Asparagus with Lemon, Chile + Mint

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~ Recipe Below ~

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Asparagus is here. Flooding local markets everywhere. It looks so fresh, bright, green and crisp that you can hardly look away! So when thinking of how to prepare mine I thought this recipe would be perfect. Half way through cooking I realized a grill pan was needed, If only I could read the recipe through before diving in. Being grill pan-less I roasted mine in the oven instead. It was still delicious and I may even dare say a bit too lemony. If you are in possession of a grill pan you should definitely give it a go. Grilling always ads a nice flavor to vegetables and I have a feeling mellows out the tartness of the lemon a bit.

Once you have finished eating a lunch solely consisting of spicy, lemony asparagus keep the leftovers in the fridge. I chopped up the rest later on for a fabulous pasta dinner. Mix the chopped asparagus with a cooked pasta of choice and add in a splash of olive oil and grated parmesan. Grill, or roast, and enjoy! ~

Asparagus with Lemon, Chile + Mint ~ Adapted from the What Katie Ate cookbook

Fine salt

10 oz Asparagus spears, ends trimmed

Small bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

zest and juice of 1 lemon, recommended in thin strips (I did a few then used a grater on the rest)

A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Olive oil

Grated parmesan and lemon wedges to serve

Half fill a pot with cold water and add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Add in the asparagus and cook for two minutes. Remove and drain, then place the asparagus to a bowl of ice cold water for five minutes. Drain again and pat dry. In a small bowl mix the mint, lemon zest and juice, red pepper flakes and a little salt and freshly grated black pepper. Remember that the parmesan is salty so you will only need a very small pinch of salt.

For the grill pan-less:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the asparagus in an oven safe dish and pour the mint mixture over. Toss to coat. Then roast in the oven for 12 to 18 minutes. Maybe less time depending on your oven. Until the asparagus is warm. I’m sure placing them on a lined baking sheet would also work well.

For the grill pan-ers:

Heat your grill pan over high heat until smoking. Spray with a little oil then add the asparagus. Turn the heat down to medium and add half of the mint mixture. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the asparagus is lightly charred, then turn over the asparagus and add the remaining mint mixture. Once the other side is cooked transfer the asparagus to a serving dish and add any mint mixture left on the grill pan.

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Broccoli Pomegranate Yogurt Salad

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I’m back! And hopefully I will remain so. Life has been busy but I have missed being on here. This side dish is the perfect healthy accompaniment to all the holiday food surrounding you. Its vibrant colors of red and green make it a festive, crunchy, sweet, tasty treat!

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I am still trying to master the art of removing the seeds from a pomegranate. Do you have any tried and true tricks up your sleeve? The hitting with a wooden spoon method hasn’t been very successful yet. I still tear into it in chunks and remove all the seeds with my fingers…

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Broccoli Pomegranate Yogurt Salad – from Vegetarian Everyday

2 heads of broccoli

1 small red onion (or 1/2 of a large onion) finely minced

seeds of one pomegranate

1 and 1/4 cup of raisins

1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 cup plain yogurt

sea salt and pepper

Wash your broccoli and chop into small, bite-sized, pieces. Finley slice the stalk pieces as well. Place in a large bowl along with the finely minced red onion, raisins, and sunflower seeds. Toss to combine (I used my hands to mix this, even with the yogurt) add the yogurt and toss again. Mix in the pomegranate seeds last to prevent any from bursting. Finish with salt and pepper to taste and serve! Yum!

Seared Shishito Peppers with Pink Sea Salt

Years ago when visiting New York  I had a plate of these light and mild peppers as an appetizer. They taste wonderful with a little sprinkling of sea salt and you can never just have one. On a trip to the Union Square Market a few weeks back I stumbled upon a huge basket of these and couldn’t wait to make that tasty dish of years past. So simple to make..they transform any ordinary meal to an extraordinary one. But let’s get back to New York just for a quick second. Have you ever dealt with moving in this city? What a hassle….hence my absence on here….I don’t want to move in Manhattan again for a good long long while…

Seared Shishito Peppers with Pink Sea Salt

A large bag of Shishito peppers

coconut oil (or oil of choice)

sea salt

In a large pan heat a tbsp or so of oil over medium-high heat. The amount of oil depends on the size of the pan, you want the bottom to be well coated. Once the oil is hot drop the peppers in and let them cook for a minute or two per side. Be careful of popping oil. Once they are cooked remove from the pot, pat dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediatley. Use these lovely peppers as an appetizer or serve with your meal, would pair well with meat and rice.

