Spring Veggie PenneWhen I first joined the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection, used to “renovate” their recipes once a month. I took this lovely fresh pasta dish and made it gluten-free and vegan. We both thought it was bright and zippy, very springlike. This makes a perfect spring dinner for two.

The renovation: At its heart, this recipe was easy to convert to be gluten-free. If you eat dairy products you don’t have to change the original recipe much at all. I would simply use oat flour instead of the all-purpose flour and gluten-free pasta. For this renovation, I decided to use nutritional yeast instead of the flour, as I was trying to replace some of the cheese flavor provided by the parmesan. I used cashews to replace the half-and-half, but you could also use soy creamer or Mimicream. I used low-sodium vegetable broth instead of chicken stock.

Suitable for:
vegan, gluten-free, reduced-sugar diets

Not for:
low-sodium or migraine diets

Could this be migraine-friendly?

This recipe is tricky, as it’s from my days before I was diagnosed and was eating plant-based. Here’s why this recipe isn’t migraine-friendly:

  • Cashews
  • Lemon: Since all citrus can be a trigger, I recommend testing each type of citrus individually to see if any bother you.
  • Nutritional yeast (fermented food)
  • Onions

If you have learned that these foods aren’t migraine triggers for you, enjoy!


Spring Veggie Penne

Spring vegetable penne with lemon "cream" sauce

Easy light dinner for two.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Italian
Servings 2 servings


  • 4 ounces brown rice pasta penne
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 3/4 cup onions (130 g) sweet or Vidalia, chopped
  • 4 ounces mushrooms pre-sliced
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock (low-sodium)
  • 1/4 cup cashews raw (28 g)
  • 1/4 cup water (filtered or spring)
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (3 g)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
  • 1 pound asparagus spears diagonally cut into 1
  • 3/4 cup peas frozen (130 g)
  • 1 tsp thyme (fresh) strip leaves off stems
  • 1/2 tsp lemons zested or grated
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • Heat a large pot of water to boiling, add a little sea salt, and cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
  • Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and sauté for five minutes until translucent.
  • Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms begin to brown.
  • In a blender, blend stock, cashews, water, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice until smooth.
  • Once mushrooms have released most of their liquid, add asparagus and peas and cook until asparagus spears are golden brown.
  • Add pasta and sauce to the sauté pan, stirring well until everything is hot and bubbling.
  • Add thyme, lemon zest, and pepper, then a little sea salt to taste if needed. Serve hot.


Per serving:
  • 494 calories
  • 15 g fat
  • 2 g saturated fat
  • 9 g monounsaturated fat
  • 3 g polyunsaturated fat
  • 0 g trans fat
  • 0 g cholesterol
  • 638 mg sodium (76 mg sodium with salt omitted)
  • 1120 mg potassium
  • 77 g carbohydrate
  • 13 g fiber
  • 12 g sugars
  • 19 g protein
  • 13 Weight Watchers Points Plus
Required FTC disclosure: I am part of the Cooking Light Bloggers' Connection. I was not paid to write this post.