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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Blueberry Muffins with Lemon + Olive Oil

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It is fifty degrees here in New York City, and I thought this lovely temperature deserved some celebration! Plenty of winter still awaits, but for the moment, lets bring in the sunshine with these tasty treats! Great for a hearty breakfast on the go or with a mug of hot tea, the lemon gives off a nice little zest and there are so many blueberries in each and every bite you can’t help but smile. ūüôā

~ Recipe below ~

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Blueberry Muffins with Lemon + Olive Oil ~ adapted from cannellevanille

1 cup oat flour*

3/4 cup millet flour

1/2 cup buckwheat flour*

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp lemon zest (I made them heaping teaspoons)

1/2 cup natural cane sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh blueberries (I used frozen here)

*The original recipe calls for 1 cup brown rice flour and 1/2 cup almond flour. I used what I had on hand and thought they still came out very tasty but I would recommend trying these as well)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl combine the lemon zest and sugars and rub them together with your hands to release the oils, it smells wonderful! Add the 2 eggs and whisk until combined. Add the pure vanilla extract, olive oil and coconut milk and mix until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined as well, lastly mix in the blueberries.

Spoon the batter into your paper lined tin. I like to fold my parchment paper into cups, though you have to hold the paper in place until you fill it with the batter. Sprinkle a little bit of natural can sugar on top.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You may have to bake the muffins for longer depending on the size of your muffin molds.

Let them cool before eating and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. They taste great the next morning after being warmed up for 20 seconds in the microwave.

~ Enjoy ~

Pear, Speculoos, Oat & Lemon Zest Muffins

A Star Muffin.

A tasty combination of awesome in one compact muffin. Are you ready?

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This is a time for warmth and comfort. For flavors that and a little heat and zing to your average ho hum day. As January comes to a close Spring begins its slow creep forward from the shadows. Their is a smell of hope in the air..it may be slight..and disappear at times like tonight when the weather drops down below freezing again..but alas it exists. With the combination of cinnamon, pear, lemon and that magical concoction known as speculoos you are sure to jump right out of bed in the morning just to have a bite.

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Pear, Speculoos, Oat & Lemon Zest Muffins

makes 10 small muffins or 6 large muffins

1 pear, diced (roughly a cup)

1 large egg

1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water)

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3.5 tbsp coconut oil

2 heaping tbsp speculoos spread

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup millet flour

1/4 cup brown rice flour/almond flour mix

1/2 cup oats, plus more for topping

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 heaping tsp ground cinnamon

pinch of sea salt

zest of 1/2 an organic lemon

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix the flax and water and set aside (for 5-10 minutes). In a Large bowl combine the millet, brown rice and almond flours, oats, the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, flax egg, vanilla extract, coconut oil (make sure the coconut oil is not solid), light brown sugar, and speculoos spread until fully combined with no lumps. Stir the lemon zest into the wet ingredients last. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir, once combined gently stir in the diced pear. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with parchment paper and fill with batter. Sprinkle muffin tops with extra oats before placing in oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. If you decided to make 6 larger muffins they will need more baking time, at least 30-35 minutes.

~ Enjoy, and as always..stay warm ~

Sweet Citrus Acorn Squash with Ginger & Honeyed Goat Cheese

Have you had enough squash yet? I admit I’m about ready to give it a rest for a while..BUT this, this is something differnt. A fresh look on squash with a citrus zing. Butternut squash is the new soup staple, from spicy purees to stuffed ravioli it’s everywhere. However there are many other varieties out there just waiting for your love and care! Welcome acorn squash.

I went for a sweet take with hints of citrus and ginger topped with a soft honeyed goat cheese. Now don’t be scared, but you can eat the skin. When cooked long enough it becomes soft and gives the dish an earthy flare.

Sweet Citrus Acorn Squash with Ginger & Honeyed Goat Cheese

One acorn squash, sliced

1 tbsp olive oil + extra for drizzle

1/2 tsp ground ginger

zest of one lemon

juice of half a lemon

ground sea salt

1 tsp dark muscavado sugar

sesame seeds

8 ounces of honeyed goat cheese (regular is fine)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half, remove the seeds, then slice and set aside. In a bowl whisk together all ingredients except sesame seeds, salt, and goat cheese. Lay the squash out in a pan or baking dish (grease if necessary) Pour sauce over the squash, grind a little sea salt on top and bake for around 30 mins or longer. When the squash is cooked through and the edges are beginning to brown they should be done. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with the honeyed goat cheese.

I was able to find honeyed goat cheese at my local grocer, to make it yourself simply stir honey to taste into a soft goat cheese.

