Fusilli with Broccoli & Peanuts | #PastaFits

Fusilli with Broccoli & Peanuts is just one example of the myriad of ways pasta fits into a busy lifestyle by providing a means to quick, wholesome and affordable  meals that are pleasing to the palate.Fusilli with Broccoli & Peanuts, #pastafits
Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the  Pasta Fits campaign as a member of Healthy Aperture Blogger Network.  I was compensated for my time. 

Aah, summer. It’s hard to say goodbye to the beach, pool parties and lazy days.. The school year is a slew of schedules and the best way to navigate the hectic  mornings, homework assignments, activities and rounds of sports is organization. Preparing for back to school  should include a plan for meals and snacks. Easing  back into a routine of healthy eating after  the summer doesn’t have to be difficult. Keep it simple by focusing on  foods that:

• provide sustained energy

• are quick and wholesome

• are  affordable

• please every palate on every occasion

Pasta  fits the above criteria making it a smart choice for meals during the school year! One serving of pasta of provides 7 grams of protein and about 200 calories of sustainable engery.  The start of a new school year is no time to be sluggish, tired and unable to concentrate. Complex carbohydrates, like a pasta, provide the optimum type of fuel to power your muscles and brain. A slower release of energy keeps both you and your kids going throughtout the day .

Pasta  can be the start of  wholesome meals  that can be assembled  in minutes. It pairs well with   protein rich foods ( like lean meat, seafood, nuts and legumes),  nutrient dense vegetables and heart healthy fats.

Pasta is one of the most affordable meals. Keeping pasta on hand  elimates the need for pricey takeout.

Pasta is versatile; it can be eaten at any time of the day, and there infinite ways to add your own special culinary twitst. Today I combined it with broccoli, peanuts and a lemon honey dressing for a  terrific side or vegetarian meal ..Fusilli with Broccoli & Peanuts

and the leftovers are perfect to tote school or work.


Fusilli with Broccoli & Peanuts

This school year, make the grade with  pasta  for  quick, affordable,  nutritious and satifying meals!

Fusilli with Broccoli & Peanuts

serves 6

total prep/cooking time: 20 minutes

by Diane Boyd


  • 7 oz. dry fusilli
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups broccoli flowerets
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts


1. Cook  pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss with canola oil.

2. Blanch broccoli for one minute in boiling salted water. Refresh under cold running water and drain well.

3. Blend lemon juice, honey and seasonings (onion powder through salt). Combine pasta with the broccoli , lemon-honey mixture and seasonings. Cool, cover and refrigerate. Stir in peanuts just before serving. Serve cold or reheat in microwave.

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Purple Quinoa Salad + Juicy Giveaway

The five ingredient Quinoa Salad that even  your children will love!Purple Quinoa SaladDisclosure: This is my recipe for Welch’s Recipe Contest.  I received coupons for Welch’s 100% Grape Juice Products mentioned in this post, for creating a family friendly  recipe and for the giveaway. I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

The quinoa craze  reminds me of the story  by Hans Christian Anderson, The Emperor’s New Clothes. No one wants to come right out and say, I don’t like quinoa, much like no one wanted to confess they couldn’t see the Emperor’s new duds, without being labeled a fool. Sigh!

So guess what? Today I am sharing a recipe with you that will make you really want to eat this translucent grain, for reasons beyond it’s good for you (’cause you already know it’s nearly a complete protein, high in fiber, and gluten free.)

There are 2 parts to preparing foolproof quinoa, that even a child will love. The first part is cooking technique (thank you America’s Test Kitchen) and the second part is a purple cooking ingredient. Here’s how to  to make quinoa tender with a satisfying bite  (bye bye messy soggy quinoa).:

1. First toast quinoa in a pan over medium high heat until you hear a popping sound and the  quinoa is fragrant (5-7 minutes).

2. Alter the  common ratio 2:1 of water-to-quinoa to equal amounts.

Now for the the purple ingredient that will forever banish bitter, earthy tasting quinoa… Welch’s 100% Grape Juice. Not only does this ingredient boost the flavor,  it also  has the power of purple Concord grapes.

purple power, polyphenol; purple quinoa This photo is so cheesy, I apologize, but it calls attention to  my message regarding grape research. For more than a decade, researchers have been exploring an important mix of plant nutrients-polyphenols- found in Concord grapes and the effects they have on the body, including possible benefits in supporting heart health. In addition, emerging research is being conducted to determine whether Concord grapes play a role in supporting a healthy mind and immune system. Click to see research.   Using Welch’s 100% Grape Juice is a simple way to squeeze more flavor and better nutrition into foods you prepare for yourself and your family. Please try this recipe and enter to win!

Purple Quinoa Salad

Purple Quinoa Salad (serves 4)

by Diane Boyd


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup Welch’s 100% Grape Juice
  • 1/2 cup cucumber sliced and quartered
  • 12 yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped


1. Toast quinoa in medium saucepan over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until quinoa is fragrant and make a popping sound, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Add Welch’s 100% grape juice to medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat.

3. Stir in quinoa and reduce heat to low. Simmer until grains are just tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat .

4. Let sit covered for 10 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and stir in cucumber, tomato and oregano. Serve immediately or refrigerate for later.

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Must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

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