Tag Archives: asparagus

Asparagus with Red Pepper and Manchego

I might as well chalk my diet up to a lost cause this week. I only have two more days at my current job and I can’t help but take advantage of my favorite Philadelphia eats (like the obsessive chicken over rice from the Halal food truck on the corner, the peanut butter cup popcorn at Go Popcorn, and the chicken tinga tacos at El Vez) while I still work downtown. Since I’ll be moving to Atlanta, I’m trying to get this great food in while I still can (luckily Go Popcorn ships nationwide!). While my taste buds are in heaven, my belly is feeling like a fat puffy gray cloud. Since I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a bite of anything green, it’s time to make some veggies. Both asparagus and red peppers were on sale at the grocery store this past weekend so this Asparagus with Red Pepper and Manchego seemed like the perfect recipe to make in between my not-so-healthy meals.

Asparagus is cooked with red pepper slices, smoked paprika, salt and pepper before being topped with thin shavings of buttery Manchego cheese. Amazing! The asparagus is perfectly crisp, the red pepper is slightly sweet and the smoked paprika is a smoky little cherry on top. Smoked paprika is my favorite thing in my kitchen but I’d never considered using it to jazz up some vegetables. I knew I would like this recipe because what’s not to like but I seriously didn’t expect to inhale it the way I did. This doesn’t feel like a side dish but a healthy little meal in itself. It may not be Halal’s chicken over rice but I think it’s a new obsession.

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Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add canola oil; swirl to coat. Add asparagus; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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Add bell pepper, paprika, black pepper, and salt; cook 2 minutes.

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Top with Manchego cheese.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

I noticed a funny thing that happens after I’ve been eating healthy: when I eat something bad, I feel like crap. I have been pretty into eating vegetables lately (which has never happened in my life) and have been craving them.  So after eating multiple veggies for days, I then ate something full of sugar and who-knows what else which resulted in me feeling the worst I’d felt all week.  I felt tired and I got an irritating headache. Hmm…wake up call? The truth is, I’ve come to this realization before but the bad stuff just tastes so darn good!  I’m hoping one of these days it actually settles in and prevents me from eating the bad stuff in the first place. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying some springtime veggies, including this Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes.

Bright grape tomatoes and garlic are cooked in olive oil until soft and tender before being tossed with a little balsamic vinegar.  The mixture then tops fresh asparagus that has been boiled until bright green and crisp. Goat cheese (if you prefer) can be added for another layer of flavor but I left it out. With asparagus now in season, this a great recipe to have on hand when you get tired of eating it steamed and plain but still want something healthy. Double this batch and it would make for a great seasonal side dish at Easter this Sunday.

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Cook asparagus in boiling water 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain.

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Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt.

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Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper (if desired).

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Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Goat cheese

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light magazine

Asparagus-Ricotta Tart

Sometimes I’m not sure how I should feel about seeing produce that is on sale when it’s not in season.  Usually, that’s when out-of-season produce is most expensive. So when I saw that bundles of asparagus were on sale at my grocery store, I had to wonder if something was wrong with them.  But at this point in the fall, I can only eat so much broccoli. This asparagus looked perfectly green and the spears were nice and thin, the way I like them so I scooped them up. This recipe for Asparagus-Ricotta Tart was a perfect fall-time use for them.

Eggs are mixed with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, milk, chives, salt and pepper and poured into a pie pan before being topped with trimmed asparagus spears and baked until set and golden. Don’t like asparagus or have another veggie on hand? Use whatever vegetables float your boat here: peppers, broccoli, spinach or potatoes would work perfectly either scattered on top or mixed in with the eggs and ricotta. This is a perfect weekend morning meal served with some fruit or even a busy weeknight meal served with a salad thanks to its ease. Leftovers store perfectly in the fridge for a few days making this an easy make-on-the-weekend-for-weekday-grab-and-go breakfast.

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The ingredients:

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Mix ricotta, eggs, Parmesan cheese, chives, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour mixture into a 10-inch nonstick oven-safe skillet.

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Top with asparagus spears.

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Bake in 375 degrees F  oven for 40 minutes.
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Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Good Housekeeping magazine

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