stirring frequently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. After about three minutes, add in basil and vegetables. and stir for another 1-2 minutes to make sure everything is well combined.

Meanwhile in a saucepan, cook pasta according to instructions on the box. Reserve one cup of pasta water before straining. Then, strain the noodles and combine the noodles into the pot with the cashew cream sauce and vegetables. Mix all ingredients well so everything is evenly coated resembling a pasta salad. You may need to add in a few tablespoons of the pasta water to thin out the sauce, depending how thick you like the sauce to be.

Plate the pasta with a very light spritz of lemon juice and top with basil. Serve, and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Spring Asparagus-Dill Soup

This lean and green soup is delicious and a great way to help nourish the body after a long winter. It tastes like spring in  a bowl!

Asparagus is a natural diuretic, helping to flush away bloat and extra fluid in the system. It’s also a great source of folate, which some studies show may help to boost your mood (something many can benefit from at the end of winter!). The lemon in the soup can help to alkalize the body and may help to gently detoxify the liver. Dill may also help to protect against free radical damage and may help improve digestion (check out more info here ). 

This soup is very light tasting, but does have a moderate dill flavor. If for any reason you don’t like dill, you can always just leave it out and still have a great tasting meal or snack.

INGREDIENTS:

(4 Servings)

1 Medium yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

3 1/2 cups of chopped asparagus

4 C. Vegetable broth

1 t. salt

2 t. dried parsley

2 C. fresh spinach

1 T. Lemon juice

1 T. fresh dill, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium sized pot, add a splash of olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in asparagus, salt and parsley. Saute until asparagus is soft, about another 5-6 minutes. Add in vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a high-speed blender or Vitamix, add lemon juice spinach and dill. Once the broth and asparagus is done simmering, add to the blender and blend on high for a minute or two until everything is blended and soup is a nice mint green color. Serve and enjoy!

Watermelon Refresher

This refreshing drink is a great way to help keep yourself hydrated. Try it before or after a workout along with some water to help replenish electrolytes. Watermelon also contains L-arginine and L-citrulline. These two amino acids have been shown to help with inflammation in the body. I drink this frequently for that reason.

This drink is great on its own or even as a super light snack on the go. I like to cut up fresh watermelon ahead of time and put it in the freezer so I have it ready to go anytime I’m craving this drink.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 cups of frozen watermelon

Juice of 1/2 of a lime

1 cup of coconut water

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend and enjoy!

Blueberry Elixir

This incredible elixir can be drunk for a quick pick me up any time during the day, used as a smoothie base, or even as a snack. It contains wild blueberry powder giving it a pretty purple tint.

According to the Medical Medium, wild blueberries “…act like magnets to attract toxic heavy metals and carry them out of the brain and liver and remove them from the body.” Unfortunately heavy metals are things we are all too frequently exposed to (they’re even found in most deodorants and anti-perspirants, yuck!).

Wild blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, amino acids and phytonutrients to help keep you feeling energized and vibrant. They are definitely a food you may want to consider adding to your diet regularly. To read more about them and their incredible super powers, click here.

Enjoy this drink and let me know how you like it!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup of unsweetened coconut milk

1 t. wild blueberry powder

4-8 drops of liquid stevia (optional)

DIRECTIONS: 

Using a blender, combine all ingredients and enjoy!