Creamy Pasta with Asparagus and Arugula (Dairy + Gluten Free!)

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Did we hear dairy-free, gluten-free, creamy, protein-packed pasta? Yes, that’s right. Packed with veggies and protein, this pasta is the ultimate combination of everything you could need.

This recipe features ingredients with huge health benefits. Cauliflower and arugula are both cruciferous vegetables, which have been shown to help protect cells from DNA damage, help inactivate carcinogens and inhibit tumor blood vessel formation and tumor cell migration. Asparagus is a natural diuretic, and packed with both fiber and vitamin K.

The star of this recipe though: red lentils. Red lentils contain a significant amount of fiber, folate, a nutrient that can aid weight loss efforts, and thiamine, a vitamin that helps the body convert carbs into fuel. A serving of red lentil pasta can contain as much as 19 grams of protein. This combination of fiber and protein means a smaller amount with leave you happy, satisfied and full until dinner. You can have your pasta and eat it too.

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

With more fiber than white potatoes, cauliflower is a great option if you're watching your blood sugar levels and sugar intake. In just one cup of cauliflower, it contains 21 calories, boasting 24% of recommended intake of vitamin C and 43% of recommended intake of healthy eyesight promoting lutein and zeaxanthin. While iceberg lettuce is deemed the American go to for greens, arugula shouldn't be overlooked anymore! As a greens powerhouse, each 2 cup serving is only 8 calories and is packed with nutrients -- vitamin A, K, C, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium and is beneficial to vision health.

By Nikki Nies, MS,RD, LD
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Creamy Pasta with Asparagus and Arugula (Dairy + Gluten Free!)

  • Prep Time:10 minutes
  • Cook Time:25 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

2 teaspoons coconut oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 pound cauliflower, broken down into individual florets
1 – 1.5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 lemons, juiced
1½ teaspoons sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 large handfuls arugula
1 pound red lentil pasta (or any gluten-free pasta)

Instructions

  1. Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Sauté the garlic with half of the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add in the cauliflower florets and 1 cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Cover the pot and simmer, steaming the cauliflower until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Once the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork, transfer everything to a blender and add in the lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper, to taste.
  5. Then, transfer to a blender and blend the sauce until smooth. Be mindful while blending as the contents are very hot!
  6. In the same pot, melt the other teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the remaining onion for 5 minutes.
  7. Add in the asparagus, and continue sautéing for about 5 minutes. Then add in the arugula and sauté for about another 3 minutes, until both vegetables are tender. Set the sauce aside.
  8. Prepare the red lentil pasta according to the directions on the package.
  9. Combine the creamy lemon sauce with the pasta. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.
Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the garlic with half of the onion until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in the cauliflower florets and 1 cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Cover the pot and simmer, steaming the cauliflower until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Once the cauliflower is easily pierced with a fork, transfer everything to a blender and add in the lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper, to taste. Then, transfer to a blender and blend the sauce until smooth. Be mindful while blending as the contents are very hot! In the same pot, melt the other teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the remaining onion for 5 minutes. Add in the asparagus, and continue sautéing for about 5 minutes. Then add in the arugula and sauté for about another 3 minutes, until both vegetables are tender. Set the sauce aside. Prepare the red lentil pasta according to the directions on the package. Combine the creamy lemon sauce with the pasta. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve immediately.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: Calories: 459; Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 1164 mg; Potassium: 637 mg; Carbohydrate: 75 g; Fiber: 13 g; Sugar: 10 g; Protein: 32 g
Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin C: 118%; Vitamin A: 23%; Iron: 45%; Calcium: 9%

Did you know you can add Further Food Collagen to any recipe for an additional protein boost? Learn more here.

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