Lemon Linguine with Shrimp and Asparagus

lemon linguini with shrimp and asparagus

This is a meatless meal idea you’ll want to keep in rotation long after Lent has ended. The combination of shrimp, lemon, and asparagus is a perfect Spring combination, and I love the use of linguine here (a pasta that gets far too little attention if you ask me!)

Next week, I’ll share an Easter Brunch favorite as we head into a time of celebration and joy (and hopefully warmth! Brr!).

Lemon Linguine with Shrimp and Asparagus

serves 4


8 oz. whole wheat linguine

4 Tbs. olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion

1 cup white wine

2 Tbs. butter

1 lb asparagus spears, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 Tbs. lemon juice

Salt and Pepper

4 Tbs. fresh parsley


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat, add in onions and garlic, cook until onions are tender. Pour in the white wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in butter and asparagus, and cook until asparagus is tender, about 3 minutes. Then add the shrimp and lemon juice and cook until the shrimp are pink in color and no longer translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Toss the cooked penne pasta with asparagus, shrimp and sauce. Sprinkle liberally with fresh parsley and serve.


Polenta Bake with Butternut Squash


Here’s a great rainy day meatless meal that feels like comfort food but is still healthy as can be. We’re using precooked polenta which comes in a log shaped package for you to slice or dice.  If you also buy pre-cut butternut squash, this dish is as easy as pie to assemble!

All this needs for balance is a big green salad with a pungent vinaigrette. Something like this one would be lovely.

Polenta Bake with Butternut Squash


1 log (24-oz.) precooked polenta
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 jumbo onion, cut into .25-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. of butternut squash, peeled and  cut into 3/4-inch pieces (or buy precut!)
1 1/4 cups low-fat (1%) milk
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Cut polenta log crosswise in half, then cut each half lengthwise into 4 slices. Lay 6 of the polenta slices side by side in an 8-inch square ceramic or glass baking dish. Cut remaining 2 slices into 1/4-inch dice and set aside.

2. In nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil. Add onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash; cover and cook 15 minutes longer, or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, checking and stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, in 2-cup measuring cup, stir milk, cornstarch, salt, pepper and 4 Tbsp. Parmesan together until well combined. Add to skillet and bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Bake polenta slices in baking dish 10 minutes, or until heated through. Spoon squash and sauce mixture over polenta slices; top with diced polenta and remaining 2 Tbsp. Parmesan. Put dish back into the oven and bake another 5 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing

Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Since the weather has blessedly turned a bit warmer here in Cincinnati (okay, truthfully we’re all jumping the gun and running around in shorts and teeshirts because we can hardly believe that 10 days ago we were shoveling SNOW) , this week’s meatless meal idea is a cold quinoa salad.

Made heartier by the addition of Lima beans and black beans, this is a great meal for an evening when you want to channel spring. You can make it ahead and eat it after you’ve made time for a walk or a run or a quick game of pickup basketball, just because you finally CAN.

Black Bean Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Basil Dressing


1 ½ cups uncooked quinoa

3 cups vegetable broth

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 tsp. salt

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbs. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. sugar

2 tsp. grated lemon rind

½ tsp pepper

3 tsp. minced garlic

1 (10 oz. package) frozen Lima beans or edamame

4 cups chopped tomatoes

½ cup sliced green onions

½ cup chopped carrot

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained


  1. Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover pan for 15 minutes or until all of the broth is absorbed. Remove from heat.
  2. Cook Lima beans or edamame according to package, omitting salt and fat. Cool completely.
  3. Combine olive oil, salt, basil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, sugar, lemon rind, pepper, and minced garlic. Once well combined stir in cooked quinoa.
  4. Add cooled Lima beans, tomatoes, green onions, carrots, and black beans to the quinoa and stir to combine. Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.
  5. Serve as is or atop a bed of baby spinach.