Category Archives: All blog posts

Lemon Linguine 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.

Skillet Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, White Beans, and Olives

Next up in our meatless Lenten meals series is this one dish skillet penne. The beauty of this dish is that the whole thing cooks in ONE POT keeping the mess to a minimum and cleanup to minutes. It will seem a little strange to cook pasta in a nonstick skillet, but a pot is a pot, and this definitely works!

Once the pasta cooks, instead of draining it, you’ll simply add the other ingredients, and the leftover thickened cooking liquid will form the basis for the sauce. Easy peasy.

Skillet Penne with Cherry Tomatoes, White Beans, and Olives

Serves 4


2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
2 cups water
8 ounces penne pasta (2 1/2 cups)
1 pint cherry tomatoes , halved
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans , drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice to taste


1. In a 12″ nonstick skillet, combine broth, water, penne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium high heat, stirring often, until penne is tender and liquid has thickened, 15 to 18 minutes.

2.While the pasta cooks, cut the tomatoes and chop the olives.

3. Stir in tomatoes, beans, and olives, and cook until they are heated through, about 2 minutes.

4. Off the heat, stir in basil, Parmesan, and olive oil. Squeeze a lemon over the whole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

* adapted from Cooks Illustrated