Mushroom and Walnut Pasta and Time Squeezed

As you all know and have all been totally supportive, I’m time-starved this week but haven’t completely fallen in a heap and resorted to dialing up nightly takeaway, but I am looking for fast-food, that is, food I can quickly bring to the table.

Recently I discovered a great food blog from New Zealand called Strands of My Life.  I hopped across the Tasman this morning to see Suzanne’s latest post and it was for a quick and easy Pasta, Mushroom and Walnut Salad.  ‘That will do for dinner tonight’, I thought.

Pasta, Mushroom and Walnut Salad

Hop across to Strands of My Life for the recipe.  The only alteration I made was in changing the wheat pasta to spelt pasta omitting the parmesan cheese and yes, it’s all to do with that Arabella again.  She’s still having blood tests because of The Glange and last week I took her to the local medical centre for the test and she was seen by a doctor  we haven’t met before.  He took a look at her and said she has very dark circles under her eyes and needs to cut wheat and dairy products from her diet.  He said that as well as being a doctor he is a clinical dietician (or maybe clinical nutritionist – it’s hard to remember), and that she’d be a lot healthier if she cut out wheat and dairy.

A quick and fast mid-week meal

‘What about bread?’ asked a very shocked and confused Arabella.

‘What would you want to eat bread for?’ replied the doctor who might have a lot of knowledge but also a lot of arrogance.

‘So I can eat vegemite toast.’  (She left off, ‘…you idiot’.)

I said to him, ‘So you don’t eat any wheat or dairy?’

‘Do I look like I do?  You see all the men around my age with their big guts and bloated stomachs?  Do I look like that?  You know we are the only mammals to keep having milk after we’re weaned?  There’s absolutely no need for it once we’re weaned’.  We sat there speechless.

Vegetarian except for the bacon!

He would like Arabella to come back for a thorough consultation about diet and lifestyle.  She’s not so sure.  We were supposed to go back this afternoon for the results of the blood test.  Priorities in order, instead she’s having a spray tan.  I figured if there was anything seriously wrong with those tests he’d phone.

I’m not totally bucking against what he had to say so I’ve made this pasta with spelt instead of wheat.  I’m sure the doctor will be very pleased when I tell him about it because it’s wheat-free, dairy-free, caffeine-free, sugar-free and vegetarian.  I’m sure it passes the test.  Oh, except that as it doesn’t have the parmesan cheese I thought it might need a boost of flavour and added some crispy bacon to the pasta.  It was delicious!

Thanks Suzanne for your recipe!

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  1. I wouldn’t have liked that doctor either. Just because you have a degree doesn’t entitle you to talk down like that. The pasta looks wonderful even “doctored”. Off to see the real recipe now. 🙂

  2. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    I would be inclined not to return to a doctor with an attitude like that.

  3. Ooooooh yummy yummy. This would make such a great, filling and delicious vegetarian option too if we left the bacon out. Would def be happy with that. I love a good pasta salad that doesn’t just call for pasta with mayo lol. These look way yummier and healthy. Win!

  4. I have a serious, serious issue with the current (mis)conception that cutting out wheat and dairy is a magical cure for everything, particularly if no testing has been done. And this is me, who comes from a family with wheat and dairy intolerances and allergies, so you’d think I’d be all for it! 😛 But I do think these things need to be tested… end rant. Yummy food. Yay!

    • GourmetGetaway says:

      I thought the testing was a series of stool samples! Not dark circles under the yes! God I’ve had those since I had my first child!

      • Yes, stool samples have generally been more commonly used for testing for these things in my experience, although they do use blood tests as a preliminary for coeliac. However, the only true testing for coeliac is to eat a lot of wheat and then get a biopsy (again, I’m not a doctor though, so this has just been my experience 🙂 ), so… yeah. I’m rambling! 🙂

    • I’m with Hannah. I’m sick of everyone blaming gluten and dairy for everything. Now I do believe it could be the type of gluten and dairy! But enjoy your meal.

  5. P.S. And, yes, blood test, but allergy testing and bowel testing usually need to be done to really know… Teehee. Shut up Hannah! I think I sound cranky and annoying; I don’t mean to! Forgive me!

