Tag Archives: broccoli

Basque Pork Pasta

Summer officially ends tomorrow. It’s still pretty warm at my house, and my garden is still going crazy. Tomatoes out my ears. In a good way.

However, I was looking for a dinner that had tomatoes, but didn’t scream “trying to get rid of a counter full of tomatoes”. Enter this pasta dish. It was perfect for a warm late summer/early fall evening with lots of bright flavors. Enjoy!

Basque Pork Pasta (Serves 4-6)

Basque Pork Pasta

2 pork loin chops, cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ cup parmesan
1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
8 ounces vegetable spaghetti
1 lemon, zested
juice of 1 lemon
2 tomatoes, diced

1. In a large pot of boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions, without oil or salt. Add broccoli for last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain well.

2. Meanwhile, heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork, garlic, italian seasoning, and lemon zest. Cook 7-10 minutes, or until pork is cooked through. Deglaze pan with lemon juice.

3. Add pork mixture to pasta and broccoli. Toss with parmesan and tomatoes.

Nutrient Analysis (Amount per serving):

Calories: 748
Protein: 44 gm
Fat: 23 gm
Saturated Fat: 8 gm
Cholesterol: 88 mg
Carbohydrates: 67 gm
Fiber: 10 gm
Sodium: 227 mg

Recipe notes: If you can’t find a vegetable spaghetti, you could use all whole wheat. My mom made a similar dish to this growing up and always used spinach linguine.

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If broccoli tasted like chocolate…

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I have often joked that if I could ask God one thing, it would be why he chose to make broccoli taste like broccoli and chocolate taste like chocolate.  Why couldn’t the flavors be reversed?

A new study indicates that while we can’t reverse the flavors, we may be able to change the reward these foods give us.  It has been documented before that the reward centers of the brain “light up” more on MRI when we eat or think about eating unhealthy foods compared to when we eat or think about healthy foods.  In this study, overweight people were shown pictures of healthy and unhealthy items while having an MRI before and after 6 months of diet education and following a weight loss diet.  The “after” images showed that the reward centers lit up less for the unhealthy foods and more for the healthy foods than they had at the beginning.  Short version, after following a diet, people got more pleasure from healthy foods and less pleasure from unhealthy foods.

There are always limitations to research.  This was a small study.  They only used a limited number of food images.  Perhaps if they had shown different foods the results would have been different.  But it is encouraging.

Take home message:  Eating healthy foods may get easier in the long run.  Broccoli and carrots may never taste like chocolate, but we may get more pleasure out of eating them if we follow a healthy diet over the long run.

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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