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Lemon Basil Shells

May 4, 2018
Finished!

Another Tasty One Bowl Dish

Lemon Basil Shells with asparagus and English peas a tasty one bowl dish I think you will enjoy as much as we did.  I love one bowl dishes because they are so easy to make and taste so good.  Vegetables and pasts shells with artichoke hearts!  Yum!  

So many ingredients come together so well, that I have begun to think outside the box when adding ingredients to my recipes.  I’ve been using a lot of lemon, lime, ginger and garlic in my dishes lately and I think this is the reason these one bowl wonders taste so good.  I love to experiment with food.  When my son asks, “what are we having for dinner?”  I just say, “It’s a concoction”.  I’ve been stocking up with cooking utensils such as a microplane, zester, knives, a new big cutting board which I really needed.  (I was using 3 smaller boards).   

This dish serves two and without meat is approximately 350 calories a dish, 24 grams of fat and 86 grams of carbohydrates, with 36 grams of protein! (****Note – These are approximations****).  You are free to add meat of your choice.  Chicken pairs nicely with this dish.

Tools

  • Large Pot
  • Microplane or zester (I have both)
  • Baking sheet

Tasty Ingredients

  • 1 Shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic (more if you are a garlic lover)
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 small bunch of asparagus
  • Fresh basil (I get this from my herb garden)
  • 6 oz of artichoke hearts
  • 1 box of Banza® shells (I have included a link in case you don’t know where to buy, they are found at Target, Google, Amazon and probably a whole food organic store.  Since I don’t eat a lot of meat Banza® Shells are Made from Chickpeas and this pasta is naturally gluten-free and soy-free.  If you would rather use regular shells because you are adding meat, they would be available at your local grocery store.  *** I am not an affiliate for Target or any of these other links, I provide them as a courtesy)
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable broth concentrate
  • 2 oz of English peas (There is a difference:  English peas are actually just a variety of garden pea that are commonly grown and are known for their sweet flavor and bright, beautiful green color. They need to be shucked before eating and a pound of pea pods is the equivalent of 1 to 1.5 cups of shelled peas.)
  • 2 tsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Putting It All Together

First, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Depending on the size of the box of shells, fill a medium pot of salted water on to boil for the shells.  Peel and mince the shallot and mince the 2 cloves of garlic.  Cut the lemon in half and zest.  Take out the asparagus and cut the stalks about 1 inch from the bottom.  Cut the stalks into 2 inch pieces.  Roughly chop the basil leaves (fresh basil is the best).

Next, drain the artichoke heats and pat them dry with a paper towel.  Place them on the baking sheet and add the asparagus.  Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of vegetable and salt and pepper to taste.  Roast in the oven until the asparagus is tender and the artichoke hearts are crisped lightly.  (About 10 to 12 minutes).

Once the pot of water comes to a boil, add the shells and stir so they will not stick together and cook the shells about 8 to 10 minutes.  (If using the Banza® pasta shells, don’t cook too long otherwise shells will become soggy).  Once the shells are done, save 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and then drain the shells in a colander.  Return the empty pot and place on medium high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the minced shallot, garlic and a pinch of salt.  Stir frequently until they are softened.

Making the Sauce

Time to make the sauce which is oh, so good!  Add cream cheese, vegetable broth concentrate and the reserved cooking liquid along with a pinch of salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer until it is slightly thickened.  Then, add the English peas and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.  Now lets add the lemon zest and juice from half of the lemon along with the chopped basil.  Add the shells and toss well to combine and continue cooking until heated through.  Approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

I like to serve one dish meals in bowls, it’s so easy to clean up after.  If you are using bowls or plates, place into bowls and then add the roasted artichoke hearts and asparagus.  Simple; right?  I was surprised how tasty this dish was.  You feel full and satisfied after you’ve finished, no bloated feeling at all.  The lemon and basil make this dish so tasty added with the cream cheese.  If you are vegan, there is vegan cream cheese available at Walmart and Whole Foods, depending on where you live, or use Google and search.  I’m lucky, there is a Farmer’s Market open year round in Michigan so I don’t have to go far to find the ingredients. 

Stay tuned, my next recipe one dish meal is Mango Curry…..who would have thought, Mangoes!!!

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