Cooking Clean with Auntie: Pasta Salad
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Amie Valpone
Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP, and author of The Healthy Apple, is a Manhattan based Culinary Nutritionist, Personal Chef, Professional Recipe Developer and Food Writer specializing in simple Gluten-Free ‘Clean’ recipes for the home cook. You can check out her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter @TheHealthyApple.
I’m a Clean Eater. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it’s about eating from nature’s bounty: fresh foods in their most natural state. Nothing with a label, nothing processed: purely nuts, seeds, fresh produce, healthy fats and lean proteins. Not sure what to make of this? How about whetting your appetite with Kale Cashew Pesto with Chia Seed Falafel, Fresh Spinach Salad with Roasted Eggplant and Avocado Basil Dressing, Leek and Tomato Apricot Soup?
I learned at a very young age that I had an intolerance to dairy and sadly had to forgo the Dixie cup ice cream at birthday parties. My Aunt Valerie would take care of me after every party and helped me feel better when I was sick. Then, along came college where gluten intolerance hit me full force. But she was there to hold my hand and teach me that clean eating is as easy as 1-2-3. Aunt Valerie showed me that Eating Clean can be fresh and delicious by simply sticking with healthy fats, such as avocado and nuts; lean proteins, such as turkey and chicken; and produce, such as fresh fruits and veggies!
When I was a girl, Aunt Valerie and I made pasta salads together every spring and summer; and I loved adding goat cheese and asparagus. It was during these occasions that I learned how to create natural flavor and sweetness with fresh fruits and veggies instead of sugar!
Orange Peanut Pasta Salad – Gluten-Free and Vegetarian
1/4 cup peanuts
1 pound gluten-free penne pasta
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into thirds
4 ounces goat cheese, broken into pieces
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh orange zest
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
¼ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast peanuts nuts, stirring often, until golden, approximately 3 minutes.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to the package instructions, add asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain; return pasta and asparagus to pot. Toss with goat cheese, scallions, orange zest, parsley, paprika, sea salt, pepper, and toasted peanuts.
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately or cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Photo: Courtesy of Amie Valpone
Published: July 31, 2012