Asparagus and Pistachios

Asparagus…what is that? For that matter – vegetables? What are they? My eating habits haven’t been very good lately. I can’t remember the last time I ate something green. I’m ashamed of myself. I was on a zoodle kick for a while (zucchini noodles for those of you not in the know) so that was a positive thing. But somewhere over the last few weeks, probably since I had food poisoning last month, my fruit and vegetable intake has plummeted. Now that I think about it, I think my disinterest in vegetables started right around the time candy corn showed up in the stores. I’ll happily bypass the veggies to make room for candy corn. So when I came across this recipe for Asparagus & Pistachios, I figured it was time to put those green guys in my cart and bring them home with me.

Asparagus is cooked until crisp and green before being topped with a flavorful pesto made with pistachios, basil, parmesan, garlic, and lemon.  This pesto is thick and vibrant and, although not your typical pesto, full of flavor. I added a little extra olive oil to thin it out and really loved this pesto. Pistachio anything in general though is pretty much a sure thing with me. Pistachio ice cream? Absolutely. Pistachio pudding? Gimme. Pistachio pizza? Any day of the week. With additional pistachios providing a little crunch, this asparagus is a great new twist for those everyday spears. So I guess the only thing to say is… pistachio asparagus? I’m sold.

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In food processor, pulse 1/4 cup pistachios, basil, parmesan, garlic, and lemon until crumbly.

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In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add asparagus; cook 4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water; boil 2 minutes. Season.

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Top with pesto and remaining nuts.

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Additions:

  • More olive oil

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Chicken Verde Tacos

It was so nice to get up this morning to head to the gym and have it be chilly outside. Am I alone in this? Turning off the air conditioning and opening up my windows was such a good feeling. I actually think I heard my house sigh with relief. Temperatures like this make me want to bake muffins, put chili in the crockpot, throw some chicken in the oven and start a big batch of soup. And while I would love to spend my week doing just that, I have a lot of work to do so all that cooking will have to wait. Thankfully, there are many quick and easy recipes out there for us busy bees. These Chicken Verde Tacos seemed almost too easy. So much so that I didn’t think they would be very good. Boy was I wrong.

Pre-cooked rotisserie chicken is warmed with salsa verde and stuffed into a corn tortilla before being topped with a light cabbage slaw. So simple. Rotisserie chicken is a busy girl’s best friend and tacos never disappoint. The salsa verde adds all of the spicy flavor you come to expect in a taco and the cabbage slaw provides a fresh, creamy crunch. With this busy week, I’m happy to have leftovers in the fridge which can be heated up in no time for lunch or dinner. With another busy weekend coming up too, I’m not sure when I’ll get to doing all that Fall cooking I want to do. In the meantime, I’ll keep making quick and easy recipes like this as I’m sure most of you do too.

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Combine chicken and salsa in a saucepan over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

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Heat tortillas 20 seconds on each side over an open flame or according to directions. Combine cabbage and mayonnaise in a bowl; toss to coat.

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Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top with cabbage mixture.

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Additions:

  • Lime
  • Cilantro

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Sausage, Gravy, and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches

I’m so happy to be home. I was in Chicago two weeks ago for vacation, which was much needed, and in Atlanta last week for work. There is just something so nice about coming home to your own space, your own stuff, and your own bed. I went to bed so early last night that it’s embarrassing, especially since it was a Friday night. I woke up this morning feeling good (despite the fact I’m battling a head cold) and couldn’t wait to get back in my kitchen after two weeks away. Most people don’t think to spend their Saturday mornings cooking but it’s one of my favorite things to do. This morning I was so excited to make myself something new with these Sausage, Gravy, and Egg Breakfast Sandwiches.

English muffins are filled with turkey sausage, scrambled eggs, and a light gravy flavored with fresh thyme, garlic and onion powders, and cayenne pepper. This isn’t your ordinary breakfast sandwich. You aren’t going to find this at your local coffee drive-thru. I’m a bit of a sucker for turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches (Wawa Sizzlis are my FAVORITE!) so this was a nice healthier alternative. The best part in my opinion? The thyme in the gravy. The gravy makes this a bit of a messy sandwich but if you are eating them at home, who cares? Lick that gravy off your fingers because no one is watching. I’m heading to a tailgate tomorrow morning so I might just wrap one of these up and take it with me. No one at the tailgate will care if I lick my fingers either.

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Divide sausage into 6 equal portions; pat each portion into a 3-inch patty (about 1/4 inch thick). Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Transfer patties to a plate. Reserve drippings in pan.

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 Combine milk, flour, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and cayenne pepper, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add mixture to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 3 minutes or until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.

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Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add eggs; cook 4 minutes, stirring until curds form.

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Divide eggs evenly over bottom halves of muffins. Top each with 3 tablespoons gravy. Place 1 sausage patty and top half of muffin on each sandwich.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

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