  6. I have yet to try spelt pasta, but I adore spelt bread so I’m guessing I would love it too. I’m not wheat intolerant but I do find myself bloaty after white bread. The Europeans eat a lot of bread. So I am too this week, hense the bloatiness!
    Hope you are well.

  7. Sweet Posy Dreams says:

    Seems like wheat is the popular fall guy ingredient these days. I am old enough to remember when dairy was good for you, then it wasn’t. Eggs were good for you, then they weren’t, now they kind of are again. And sweeteners? Who can keep up?

  8. kitchenriffs says:

    That’s a really nice recipe Suzanne put together. I, also, had noted it so I could make it later. That doctor sounds like a real pain. I’m with Hannah – medical science knows almost nothing about nutrition. Remember when eggs were the worst thing you could eat? Well, now they decided that was all wrong. Anyway, let’s not forget that 100 years ago most people were thinner and they ate quite a bit of wheat and dairy. They just ate less. It’s calories that give you “big guts and bloated stomachs” – eat too much of anything. Of course there are people who are allergic to wheat and dairy, and they shouldn’t eat it; but to make a blanket statement saying no one should eat wheat or dairy is not only arrogant, but bad science. Sorry to rant.

  9. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Nice recipe–nice blog from Suzanne. I am sure I’d get a second opinion before doing anything drastic with Arabella’s diet. This doctor sounds like he has one prescription for everyone without taking into consideration individual differences. There are lots of reasons why people are too fat in general and I suspect it has little to do with wheat or dairy specifically–unless the wheat is in too many cakes! Good luck, Charlie. Life is really piling it on you right now.

  10. That doctor sure sounds like a real prig and his dietary requirements ridiculous!
    On another note, I’m loving this delicious looking recipe and sounds like a nice blog to discover 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  11. yummychunklet says:

    Kudos for remaining committed to making dinner! Bravo!

  12. I’m running across more and more of these militant dietary gurus these days. Just had a long conversation with an anti-gluten advocate in the International grocery store today while I was picking up some black vinegar and fish sauce. They seem to enjoy taking the joy out of our daily meals. 🙂

  13. He recommended no wheat or dairy because of circles under her eyes?? She’d have digestive issues if she was intolerant of either…very odd. Anyway, this meal looks delicious regardless of what it’s lacking 😉

  14. Jed Gray (sportsglutton) says:

    The addition of bacon to just about anything is a welcome one…though I think I’d add back in the parm too! 🙂

  15. I’m amazed that the doctor looked at Arabella’s eyes and made a recommendation without any further testing. Did he consider that maybe she was having a big week and wasn’t getting enough sleep? Pasta looks delicious though!

  16. Thanks so much, Charlie for mentioning my blog and I am glad you made the recipe. We all enjoyed it heaps.
    As for cutting out wheat and dairy – why would you do that unless you were intolerant to it? And that requires tests as many commenters here have said. I went with the fad of anti-dairy many years ago and even cut it out of my tea. I now have bone density issues. I have started drinking it again and I have stopped the deterioration. I think we have to be very careful about cutting anything basic out of our diets unless it is proved we are intolerant to it.

  17. GourmetGetaway says:

    Dinner looks so good! You have done a fantastic job! Dr sounds like a quack though, I would have chosen the spray tan over a return visit too 😉

  18. thelifeofclare says:

    This looks so good! The doctor sounds like an arrogant pig! Of course she needs to eat vegemite on toast, what Aussie doesn’t!

  19. What a delicious recipe, Charlie. Your fast food is really tops! Do you have as many wheat-free, dairy-free options as it seems we do these days? It feels like this is the new craze for everyone to adopt. It might be sound wisdom, I have no idea, but I keep hearing friends tell me they’ve gone gluten-free, for instance, when they haven’t had one symptom of any problem. I guess I just normally adopt the idea of balance, unless there is sound reasoning. I hope you’ll share what you learn along the way if this progresses for Arabella. I’d trust your firsthand account more than just something I’m told from others who are more or less playing around with their diets. Looking forward to hearing what comes next in your energetic household! 🙂

  20. First of all I love the your pasta dish. Simple and delicious.
    Now for the last part, I think balance is a great way to go in every matter. This was a funny guy..

