Kitchen InFerno: An Early Taste of Spring

WP_000658Healthy eating and college don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, but knowing the right tricks can help turn eating right into a daily routine. Let Kiersten Ferno be your guide for navigating the health-food scene without taking a chunk out of your schedule. Welcome to the inFerno.

Once the middle of February hits, everyone seems ready for spring. I’ve been writing, and cooking, a lot about healthy comfort foods since that’s about all I want to eat when it’s 15 degrees. But, with a few spring-weather days interspersed between the harsher days, I’m hopeful that spring will be right around the corner.

This is one of the easiest pasta dishes I know. Even though it’s pasta, it tastes light and fresh! Whole-wheat spirals paired with some crisp, delicious veggies and shrimp. Add a hint of zingy lemon and salty Asiago cheese, and you’ve got a well-balanced meal that’s as delightful as those surprising, sunny, 60 degree days!

What you’ll need:
Makes 2 servings

1 small bundle of asparagus (look for the thinnest stalks – they’re crisp and sweet!)
½ small head of broccoli
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups whole wheat pasta (I used fusilli – cute spirals!)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
¾ cup white wine (doesn’t matter if it’s cooking wine or cheap boxed wine – we’re in college, right?!)
Juice of whole lemon
2 cups frozen shrimp
Zest of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Grated Asiago cheese to serve
salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

1. To defrost shrimp, place in colander under running water for a couple minutes.

2. Break off bottoms of asparagus stems (the tan, tough end) and cut off base of broccoli. Roughly chop asparagus and broccoli.


3. Sauté veggies in pan with olive oil. Hit with a dash of slat and pepper. (Don’t overcook – mushy veggies are the worst! It should only take a few minutes.)

4. Cook pasta to taste. (I prefer mine “al dente” – a little undercooked.) Drain pasta.

5. Put medium-sized pan on medium heat. Add garlic, butter, white wine, crushed red pepper flakes, pinch salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Let simmer for a few minutes then add shrimp. (Shrimp overcooks really easily! When it starts to turn pink, take pan off heat.)


6. Add pasta and veggies to sauce, tossing gently to coat everything in sauce.


7. Finish serving with lemon zest and a sprinkle of Asiago cheese!


Tip from inside the inFerno: To easily juice a lemon, roll on cutting board to loosen juices, and slice in half and squeeze. (Make sure there are no seeds!)

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