Pesto Pasta with Mushrooms and Artichokes

So, I’ve gained some weight recently after a friend stayed with us for two months.  It’s not a lot, but at least five pounds from much too much eating out, visiting craft breweries and making excuses to skip exercise.  It was totally worth it, but now I’m looking at pictures of myself from last summer and our wedding and wishing I had my old body back.

I started looking into exercise programs that help boost metabolism and foods that help burn fat, those that contain mono unsaturated fatty acids.  I know how to get myself back in shape, but I want to try something different this time to avoid getting bored.  I found two five-week interval cardio plans in Fitness Magazine, called Drop 10.  I’ve decided to do them back to back, making it 10 weeks.  The plan includes three cardio workouts per week, and each one mixes up the intervals to rev metabolism.  Yesterday, I sprinted as fast as I could for one minute and then walked for one minute, and repeated the movements 11 times.  It’s much different than jogging for three miles straight, and I’m liking it so far.

I’m also researching recipes that include foods known for fat-burning, like apples, olive oil, sweet potatoes and walnuts.  I’ve found quite a few good ones so far, which I plan to blog about in the next few weeks.  Most of them are fast and easy-to-make, so there’s no excuse to not make something healthy for dinner.

One of the best ones I’ve tried was Pasta with Mushrooms and Artichokes with pesto that I found in Prevention.  I added a few touches of my own, and it was delicious.  It only took about 20 minutes total to make, and the only tricky part was finding vegan prepared pesto.


  • Whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 oz sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto (we found a concentrated pesto in which we had to add 3 tablespoons of olive oil for every tablespoon of pesto concentrate)
  •  Parmesan cheese (I found  great vegan version
  • Cannellini beans (I added these for protein)

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  At the same time, sauté the mushrooms, onions, artichoke hearts, tomatoes and garlic in olive oil.  Once the vegetables are tender, add the cannellini beans to the pan to warm them.  Toss together the pasta, vegetables and pesto sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Enjoy!  It tastes even better knowing that you’ve kick started your metabolism.

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About inthelivingwell

I'm a newly established vegan interested in anything that helps me live well - from meditation to healthy recipes to innovative workouts.

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