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An Easy, Healthy and Tasty Pasta Dish

After a busy day of work, creating a healthy and tasty is meal might seem a daunting task. With nearly 20 years of cooking experience behind 10 years of creating recipes specifically for Bene Gourmet Pizza, a Eugene pizza restaurant, dozens of dishes have been developed. Here is a top favorite – an easy, health and delicious pasta dish.

Grilled Asparagus Over Spicy Tomato Sauce

Sauce Ingredients

* 3 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 medium onion, finely chopped
* 6 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
* 2/3 teaspoon course black pepper
* 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
* 2 28-ounce cans Italian-style tomatoes (San Marzano is preferable)
* 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes with added purée
* 1/2 cup dry red wine

Sauce Preparation
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, basil, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add remaining ingredients; simmer gently, uncovered, until sauce thickens and measures 8 cups total, breaking up tomatoes with spoon and stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.)

Asparagus Ingredients

* 1 pound of asparagus
* 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
* 3 teaspoons olive oil
* 1 quart size plastic Ziploc

Asparagus Preparation

Thoroughly rinse the asparagus and cut off the bottom two inches. Add the asparagus spears, kosher salt, and olive oil into the Ziploc bag. Gently move the asparagus around in the bag until it is well coated. Add more oil if needed. Preheat the BBQ on medium for 10 minutes. Grill the asparagus at medium to medium-low for 15 minutes; rotate every 5 minutes caramelizing the asparagus. After cooking, cut into 3 inch sticks.

Assembly Ingredients

* 1 bunch of fresh basil
* Grated parmesan cheese


Cook your favorite pasta according to the package directions. Heat sauce on medium-low heat. Plate the pasta, ladle the sauce, and lay the grilled asparagus across the top. Garnish with fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan. Enjoy!

About Author
Kevin Cohen is a co-founder of Bene Gourmet Pizza, a three-store restaurant Eugene pizza restaurant group specializing in gourmet pizza and wine. Bene Gourmet Pizza can be found online at In addition, Kevin is a CPA, serial entrepreneur, and co-founder of

How Much Protein is in Pasta?

If you’re on a weight loss program or even a muscle building program you probably have some sort of protein guideline you’re following. There is most likely a daily protein intake you’ve read about that is supposed to help you achieve or muscle building or weight loss goal. Knowing how much protein is in certain foods will go a long way to help you choose what to eat for dinner. Many diets try to categorize foods as carbs or protein, but in reality this is too simplistic as there are many foods that have a significant amount of both. Pasta is a good example of just such a food. As soon as you hear the word pasta you probably imagine that it is a high carb food mostly composed of starchy carbs. But that’s not all that is in pasta. Depending on the type of pasta you get there is a significant amount of protein in it too. For example: 100 grams of plain cooked pasta has about 5 grams of protein and 25 grams of carbs. Add 50 grams of cooked ground beef (in a tomato sauce) and you’ll have added another 12 grams of protein to your pasta meal. This example is a pretty small portion, in reality most people would be eating more than 100 grams of pasta per serving. A realistic serving might be more like 200 grams, which would have 10 grams of protein before adding any meat at all.

The point is that there is a significant amount of protein in foods that you would traditionally think of as a carb. Bread is another good example: 1 slice of regular whole wheat bread has almost 4 grams of protein (in a 28 gram slice). If you made a regular sandwich with two slices of bread you would be getting around 8 grams of protein just from the bread slices alone. That same slice of bread would have about 12 grams of carbs so the ratio of protein to carbs is already in a pretty good balance. Choosing foods and eating a diet based on hitting a specific protein content is fine if that is what you like to do. But you should be aware that this can quickly lead to overeating if you’re assuming that protein is a separate type of food from items like pasta that get mistaken as a carb only food. It’s entirely possible to eat a high protein diet while not mass consuming eggs/chicken/meat if you don’t want to. Check out the labels of your food items like pasta, bread, yogurt, dairy products and other things that seemed to be either protein or carb foods. You’ll find out that it’s not so black and white when it comes to protein and carbohydrate content with many of these food items. Various forms of pasta and bread can have even more protein than I’ve described. You just have to read your labels and pay attention to the content of each.

Pasta and bread aren’t commonly viewed as food that you would choose to eat for weight loss, but they can easily be incorporated into an effective weight loss diet. Making sure you know how much you’re eating and paying attention to the protein and carb ratio in the pasts and bread can help you choose how much more food you can eat around the pasta without overdoing it. Viewing pasta as part protein and part carbs will remind you that you don’t need to add an entire chicken breast to a pasta bowl just to get your protein for the day. This way you can enjoy ‘carb’ foods like pasta, get all the protein you want and still lose weight.

About Author
John Barban has a Masters Degree in human biology and nutrition and is a former varsity strength and conditioning coach. John has formulated many sports supplements for both muscle building and weight loss that are currently available on the market and he is the author of the Adonis Effect and the

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