Asparagus is in season during the spring. You can enjoy this recipe year-round using mushrooms or a seasonal green vegetable of your choice. Walnuts provide protein and omega-3 fatty acids. This is a delicious complete-protein vegetarian meal with a perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat. 

Recipe: Spring Fusilli with Asparagus and Walnuts

Choose organic ingredients when available:

  • 8 ounces dry whole-wheat fusilli
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon (or 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh)
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Trim off tough ends of asparagus and discard. Cut asparagus into 1-inch diagonal slices.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  4. Sauté garlic and asparagus for 3 minutes and add 2 tablespoons water if needed.
  5. Add walnuts and cook 2 to 3 more minutes.
  6. Add asparagus mixture to the pasta and then add lemon juice, oregano and parsley.
  7. Gently toss and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and black pepper to taste.
  8. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 4.

Nutrition Facts Per serving (232 grams): 418 calories, 20.8 grams fat, 142 milligrams sodium, 43.4 grams carbohydrates, 9.3 grams dietary fiber, 18.7 grams protein.


Recipe from the award-winning diet, lifestyle and cookbook: Beyond The Mediterranean Diet: European Secrets Of The Super-Healthy, by Layne Lieberman, RD.