Let’s make post-half marathon carb loading a “thing”.

Except let’s get all technical and call it…retroactive muscle glycogen storage.  Doesn’t that sound like it’s medically necessary?  Physician recommended?  Randomized, controlled and double-blinded (as all conclusions from all scientifically sound clinical trials should be)?


But really…we’re just sticking squiggly pasta to our thighs.  My favorite pastime!

I think the real issue here, that we’re all thinking but that nobody wants to talk about…


…is that The.Boy. and I have been watching too much Back To The Future.

(Apparently I never saw any of the installments as a child and he’s just trying to get me caught up/he doesn’t want to admit to the world at large that his girlfriend went through 25 years of her life thinking that Einstein was a physicist and not the cutest most adorable dog ever.)

That movie is the bee’s knees.  Uh, yeah. I just said that.  And I want so badly to believe that it’s real that I’ve thoroughly convinced myself that if I eat enough pasta, find a DeLorean that just happens to have time traveling capabilities, and locate enough plutonium to get me to April 15th, 2012 and back without being accosted by any Libyans (no offense to any Libyans reading this…I didn’t write the storyline, I’m just entranced by it)…I’ll be golden.

Until then…I’ll just keep eating pasta.

Just in case.


The majorly good news about this pasta, though, is that it actually won’t really stick to your thighs in any way, shape or form.  In fact, just the opposite.  Made with whole wheat pasta and stuffed with asparagus, kale, and tomatoes, this is veritable health food. Not that it tastes like it.  My brother ate at least two and a half servings of it and his only comment was, “the only thing I didn’t like was the tomatoes”.  I’d call that a win.

A few people at work have asked me if I’m done with racing for a while now that I’ve run two half marathons in about a month.  And the answer is HECK NO.  I love the thrill of racing.  I love training (even when I hate it).  And I love having something to work towards.

A goal.  Even if that goal is just to finish.

It’s so hard to stay motivated to eat healthy and be active when you’re just focused on maintaining a status quo.  I truly think that the key to staying on track is to always be thinking, “what’s next?”  Always pushing yourself for something more.  Always dreaming of that next race or of being able to do one more chin-up (or, you know…just ONE, in my case) or of adding one extra healthy meal to your weekly menu.  At least, for me, having that mentality means the difference between eating peanut butter as my second dinner and saying to myself, “how the hell are you going to run ten miles tomorrow if your stomach hurts! Get REAL, girl!”  And that, really, makes all the difference.

Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese
Serves 4, adapted from Cooking Light


  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta
  • 1 lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp dried herbes de Provence
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 lb chopped kale
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled


  1. Preheat oven to 400.  Set a pot of water to boil, adding salt.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  In the last two minutes of cooking, add the kale.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Toss asparagus and cherry tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and a large pinch of salt and medium pinch of black pepper.  Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes.
  3. Combine shallots, lemon juice, dijon mustard, honey, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Add 1 tbsp olive oil.  Stir in salt and black pepper, to taste.
  4. Place pasta, kale, asparagus, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl.  Toss.  Drizzle the dressing over the top.  Toss until well mixed.  Stir in the goat cheese.

I am submitting this to Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted this week by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast, and to Souper Sundays which is hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen.

This blog post has been promoted by Cooking Light!  For more healthy delicious recipes of theirs, click here.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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87 Responses to Roasted Asparagus and Tomato Pasta Salad with Goat Cheese {}

  1. Big Dude says:

    Looks delicious and another good use from some of our asparagus.

  2. Blond Duck says:

    I’ve always wanted to try goat cheese.

  3. bellini says:

    I am sure I have seen every one of the Back to the Future movies from the 80’s. I love Michael J. Fox! As for pasta, boosted health and running kudos to it all.

  4. london bakes says:

    I have no excuse for carb-loading but I love it anyway! This is a great looking pasta salad and I love the creaminess that the goat’s cheese adds.

  5. Simply Life says:

    so cool that this is promoted by Cooking Light! I love this combination of spring flavors!