You could also cook these in the oven, tossed with a little oil before hand.

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Baby Bok Choy with Lemon & Garlic

Bok choy is amazing…but baby bok choy….that is a whole new level of vegetable. They are tender, light and crisp. Pairing beautifully with lemon and roasted to perfection they make a great side dish. Eat over rice, top with a fried egg, I even threw them in a salad the next day.

Lemon Roasted Baby Bok Choy

around 6 baby bok choy

juice of one lemon

coconut oil

1 garlic clove, minced

ground ginger

chili flakes

salt and ground pepper

I did not measure exact amounts for this dish, so feel free to use as many baby bok choy as you like. Trim the ends off of the bok choy, peel the leaves apart and rinse (don’t trim off the inner stalk). Put the bok choy in a baking dish. Pour in the lemon juice, drizzle with coconut oil, add a few good dashes of ground ginger, the minced garlic, a small pinch of chile flakes and salt & pepper. Toss until everything is evenly coated.

Cook at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes. You can turn the bok choy over once or twice while cooking. You just want to make sure the leaves don’t turn crispy.

Kale chips ~ you have my heart and soul.

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ALL SUMMER I waited. And waited. It felt like I was living in limbo – a world after graduation and before your first career choice, whatever it turns out to be. Stuck somewhere between the concrete and the unknown I felt like it might never end. And then it all changed within a span of two weeks, funny how things work. Long story short I have moved from Georgia to New York. A very drastic change to say the least, though people do say they never took me for a true Southerner. This may be a shocker but I have never been a fan of fried chicken, biscuits, and sweet tea so my departure can’t have surprised all that many. I am very excited to be in a city with every type of ingredient you can imagine and hope the future posts begin to reflect it. I am sad to leave loved ones but look forward to all the adventures that lay ahead!

And now this is where the kale, a vegetable I feel does not get the recognition it deserves, comes into play. When first being considered for this position in NY I had gone up to Atlanta for a weekend of dancing. Swing dancing. The one thing I thought would always be my number one. Then while eating dinner with family my last night there we decided to try something different. My Aunt was describing how no one in her house will ever eat cauliflower, but if she tosses it with a little olive oil and seasoning and bakes it…..there is never a morsel left. Upon hearing this I realized this is how all those raving food bloggers make kale chips. That very second we decided to make them ourselves and see what all the hype was about.

Needless to say it was AMAZING! The smell alone…….. I wanted to take the entire three baking sheets of kale, pour them into a large bowl, and run off. God save the person who tried to take even a piece away from me…

You have no excuse not to try these crispy and nutritious treats! But beware: You better make enough!

First you must exert great amounts of patience as you wash, pat dry, then proceed to shop the kale into bite size pieces. Depending on the type of kale you are using the lower/thicker part of the stem can be discarded, I have found sometimes that it can remain a bit chewy. OR you can go the easier route by purchasing a large bag of already washed and chopped kale. Oh modern marvels.

Once you have all you kale chopped and ready to go spread it out evenly on a large baking sheet. drizzle with olive oil, or oil of choice, remember a little goes a long way. Sprinkle with salt. Toss, by tossing you end up giving the pan a good coat. Then bake at 325 for around 12 minutes or until crispy.

As you take your first delicious taste of a kale chip any misconception you might have had will dissapear. Angels up above will sing. And it will take immense effort to offer the rest of the batch out to lucky onlookers.

Kale chips will quickly become one of your top favorites AND you can really get a bit creative with them too. I like sprinkling parmesan cheese on top right before I put them in the oven. I’m sure other cheeses would be amazing, or maybe even something spicey? No matter the flavor one thing is for sure. North or South I will always love my kale chips 🙂

Refreshing Mexican Salad

Summer is in the air ~

And I am ready. Ready for the colors, the sun, and most of all – the produce. This recipe is a perfect example of how to incorporate all of these things in one dish. The star ingredient in this salad is the lime, it takes the show…I find myself making this dish a lot throughout the winter months to create a small bit of warmth. But no longer will I have to pretend, so put on your short shorts and get ready to refresh your taste buds with this salad!

This recipe is very versatile, what you put in can vary to take advantage of whatever you have on hand.

First off is chopping fresh veggies. I used a yellow and orange bell pepper though next time I would use red and green. The yellow tends to be a bit sweet.

