Roasted Asparagus ‘Pesto’ with Pan Fried Leeks


What I’ve created below simply screams spring.  A bright green roasted asparagus and basil ‘pesto’ seamlessly coats a heaping bowl of fiber laden whole grain penne rigate before getting tossed with slightly crispy pan fried ribbons of leeks. The sauce comes together with only two tablespoons of olive oil for healthy fat and trades the traditional parmesan cheese and pine nuts for dairy-free Rawmesan made from sunflower seeds and walnuts.

When my dear friend Alaina asked me to write a healthy recipe for her newsletter and holistic health coaching blog, A Believer In Food, my wheels immediately started turning. Born with Cystic Fibrosis, this CF Chef as she calls herself, focuses on the benefits of eating a healthy, mainly vegan and dairy-free diet. I was excited to present her with this nutritious, balanced meal that’s bursting with flavor and incorporates all these important components.

Whether your goal is to embrace a positive lifestyle, feed your family more veggies or just get dinner on the table, this is one dish that will fill your needs and your stomachs.


2 bunches of asparagus

Olive oil cooking spray

20 full leaves of basil

1 teaspoon salt + to taste

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon pepper + to taste

¼ cup Rawmesan (Can be found at most health food stores)

2 tablespoons good olive oil

The whites from one leek


Bend asparagus at each end, causing it to break at its natural point. To avoid repeating this process with each stalk, break one and cut across the rest measuring at the same place.

Spread asparagus on a parchment lined baking sheet and season with olive oil spray, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Roast at 350° for 25-35 minutes or until tender and slightly browned.

Puree in food processor with basil, olive oil and Rawmesan.

Boil penne according to directions, drain and return to pot. Fold pesto into pasta and set aside.

In a pan, sautee leeks with cooking spray until slightly golden and crispy.

Toss with penne and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm or refrigerate for a pasta salad.

Eat and enjoy an extra serving or two…it’s good for you!


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