Asparagus, Grape Tomatoes, Portobello Mushrooms & Sliced Almonds with Whole Wheat Rotini

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Serves: 6
Description: 
Are you a “flexitarian”? A “flexitarian” is someone who eats meat occasionally, but enjoys meatless meals most of the time. This meal is perfect for the flexitarian in you. It is loaded with good nutrition, including plenty of veggies, whole grain pasta, and almonds, which provide a great source of fiber, vitamin E, calcium, and iron. This meal is so delicious, chances are you will want to come back for seconds! Created by Liz Pearson.
Ingredients: 
2 cups (500 mL) grape tomatoes cut into halves
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh basil, chopped
6 tablespoons (75 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups (500 mL) 3 large Portobello mushrooms, chopped
3 to 3 1/2 cups (750-875 mL) 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) sliced almonds
4 cloves garlic crushed
1 tablespoon (15 mL) ginger, minced
1 box (375g or 5 cups) whole wheat uncooked Rotini pasta
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) pepper
1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt (optional)
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle
Preparation: 

Bring large pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta. While waiting for the water to boil, halve grape tomatoes and chop basil. Mix together in a small bowl adding two tablespoons (25 mL) of extra virgin olive oil. Set aside. Dice onion and chop mushrooms. Chop asparagus into 1 inch pieces (2.5 cm). Discard the coarse woody ends of asparagus stalks. Crush garlic and mince ginger. Add Rotini to boiling water. Follow package directions for doneness. Most whole wheat Rotini requires about 12 to 13 minutes of cooking time. While the pasta is cooking, in another saucepan sauté onions in 1/4 cup (50 mL) of extra virgin olive oil for one to two minutes at medium heat. Add the mushrooms, asparagus, almonds, pepper and crushed red pepper to the saucepan. Sauté for about six minutes or until the asparagus is tender yet crisp. Add garlic and ginger to saucepan and sauté for another one to two minutes. Be careful not to let the garlic burn. When the pasta is cooked, drain the water and add pasta back into the large pot. Add bowl containing grape tomatoes mixture along with the sautéed vegetables and almonds. Mix all ingredients together gently. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.||Created by Liz Pearson.

Nutritional Info: 

Calories 462; Fat 23 g; Sat Fat 2.7 g; Mono Fat 15.1 g; Poly Fat 3.9 g; Protein 17 g; Carb 55 g; Fiber 10.1 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 211 mg; Calcium 107 mg; Potassium 523 mg; Vitamin E 7.2 mg;

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