MAC Blog

MAC Blog

MAC's Recipe of the Month: March 2017

Jennifer Jasmin - Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Pasta that’s healthy and high in protein!!!

Notes from our
 MAC Registered DietitianGluten free pasta can be made from a number of non-wheat flour options, but several companies are now making really tasty versions made from protein-packed legume flour! Explore Cuisine’s black bean spaghetti happens to be a favorite of mine. Look for it as Shaw’s, Stop and Shop and on their website: Using a pasta like this can help make a vegetarian meal more satisfying, and closer in protein content to what most adults need for health and weight loss. Of course, the portion still matters! This dish is also high in fiber and low in sodium – all of which is important for heart health. For extra flavor I used, a Sicilian lemon flavored white balsamic vinegar in the dish which can be found at quite a few specialty markets including Salt and Olive in Cambridge ( The burrata cheese is another gourmet touch that packs a ton of flavor and adds a creamy richness to the sauce as you eat. Maplebrook Farm burrata is pretty widely available. Burrata is a young fresh mozzarella cheese that’s very creamy on the inside – almost like ricotta. If you can’t find it, another fresh mozzarella, or even ricotta would be great substitutes. Enjoy! 

Vegetarian Black Bean Pasta with Spring Vegetables
Yield:  6 Servings
Total time: 30 minutes

1 bunch asparagus (approximately 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces
1 12oz. bag frozen artichoke hearts – available at Trader Joe’s
1 box (8oz.) – Explore Cuisine Black Bean Spaghetti
1 T. olive oil
2 medium-large shallots, sliced
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ tsp red pepper flake
2 T. Sicilian lemon white balsamic vinegar 

1 8oz. tub burrata cheese - Use one ounce per serving
1 lemon – cut into 8 wedges
½ cup basil – cut into chiffonade

In a large pot, bring 8 cups water to a boil.
Add asparagus and frozen artichokes to the water and blanch 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Rinse under cold water and set aside.
Keep water boiling to cook pasta according to package directions (6-8 minutes). Drain into a colander reserving .5 cup of the cooking liquid.
While the pasta is cooking - In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium flame.
Add shallot, salt and pepper and sauté 2 minutes.
Add garlic and red pepper flake and Sautee an additional 30 seconds.
Stir in white balsamic vinegar.
Add drained asparagus, artichokes and reserved cooking liquid and cook 2 minutes.
Toss with cooked pasta.
Garnish each bowl with 1oz. burrata, basil, and one lemon wedge.

Approximate Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories per serving: 368
Fat per serving: 11.5g
Protein per serving: 33.6g
Total Carbohydrate: 32.2g
Fiber: 16.7g
Sodium: 194mg

Personalizing recipes is one of Jen Jasmin's specialties! Contact Jen today.