I have and I do….all the time!
Now, before you attempt to notify my husband…
We’re talking about Paula Deen and her cooking y’all!
I love Paula and her recipes make me salivate! She’s got a way with butter that could make anyone melt! I love watching her cook and I’d love even more to try every last one of her recipes. Unfortunately, I don’t have the worlds fastest metabolism and even if I did, I don’t know that anyone could work off all that cholesterol. Because of this, I have only tried a handful of her recipes, a handful of times. There is one recipe though that I go back to time and time again. Paula actually managed to create a healthy, butter free Mushroom and Asparagus Salad that is outstanding! Who knew…Paula can cook without butter!
When I found the recipe for Mushroom and Asparagus Salad on Paula’s website, I was pretty surprised. It was certainly a far cry from her usual fried chicken and gooey butter cake recipes. Nonetheless, I was ecstatic to have found a recipe from one of my favorite chef’s that I could actually cook on a regular basis. And, while Paula’s original recipe for this was great and far healthier than her normal southern fare, I made it a wee bit healthier by using whole wheat pasta, less olive oil, and less salt. This pasta salad is certain to be a hit at your summer barbecues. Served warm or cold, it even makes a great vegetarian main dish also. If your not a vegetarian however, be sure to try it with my simple lemon grilled chicken (recipe to follow).
Mushroom Asparagus and Tomato Pasta Salad
Yields 6-8 Servings
Recipe Adapted From Paula Deen
Olive Oil Spray
4 Large Portobello Mushrooms, Stems Removed
1 Bunch Fresh Asparagus, Tough Ends Removed
2 Cups Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Pound Rotini Pasta, Cooked
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
1 1/2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley Flakes
Juice of 1 Lemon
Preheat oven to 375 Degrees. Place asparagus and mushrooms on a large baking sheet coated in non stick cooking spray and then spray the vegetables lightly with olive oil spray.
Bake on the center rack for 10-15 minutes or until asparagus and mushrooms are tender. Meanwhile, prepare another baking sheet with non stick cooking spray. Place halved tomatoes on the baking sheet and spray lightly with olive oil.
When asparagus and mushrooms are done cooking, remove from oven and allow to cool. Place tomatoes in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or just until tomatoes start to burst. Once the mushrooms and asparagus have cooled, cut into 1 inch pieces and add them to the cooked pasta along with any juices that remain on the baking sheet from cooking. Next, add the tomatoes and any juices to the pasta as well. Finally, add all spices and lemon juice to the pasta and vegetables and mix until thoroughly incorporated. Serve Warm or Cold.
As usual, my youngest couldn’t wait to eat!
Grilled Lemon Chicken
Yields 4 Servings
Recipe Adapted From Food.com
1 Pound Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, Sliced Thin
1 Cup Lemon Juice
Seasoning Salt, To Taste
Dried Parsley, To Taste
Olive Oil, As Needed
In a medium sized bowl, combine chicken and lemon juice and allow to marinate for 5-30 minutes depending on how lemony you like you chicken. Meanwhile, preheat a grill to medium high heat. Once the chicken is done marinating, sprinkle both sides with seasoning salt and dried parsley to taste. Brush a little olive oil on grill slats and then place prepared chicken on the grill. Grill each side for 3-4 minutes or until juices run clear.