  21. I just hopped over to Suzanne’s blog 🙂 She definitely shares some great fast and health dinner recipes 🙂 Thanks for introducing me to her Charlie! I really respect and admire how you are still able to hand it together and STILL cook dinner hehe if it was for me, I think I would be ordering Pizza Hut Monday, Maccas Tuesday, KFC Wednesday, Subway Thursday and go out to eat at a proper restaurant Friday 😛

    Keep up the great work but please try to rest well and take care of yourself and not only your kiddies 😀 xox

  22. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes says:

    WOW does this look good!! I love the crunchy walnuts with the soft pasta 🙂

  23. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Wow what an arrogant man. I’m surprised Arabella left out the ‘you idiot’ line. I think it might have slipped off my tongue!
    I haven’t tried spelt pasta before but I remember having rice pasta when I was younger. Doc had my sister on a no wheat diet. I was not a fan!

  24. Suzanne is amazing. I am so happy to have met her through blogging. This meal looks fab.

  25. Oh, I love Suzanne’s blog, too…and I want this salad! That doc is lacking some on bedside manner…what a dolt!

  26. That does look like a great pasta dish. I’ll have to hop over and visit Suzanne’s blog. Hope the tan turned out okay!

  27. It’s twits like that doctor that make people think us real InTolerants are just whingers! Cutting out major dietary groups its not the answer to everything- I would certainly eat them if I could 🙂 I can certainly prove to you that a gluten free dairy free diet can be wonderfully interesting, inclusive and delicious- but not needed unless medically diagnosed properly!
    On a happier note, the flavours in that salad sound wonderful, and I bet it’s delicious however you choose to eat it 🙂

  28. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    I don’t doubt what the doctor is saying about Arabella’s diet BUT there is not a chance I would go back to a man with such a bad attitude! Plenty more doctors like him around – shake a tree and I am sure a dozen will fall out.
    Scrumity pasta – fabulous idea adding the bacon – it is a vegetable after all.
    🙂 Mandy

  29. I just had a look at Suzanne’s blog – what a great blog! Thanks for sharing, Charlie; I’ve emailed a few recipes to my work email so I can print them off tomorrow 🙂
    To be honest, I do agree with what that doctor says – it’s just that he said it in a douche-y way. I did go grain-free for two weeks and I reaped positive results (no bloating, weight loss, slept better, more energy) for quite a long time. I also found that the less sugar I consume, the better I feel. And this week, I’ve started cutting coffee from my morning routine. The first few days were a nightmare but I’m feeling a lot better now and my sleeping patterns are actually semi-normal (no more 1am weeknights!). Having said that, I do enjoy pasta, do appreciate a good coffee (and will get back on it when I’m ready, but will have it as a 1-2 times a month thing) and love bread 🙂 Moderation is the key.

  30. whats wrong with the doctor. the whole world loves wheat and dairy products…

    So u ll have to rethink your whole meal planning in your house? thats sucks, I wouldnt know anymore what to eat. Poor arabella, its horrible if u cant eat your fav. sandwich…

  31. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    That dietitian doctor does sound arrogant -I hate doctors like that. I had a dentist today that rubbed me the wrong way and I cancelled the next appt as I don’t need to be spoken to like a 12 year old lol

  32. I too am time-starved this week. That’s in the air? 😉 Meanwhile, didn’t you serve this at Saturday’s party? 🙂 … good luck to Arabella with her plight.

  33. Oh blah. I’ve got IBS and that’s the only reason I don’t eat dairy– i love it but it hates me. As far as wheat goes, I’ve done articles and talked to several doctors and nutritionalists. Its a trend, nothing more. Maybe she just needs more iron–lots of girls are anemic (I am.)

  34. says:

    Some doctors treat women and especially mothers like idiots. I am sure that when the other tests come back you could investigate the dark circles or maybe her formals will be over by then!

  35. This pasta salad looks great 🙂

  36. Henrietta says:

    Take away here Charlie 🙁 I’ve collapsed in that heap, not to mention the fumes from the spray tanned very nigerian looking daughter I have been driving willy nilly all over town ! You are my hero !! Hook me up with the doc, he sounds like a piece of work ! I have to see this guy ! Thanks for another hilarious post xxx

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