  6. This looks simply delicious! Such a pretty, healthy spring dish. 🙂

  7. Pasta with goat cheese seems like a necessary food for run recovery. When Matt and I started dating he made me watch all the Rocky movies. What is it with boys and their movies?

  8. OohLookBel says:

    How deliciously fresh and simple your pasta is. I need to get away from creamy sauces and more into dishes like this. PS: Love Back to the Future – 1 and 3, not 2.

  9. marla says:

    Ho funny I had something so similar yesterday + it was fantastic except mine had feta cheese. A glorious pasta dish miss Joanne 🙂

  10. This pasta is filled to the brim with goodness. Great idea!!

  11. Hotly Spiced says:

    Fabulous looking pasta Joanne and a plate of this would be wonderful to enjoy in front of viewing that awesome classic, Back to the Future. Such a brilliant and highly entertaining film(s). I cooked a similar pasta tonight with spirals and olives but no asparagus – will have to correct that! xx

  12. Megan says:

    This pasta looks incredible! And has so many of my favorite things. I definitely need to make this!

  13. Lynn says:

    Yum yum! Sounds like that Boy thing is working out! I’m glad for you.

  14. Amy says:

    Oh gosh, do you think that DeLorean could take me back to my 20’s…even my 30’s…I seem to have misplaced my metabolism. Clearly I’m eating way too much pasta with cream, butter, and Parmesan, whereas I should be eating more of that ^^^

  15. Faith says:

    Oh!! You and the Boy are so cute! I’m so happy for you, darling!

    The pasta looks amazing, of course…that is some good looking asparagus!

  16. My Gosh, I haven’t seem Back to the Future in years!!! I love that your pasta dish won’t stick to your thighs, thats good enough for me! So with that all said you inspired me to make a veggies pasta dish. It has been a while since I’ve had it!! Yum!

  17. Christine says:

    Oh yum! This is right up my alley. Has everything I love. Plus, sounds quick and easy! So happy you’re enjoying the Boy’s company and found Back to the Future. Fun movies. As always, I find your workout philosophy so positive…love the quote!

  18. Einstein was a dog? I guess it wasn’t the dog that was behind those inventions!

  19. Margarita says:

    Love all the veggies going on here!

  20. Joanne the dressing on this pasta sounds spectacular – did you eat it cold or hot?

  21. Corina says:

    This sounds really yummy. I feel quite envious reading about the running too as the pregnancy has put an end to all that. Even so, I’m really looking forward to my first run once I’ve recovered.

  22. I love healthy pasta (and unhealthy pasta too, but that’s another story). And you are so right about fitness goals. Constantly asking “what’s next” keeps me motivated as well.

  23. Jennifer says:

    Once I switched over to whole wheat pasta, I never looked back. I think its just as good if not better than the white stuff.

  24. Lora says:

    Mouth watering pasta. Yum! And yea for Back to the Future!

  25. kelsey says:

    YUM! I love goat cheese in pasta. Have you thought about adding a Pin it button to your recipes???

  26. Elizabeth says:

    I need to get me some asparagus before they’re gone!!

  27. Kalyn says:

    Oh yes, this looks amazing!

  28. Anne says:

    Yum! The farmers market just had asparagus for the first time last weekend so I’ll definitely be making this soon!

  29. Shannon says:

    love all the goodness packed into that dish! i haven’t watched back to the future in ages… glad you’re enjoying 😉

  30. Thats what I was looking for, a nice light summer pasta dish. I am so into Aspargus these days. thx Joanne!

  31. Laura says:

    This savory pasta salad looks out of this world. I love goat cheese. I am going to try making this for dinner with gf pasta this weekend-yeah!

  32. Jenna says:

    I normally don’t go wild for pasta salads, but this one looks different. Enticing, appealing, and altogether gorgeous. And “retroactive muscle glycogen storage” totally makes it sound medically necessary.

  33. Kristen says:

    I didn’t see all of the Back to the Future movies until my husband and I started dating either! I guess they weren’t “girl” movies when we were kids ;).

  34. Jenn Kendall says:

    now this is a pasta salad i actually want to eat! yum!