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Then put the chopped peppers and onion in a large mixing bowl

Drain and rinse beans, three cans of what ever your fancy [black bean, pinto, cannellini, great northern, kidney] and throw in the bowl.

Next is a bag of frozen corn, I usually make this dish within 30 mins of eating and always enjoy how the frozen corn gives that extra chilly factor but canned corn would work just as well. Add large amounts of cilantro and the dressing, then mix and serve, or cover and leave in fridge until ready.

Refreshing Mexican Salad

3 cans of beans [black bean, cannellini, pinto, great northern, kidney] drained and rinsed

2 bell peppers – chopped

1 medium red onion – chopped

1 bag frozen corn

Bunch of cilantro

for the dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

1 clove minced garlic

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tbsp black pepper

1/2 tsp chili powder

I recommend tasting as you add the salt and sugar, you may not need all of it.  Then season with hot sauce afterward if desired.

 

Vegetable Broccoli Soup

Of the best variety.  You know, the knock your socks off variety of vegetable soup.

During the past week, winter finally struck the south.  Down to 20 degrees, and in the teens in the early morning.  This is crazy cold to me.  crazycrazycrazy.

SO. I present to you:  Vegetable Broccoli Soup ~

about 2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 large yellow onion

2 large to medium potatoes

2 medium sized carrots

2 stalks of celery

1 can of corn {or frozen}

8 cups of broccoli

8 cups of broth of choice

2-4 cups fresh spinach

1/2 milk of choice

garlic powder to taste

salt and pepper to taste

cheese 🙂

Serves at least 8

First things first.  Chop up the onion, nothing neat…as long as it in in random sized chunks and pieces you are more then good {!}

Cover the bottom of a large {tall} pot with olive oil.  Roughly 2 tbsp.  Add onion and cook on low to med heat for about 5 -8 minutes.  Until onion is soft.

Example of large hearty soup pot

While the onion cooks go ahead and chop up the two potatoes.

And the celery and carrots.  I used a bunch of baby carrots for a lack of larger ones.

Add chopped potatoes, carrots, and celery to the pot.  Give a good stir.  With a rustic wooden spoon if you prefer.

Add garlic, the 8 cups of broth {I used chicken but would have normally used vegetable}, the corn, and the 8 cups of broccoli {I used frozen broccoli}.  Give a good stir.

Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for about ten minutes.  Potatoes and broccoli should be tender and cooked through.  Since I made this in the morning I turned the heat off after about 10 minutes and let the soup cool down a bit before blending.

Since this is a family sized recipe you can cut it in half for smaller portions.  A hand blender probably would have been a smarter option, but instead I blended it in my regular blender in three batches.  Pouring into a large metal bowl as I emptied the pot.  Yes.  I had a a lot of time on my hands on this cold winter morning.  OR I was avoiding having to brave the outdoors. . .

As I blended each bath I would leave room at the top and add a few handfuls of the spinach.  Do this all three times.  Blend completley.  Then put in fridge if your are serving later.  If you are serving immedietly, pour all the blended soup back in the pot and heat on low to medium heat.

Add the 1/2 cup of milk.  Stir.  Garlic powder to taste.  Salt and pepper to taste.  And a large handful or two of cheese if desired.  When hot everything is ready to serve.

Topped with cheese and a garlic hot sauce.

In all honesty.  Some of the BEST soup.  I.  Have.  Ever.  Ever.  Had.

Now GO.  Go and keep yourself warm and out of the cold with some soup<3

Green Garlic Goddess Hummus

In the midst of all my bread-making, I mean packing for France, that I am in the middle of I realized that their was NO hummus in the house.  This was also the time that I realized I must have some with lunch tomorrow.  No surprise.  So I searched for some recipes and was about to give up when I discovered the pantry’s lack of tahini….  Then I found this fabulous recipe on the broccoli hut site for a goddess hummus that used goddess dressing in place of tahini, and yes I always have some of that on hand 😉

Green Garlic Goddess Hummus ~
1 cup cooked chick peas
1-2 tbsp Annie’s Goddess dressing [add more to taste if needed]
1.5 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
handful of Spinach
salt – to taste
a few dashes of garlic tabasco.
Blend together in a food processor.  Enjoy 😉

I multiplied this recipe about 3 to 4 times to have a large enough batch for the next few days.  So much better then store bought!