New Favorite

Spring Bliss Bowls

Spring Bliss Bowls are so yummy that I made it twice within two weeks. There were so many ‘wows’ in this recipe. Wow, I have NEVER used pesto on rice…it’s amazing! Wow, I’ve NEVER roasted radishes…they are delicious! I roasted all vegetables on the same cookie sheet and it worked fine. You can also add protein such as sliced chicken breast if you like. If you don’t like the vegetables in the recipe, change it up. Any combination of vegetables will be great. Go for it!

SPRING BLISS BOWLS

INGREDIENTS:

serves 4

1 cup short grain brown rice
extra virgin olive oil
seasoned salt and pepper
10oz. bag cauliflower florets, trimmed into similar sized florets
3 small golden beets, trimmed, peeled and chopped
1 bunch radishes, trimmed then halved or quartered if large
1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed then chopped into 2” lengths
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto, divided (recipe recommends Buitoni-I used my homemade pesto)
2 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line two half sheet pans with foil, spray with nonstick spray, and set aside. (I used one cookie sheet vs. two).
  • Add brown rice plus 1-3/4 cup water, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of seasoned salt to a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid. (Refer to the cooking instructions on your particular bag.) Bring to a boil then place a lid on top, turn heat down to low, and gently simmer for 40 minutes. Taste – if rice is still crunchy, add 2 Tablespoons water then continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pot from heat then let sit
    and steam with the lid on for 7 minutes before fluffing and cooling slightly. Once slightly cooled, stir in 1/3 cup pesto.
  • Meanwhile, add cauliflower to a medium-sized bowl then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with seasoned salt and pepper. Spread onto one half of the first sheet pan then oil/season beets in the same bowl and spread onto the other half. Roast for 15 minutes then stir.
  • While the cauliflower and beets are roasting, oil/season the radishes then spread out onto one half of the second sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes with the beets/cauliflower then stir. Add oiled/seasoned asparagus to the remaining empty half of the second sheet pan then roast with all the other vegetables for 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Breakdown of cooking times: Cauliflower/beets: 35 minutes. Radishes: 20 minutes. Asparagus: 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining 1/4 cup pesto to a small dish with chicken or vegetable broth then stir to combine.
  • Scoop pesto rice into four bowls then top each bowl with a quarter of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with pesto sauce then top with 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds, if using, and serve.
  • For Meal Prep: Let all components cool then portion into containers, cover, and refrigerate. Microwave for 1-1:30 minutes or until warm then eat.
  • Notes
    I like to keep each vegetable separated in case they cook quicker or slower than the other vegetables.

Recipe adapted from IowaGirlsEats

Garden · Gluten Free · New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Spring Garden Vegetable Soup

Can you tell I’m in the mood for spring? My past two recipes have been all about it! This Spring Garden Vegetable Soup has also been in my ‘must make’ stack.  I like the versatility of this recipe, easily adapting to Vegan or Vegetarian (using vegetable stock and omitting the cream and chicken) and it is Gluten-Free.

This soup is light and, oh, so healthy.  Daughter Sarah served a small bowl to 10-month old grandson, Evan, and he really liked it!  I served the soup with the not-so-healthy baked Red Lobster Biscuits (which Evan DEVOURED) but a hearty whole-grain bread would be wonderful paired with this soup.

SPRING GARDEN VEGETABLE SOUP with ASPARAGUS, ARTICHOKES, PEAS & SPINACH


6 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
4-6 cups water (to reach desired thickness)
1 tablespoon butter
1 leek, cut into half circles
2 ribs celery, trimmed and cut into half-inch thick pieces on the diagonal
3 carrots, trimmed and cut into half-inch thick pieces on the diagonal
1 15-ounce can artichoke bottoms, tough bits sliced off and discarded, remaining parts cut into lengths
16 ounces frozen artichoke hearts (from Trader Joe’s)
8 ounces asparagus, woody ends snapped off, skin pared off if tough, spears cut into one-inch lengths, tips set aside
8 ounces frozen peas
8 ounces frozen spinach
Generous salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon tarragon
Cream to taste (1/4-1/2 cup)
Optional: 2-3 cups chopped chicken
  • In a large pot, melt the butter. Add the leek, stir to coat with butter and let cook until just soft.
  • Add the celery and carrots to the pot, stirring to coat with butter and cooking until soft.
  • Add the artichoke bottoms, artichoke hearts and asparagus lengths (leave the tips aside).
  • Add the stock and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a slow simmer until all the vegetables are cooked through. (Optional: Add cooked chicken at this point).
  • Stir in the asparagus tips, peas and spinach and let cook through. Add water to reach desired thickness.
  • Taste, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in cream to taste. Best if left to rest for 24 hours before serving.

Recipe adapted from ALANNA’s TIPS

New Favorite · Skinny · Vegan · Vegetarian

Asparagus Tapenade…almost Springtime treat!

Tender stalks of asparagus at the store are a sign that Spring is upon us (or at least we hope it is). This recipe for Asparagus Tapenade has been in my stack of ‘must try’ recipes for a long time.  I wish I could remember where the recipe came from so I could give proper credit.

