Finding healthy alternatives to our favorite foods is an easy and delicious process. Level up your next batch of pesto pasta by adding asparagus. Cooking with asparagus offers numerous health benefits. Asparagus is a great source of fiber, folate, and Vitamins A, C, and K.
Try this simple, 30-minute recipe for your next meal:
- 8 ounces whole-wheat penne
- 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
- 1 (7 ounce) container refrigerated basil pesto
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)
- Small fresh basil leaves for garnish
- Cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions. Add asparagus to the pot during the final 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.
- Return the pasta mixture to the pot; stir in chicken, pesto, salt and pepper. Stir in the reserved cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach desired consistency. Transfer the mixture to a serving dish; sprinkle with Parmesan and garnish with basil, if desired. Serve immediately.
About Gale Pearson, MS, RDN, CDCES
Gale Pearson, MS, RDN, CDCES is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with over 25 years of experience working with patients on dietary and nutrition wellness planning. Gale received her undergraduate degree from Hampton University and her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Howard University.
With extensive experience in nutrition counseling, Gale works with her patients to develop strategies to improve their eating habits and lifestyles, in turn helping them to manage their weight and medical conditions. She credits witnessing her patients’ symptoms and overall health improvement as a result of the lifestyle changes as one of the most gratifying and rewarding aspects of her career.
At TPMG Nutrition Services in Newport News and Williamsburg, Gale provides one-on-one consultations, nutrition and weight management counseling, and diabetes education.