  35. Love Back to the Future! Glad you are catching up on the classics. 🙂 What I love about your pasta dishes is they always seem to have equal amounts of veggies–my favorite way to eat pasta!

  36. Nina says:

    Colorful pasta with great flavor…yum yum!

  37. Ooh it’s so squiggly! Great colours, I feel healthy just looking at it! Why is it that sticking the word ‘salad’ after pasta somehow makes it OK to eat loads? I don’t know, but I’m glad of it.

  38. Did someone say goat cheese?!!!! Beautiful pics, as always. This sounds divine!

  39. Monet says:

    This looks great. I love pasta that is filling and healthy. Healthy pasta isn’t an oxymoron! Thank you for sharing with me. I’m also working towards ONE pull-up. Hopefully, I’ll get there soon. I hope you are having a blessed day.

  40. Chris says:

    Great Scott, Marty! This looks fabulous. Asparagus is one of my favorite veggies and I love the briny olives.

    Now have you seen my flux capacitor?

  41. Katie says:

    You load your pastas full of so many beautiful looking veggies. It always elevates those noodles to the next level. I couldn’t be happier that it’s asparagus season again, and I’m excited to try this out.

  42. Debbie says:

    A great pasta salad. We all love that here. I am keeping this one!

  43. Pasta is not always my favourite but this looks really lovely…. cant beat asparagus and goat cheese

  44. This looks delicious! And oh my gosh, MJFox was totally the bees knees back then. I grew up with Back to the Future and Teen Wolf. Ha!

  45. I love your dedication to pasta, Joanne. 🙂

  46. Dana says:

    Whoo boy. This made me feel old. I saw that movie in the movie theatre probably 5 times, back when going to the movies was cheap. I loved it and so did everyone I know. I like your vegetables to pasta ratio here!

  47. Kristen says:

    I keep forgetting that I am OLD. Glad you finally have gotten to enjoy such a “classic”. Love the pasta combo, but love your technical term for carb loading much better.

  48. Reeni says:

    Love this veggie-packed pasta especially the tomatoes! I LOVE those movies!

  49. Natalie says:

    Haha when my boyfriend found out I’d never seen Back to the Future, he was appalled! I always thought they were some sort of weird science fiction movie, but then he made me watch them and I loved them! Now he just recently found out that I’d never had a Big Mac in my life and that’s his next mission .. not so sure he’ll be as successful at that one..

  50. Kim says:

    I’ve taken an instant liking to your boyfriend. The Back to the Future series is just epic…you gotta watch and love them! I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved those movies as a kid.

    Your pictures of this pasta are fabulous! I wanna eat it!

  51. Johanna GGG says:

    love the pasta and love to hear you are watching back to the future – such a great film – I saw a life sized statue of the Doc in a shop the other day and wondered who would have it in their house – crazy stuff!

  52. Deborah says:

    Ilove everything about this – except the goat cheese. But everything else – yes!!

  53. Tessa says:

    I am with you – it is so much easier to push myself when I’m training for a race. Trying to find myself a fall race right now to put on my horizon! The colors of this pasta dish look amazing. Perfect for pre (or post-) run glycogen storage 🙂

  54. This is still a healthy post-race carb fest! I tend to go a little more nuts after a race (for better or for worse…probably for worse). I totally scarfed down a burger at brunch after running just a 5K last Sunday. Almost a half marathon, right? 🙂

    In general though, I love pairing whole wheat pasta with a lot of healthy veggies. You still get the pasta, but with all the health benefits of veggies!

  55. Love your motivation! I’m dreading the 6-mile morning run tomorrow but it definitely helps to have that drive.

    As for back to the future, I watched those installments growing up but I’ll be honest with you – I don’t remember a damn thing and I sure as hell didn’t understand those movies. We were so young when those movies came out!

    And for the carb loading, you call it “post-marathon carb loading”. I call it “every day carb loading”! But thanks to your super healthified carb loading, my thighs are safe 🙂

  56. Epicurea says:

    very inspiring post, thanks for sharing your thoughts on motivation! plus as a devoted pasta-lover, this recipe is adorable.