Asparagus Tapenade is a great recipe for anyone, but is a tasty treat for those practicing a Vegan or Vegetarian diet.

I served the Tapenade with vegetables and bits of bread.  It was great with both but I LOVED it on artisan bread. 

ASPARAGUS TAPENADE

1 pound asparagus (thick spears work fine)
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil or fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, optional
1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper
Additional salt and pepper to taste
  • Bring pan of water to boil over high heat.
  • Rinse and trim ends from asparagus, then cut in 1 – 2 inch pieces.
  • Add asparagus to water, return water to boil, reduce heat to medium. Cook until just soft and still bright green, about three minutes. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium high, stirring occasionally, watching carefully to avoid burning.
  • Add remaining ingredients to a food processor. Add toasted pine nuts and cooked asparagus. Pulse until thoroughly blended but still roughly chopped.
  • Transfer to clean container and refrigerate until fully chilled. Serve with crackers, vegetables and/or on crostini/bread.

 

New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Lemon Asparagus…Springtime treat!

What is spring without fresh asparagus?  Asparagus and fresh lemon and a drizzle of good olive oil and, voila, you have lemon asparagus!

Healthy, easy, yummy!

LEMON ASPARAGUS

One pound fresh asparagus
One lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
sprinkle of sea salt

  • Thinly slice the lemon.  Arrange in one flat layer on a baking sheet.
  • Toss the asparagus with the olive oil until evenly coated.
  • Arrange asparagus over the lemon slices.  Sprinkle with salt.
  • Broil for approx 6 minutes (in our oven) or until asparagus spears get a few browned and crispy areas.

Recipe from two-tarts.com

New Favorite · Skinny · Vegetarian

Asparagus with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

My first recollection of asparagus was slimy canned asparagus served with school lunches.  Yuck!  My Mother would occasionally gather wild asparagus in the spring, but it was not a regular visitor to our home dinner table.

As an adult, I’ve learned to love asparagus and the many ways it can be prepared. I ran across this recipe AND I had all of the ingredients.  This recipe is so simple and quite elegant.  Tonight I paired it with salmon, always a wonderful combination.

Next time I try this recipe, I may use chopped pecans for a little different twist.

ASPARAUS WITH CRAISINS AND PINE NUTS

1 bunch asparagus
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/3 up dried cranberries (Craisins)
pinch of salt

  • Break off or trim the woody ends from the asparagus and discard. Set the spears aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Stir in the pine nuts, cranberries, and salt.
  • Cook and stir until the pine nuts start to look translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Add the asparagus spears to the skillet and cook, adding a little more olive oil if needed, until stalks are bright green and tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  • Serve on a platter and top with the cranberries and pine nut mixture.

Adapated from allrecipes.com, Asparagus with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

 

New Favorite · Skinny

Asparagus Goat Cheese Omelettes…indulging skinny style

Spring is just around the corner and while I really don’t care about swimsuit season, I do care about looking and feeling better and looking ‘fabulous’ for daughter Sarah’s summer wedding.

While I love to indulge in wonderful foods, I find that a healthy, Mediterranean style diet works well for me.  I tried this recipe and loved it.  Fresh asparagus and goat cheese with protein…a winner!  Each omelette only has 180 calories, an extra bonus.

ASPARAGUS GOAT CHEESE OMELETTES

1 cup liquid egg substitute or egg whites
4 eggs
1/4 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons chopped scallions or red onions
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons crumbled reduced fat goat cheese

  • Whisk together egg substitute, eggs, and milk. Stir in the scallions, thyme, parsley, pepper and salt.
  • Place the asparagus in a microwaveable bowl and add water. Cover with waxed paper and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave 2 additional minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  • Heat a medium nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Pour one-quarter of the egg mixture into the skillet, allowing it to cover the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the bottom just begins to set. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon goat cheese and one-quarter of the asparagus. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the eggs are almost set.
  • Using a large spatula, fold the omelet in half. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the omelet is golden and the cheese is melted. Turn onto a plate and keep warm.
  • Coat the skillet with cooking spray and repeat for 3 additional omelettes. Garnish with chives, pieces of asparagus or goat cheese.

Adapted from South Beach Diet Cookbook

Family · Family Favorites · New Traditions

Fancy Schmancy Asparagus…simple crowd pleaser!

A dear friend introduced me to this dish a few years ago.  The asparagus is elegant enough for a nice dinner party yet casual enough for an appetizer or family side dish. People will ‘ooh and aah’ at the presentation and keep coming back for more.

We are coming into fresh asparagus season and a perfect time to try this recipe.

Fancy Schmancy Asparagus

This dish is best served fresh from the oven.  Enjoy this favorite dish enjoyed by family and friends.

FANCY SCHMANCY ASPARAGUS

1 pound fresh asparagus
1 tube refrigerated crescent rolls
Garlic salt

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease large baking sheet.
  • Wash and trim fresh asparagus and dry on paper towels.
  • Open crescent rolls and separate dough into four squares. On a cutting board, cut dough into strips of about 1/8-1/4″.
  • Wrap one strip of dough around each piece of asparagus and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with garlic salt.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until dough is light brown.
  • Serve immediately.