I ate this simply with a salad but it would make a wonderful side dish.

Red Cabbage Summer Salad with Roasted Walnut Oil

As rain dances were invented in the hopes of bringing rain, this salad was concocted in the spirit of Spring. May it bring to you warm weather and soon.

I feel sorry for red cabbage. It does not get the glory and honor it deserves. As a child, in my lovely school cafeteria, I would always pick this usually stringy vegetable out of my salad. Why would anyone want this squiggly purple stuff messing up a perfectly good meal of iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing, right?! Even when working as a waitress in college we were instructed to leave it out when preparing salads (bags of it would be included with the lettuce). Where does all the red cabbage of the world go?? Thanks to a new found interest in vegetables of all kinds, and a little lemon zest, I am proud to say red cabbage has found a new place in my heart.

¬†While walking through my neighborhood market I spotted a box full of these crazy purple orbs. I continued walking by. Stopped. Turned around… and walked back. Don’t you love those moments. They were eye catching, a real beauty. A color so deep, so rich, there is no way they can’t be tasty. Throwing my doubts of cabbage and anything slaw related out the window I put one in the shopping basket. Summer slaw for dinner.

Spring came to New York. It teased us for a few days. A few days. Everyone was outside, flooding the streets and parks, in sun-dresses and sunglasses. Then right as I was settling into the idea of beaches, fruit¬†sorbet, and drinks with cute garnishes the weather plunged back into the 40’s. I refuse to accept this. In rebellion I made this salad. It brings the feeling of summer to your tongue at least! I also am continuing to wear open-toe shoes and no stockings. I am cold and stubborn and hope that, combined with this salad, rays of sunshine grace us once more. I recommend if you still live somewhere with winters chill just trying the salad.

Red Cabbage Summer Salad

zest and juice of one lemon

1 tbsp + 2 tsp roasted walnut oil

sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste – I use pink Himalayan salt

1/2 head chopped red cabbage, thinly sliced

2 green onions chopped, diced

2 large carrots ribboned

sesame seeds

thinly sliced radishes (use as many or few as you like)

In a small bowl add lemon juice, zest and walnut oil. Whisk with a fork and set aside. In a large bowl toss cabbage, carrot ribbons, radish slices and chives. Add dressing and sprinkle in sesame seeds, at least 1 tbsp. Toss. Garnish with lemon slices and sesame seeds and serve immediately! If you are making this ahead of time save the dressing for last. Whisk together the ingredients and toss right before eating, the fresh lemon flavor dulls overnight in the fridge.

Apple Tarts

Apple Tarts

I picked up the cookbook, La Tartine Gourmande, a couple weeks ago and am obsessed. I am constantly finding myself flipping through its beautiful pages wondering what I will make next. I have mentioned this before but this book speaks to me, I am in love with everything from the recipes to the images. The one recipe I couldn’t wait to try is Bea’s take on the apple tart. With a strong taste of lemon, spicy ginger, walnuts, and sweet pink lady apple on a thin crumbly crust there is no way one can go wrong.

As spring approaches I am finding myself cooking more with apples and roots, funny the foods you can crave sometimes. I Experimented with a celeriac apple soup earlier this week with hints of sweet potato (also inspired from La Tartine Gourmande)

But lets get back to these delicious tarts. They are supposed to be made into a larger size, so the apple can be fully fanned out. Is anyone else an admirer of fanned food? You can slice almost any ingredient paper thin, fan it out on a plate, and you are instantly a food style master. Try it sometime. Due to a lack of baking supplies I ended up baking my tarts in various sized muffin tins. I thoroughly enjoyed ending up with a large plate full of mini-apple-tartlets.

Apple Tarts ~ {From La Tartine Gourmande, Recipes for an Inspired Life}

I ended up using more almond flour and less sugar. I highly recommend picking up this book…Even if just to make a plate full of apple-tartlets.

Blueberry Lemon Ginger Compote

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals of the day. Savory to sweet the options are endless.

This weekend it was a blueberry, lemon and ginger compote over plain yogurt.

1 cup blueberries

2 tsp honey

1/8 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

rind of half a lemon

half the juice of a half a lemon.

In a small saucepan over low-medium heat add 1 cup blueberries (I used frozen, not sure on the result with fresh yet), honey, ginger, lemon rind, and lemon juice. If you like things sweet add another tsp or two of honey, this would also be wonderful with fresh grated ginger. Once sauce starts to bubble turn off the heat and let cool a minute. Spoon over tart plain yogurt and top with toasted nuts for a delicious breakfast any day.

Keep extra sauce in the fridge, I ended up using it on bread the next day.

Cheers to another week ~