  57. elly says:

    Yum. I’ve made a roasted asparagus and tomato pasta with shrimp in it before, but I like this version way better with the kale and of course the goat cheese. Can’t wait to give this one a try.

  58. Geni says:

    If this isn’t the way to carb load, then I don’t know what is. What a gorgeous plate of pasta and fresh spring veggies. I am all over this.

    I loved Back to the Future as a kid and then proceeded to play it on the DVD in my car when my kids were fairly young, forgetting how many times they say, “sh*t”. Then my 5 year old decided that “sh*t” was the word of the week. Good times.

  59. Hannah says:

    I usually think of mayo-drenched starchy messy when I think of pasta salad, but this is something I can get behind! Asparagus makes everything heavenly, but that salty/tangy olive/balsamic combo sounds delightful, too.

  60. Elizabeth says:

    I love the kind of noodles you used!

  61. Erica says:

    This salad is packed with flavor,Joanne!Beautiful colors!

  62. Claudia says:

    “How to use up your vegetables and have your pasta and eat it, too. Love everything in this.

  63. Ruth Daniels says:

    I love your philosophy about having a fitness goal… perhaps I’ll actually try that for myself. I certainly will be eating a bowlful of that fantastic looking pasta. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

  64. That Girl says:

    Wait. You’d never seen any of the Back to the Futures? Now I feel old.

  65. I get hungry every time I stop by to visit! Looks so good.
    You are only now meeting Marty McFly? Makes me feel so old.

  66. Oh this looks so good! We all love asparagus.Our son and daughter in law would really like this and our daughter doesn’t eat pasta but would love this recipe minus the pasta!

  67. Ooh that olive photo is really striking! Nice work 🙂

  68. Danielle says:

    I made something similar to this last week – I love the goat cheese and fresh veges in the pasta.

  69. Pam says:

    I think it’s cute that you two are watching Back to the Future! I am loving every single thing about this pasta… YUM!

  70. Holly says:

    I wish I had a big bowl of this right now. Sounds incredible!

  71. So many great ingredients in this dish! As for Back to the Future…liked it, but haven’t seen it since childhood! May have to rent it soon 🙂

  72. The photographs are very good. I detest asparagus, the rest of the recipe looks wonderful; perhaps I could substitute roasted, peeled broccoli stalks. You wouldn’t mind, would you?

  73. I love that movie. What a classic. I would love every last morsel of this pasta dish and feel good eating it!

  74. Sippity Sup says:

    Medically Necessary. I like that! GREG

  75. I love a good pasta salad! One of my favorite picnic foods. And anything with goat cheese is just a win 🙂

  76. Carolyn Jung says:

    I can’t get enough of asparagus in spring. And recipes like this one really make me wish it never goes out of season.

  77. Definitely a beautiful salad, with lots of color. I can’t adapt to goat cheese, unfortunately. But a feta substitute would round this out just right. Works for me!

  78. Beautiful!!!!
    WOW I am seeing asparagus everywhere.. so pretty…
    This pasta salad looks absolutely awesome… Light and Fresh with so many layers of texture and flavors…

  79. tigerfish says:

    I kept eating asparagus recently cos I keep seeing them! In fact, my dinner tonight was asparagus as a side to a pesto pasta! I should have just toss everything and call it salad :p

  80. Jeanette says:

    I love everything about this pasta salad – tomatoes and asparagus are such a nice Spring combination and herbes de Provence is one of my favorite spice mixes.

  81. Your so right, how can one stay active and motivated when just maintaining the status quo…wow that just really hit a bell. No wonder I’m having troubles staying motivated. I’m lacking goal….Thank you for that.

  82. I like your brother’s response! I love tomatoes so this pasta is a winner and I have everything but goat cheese. Should go get some so I can make this. Looks healthy and filling. I love pasta, but it has to be good enough so that I don’t feel too bad about eating carbs… I’m a carb-holic..sort of. Thanks for the recipe – can’t wait to try this soon!

  83. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, A delicious and healthy meal. Blessings, Catherine xo

  84. I would happily eat this any day of the week. It looks lovely.

  85. This looks so hearty and packed with veggies and good things. Delicious! 😉 Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week.

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