Archive for the 'asparagus' Category

09
Jun
13

Peruvian chicken, courgette blossoms, Spring risotto.

Well, this is awkward. I’ve been downright neglectful. It’s one thing to have a month-long hiatus from blog-land and widely accepted to take 2-3 months sans-virtually verbalising so much as a sweaty sesh or spicy feast, but it is rarely lauded as appropriate blog behaviour to take 6 months away. Please accept my sincerest apologies, readers (ie my parents and 5 or so friends who live for this).

I’ll try not to peace for quite so long next time around.

The past 6 months have been eventful, and I can say with full confidence that I’ve rarely been sweatier or spicier in my entire life. In short, I’ve gotten well acclimated with yoga, dance and have started lifting weights with a personal trainer (who am I?!) for the sweaty side, and I’ve eaten such oddities (ahem, rareaties) as pigeon and barnacles to fulfil the spicy side. I’ve been busy.

When I’m not challenging the biological capabilities of digestion, I’ve made a few things tasty enough to share.

I’m pretty in love with this Peruvian Chicken recipe I found on the Whole Foods app. It has lemons and yellow peppers and just the most delicious flavour.

Peruvian chicken

Peruvian chicken

Ingredients:

1 1/2 teaspoon expeller-pressed canola oil, plus more for oiling the pan
1 1/2 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 large sweet onions, peeled and thickly sliced
1 chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces
2 red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into chunks
1 lemon, sliced

I make the recipe with chicken thighs only, though you’re more than welcome to massacre a whole chicken. Just massacre away.

I’m not sure what it is about roasted lemons, but I am having a love affair with them at the moment. I feel as though there can’t possibly be a more delicious and fat free alternative to flavouring in the world. It’s just lovely.

I made these adorable zucchini (aka courgettes, per the Brits) blossoms the other day that were just Georgia O’Keefe-level beautiful. I’ve been gunning to prepare zucchini blossoms since the Food Network started courting them a few years back, but I’d never been able to find them at the farmers markets in New York. Chapel Market near my flat in London proudly displayed a fancy selection the other day, so I snapped up a bag. London – 1, NYC- 0.

zucchini blossoms

zucchini blossoms

 

Ingredients:

4 zucchini blossoms, stems removed
2 tbsp goat cheese
1 egg, beaten
flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Most recipes wanted me to deep-fry the blossoms, but I was determined to find a baked version so as not to un-do my training sessions. I ended up improvising, as such, and created my own.

I began by pre-heating the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. I then beat together the egg and cheese, and mixed in the parsley, salt and pepper. I put the cheese mixture into a Ziploc bag and cut the tip to create a pastry bag. I then piped the cheese into the blossoms, and put them on a tray to bake for about 10 minutes.

They were pretty delicious, though I’d drizzle with honey in the near future. Everything’s better with a little honey. I’d also go with ricotta cheese, as the goat cheese was a bit tangy and not as nice with the flowers as I’d have imagined. Live and learn.

As my boyfriend loves his meat (teehee) and I favour the veg, I’m proud to have gotten him to eat my Spring Vegetable Risotto a few week’s back. I’d always found risotto intimidating and had only made one failed recipe a few years’ back, but he’d made some no fewer than five times since we’ve met. I figured it was time to tame the stock-y beast, if you will.

I followed the Epicurious recipe to the tee, and didnt leave my risotto’s side for the full half hour. The end result was creamy, healthy(ish) as risottos go, and such a looker. See below:

Spring Vegetable Risotto with poached eggs

Spring Vegetable Risotto with poached eggs

31
Oct
11

spinning round two, pumpkin soup.

Breaking news: I am ready to give spin another chance! I know; I’m just as shocked as you are, Sweaty/Spicy masses. It seemed we were wholly unmatched when I attended my first 6 a.m. class nearly three years ago, but it’s possible there was just a learning curve to dealing with the pitch black room, blasting techo and overly amped-potentially-roided-out instructors? Either that, or tastes change and that’s what I now consider motivation? In any event, I went to a class here last Friday, and I’m dying to return. The class was short (45 minutes), I sweat (buckets), and I got two entirely separate endorsements of how toned Soul Cycle-enthusiasts become (once they drop several hundies). SOLD.

This new obsession couldn’t have come at a better time, because I’m starting to lose my daily gym motivation as it’s turning to Winter far too early. It’s just not the same when you need to strip away 17 layers of clothing to change into gym clothes at lunch. And going before or after work is out of the question these days. The days are getting shorter and it’s already getting darker earlier, and that’s a notorious motivation assassin. Blerg.

I’m making more of an effort to eat healthy these days to make up for my gym aversion, though. I made this quinoa primavera courtesy of my Whole Foods app:

Ingredients:

quinoa primavera

1 c quinoa
2 c water
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ c finely chopped red onion
½ lb asparagus, ends cut off and discarded, the rest cut into spears
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 c frozen peas, thawed
1 c shredded cooked chicken
1 c thinly sliced spinach leaves
1 tsp paprika (my addition)
juice of one lemon (my addition)
salt and pepper, to taste

You start by rinsing quinoa under cold water, and then drain it. Combine water and quinoa in a medium saucepan, and bring it to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until water is absorbed.

I had no cooked chicken in the house, so I bought thin breasts and seasoned them with paprika, salt and pepper. I baked in the oven at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, and removed from the oven.

Meanwhile, I heated the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and then added onion and asparagus. Cook about 5-7 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic and peas, cook for one more minute. Stir in chicken and quinoa, add spinach and stir until it wilts, 3-5 minutes. I added lemon juice, salt and pepper, and ate.

Admittedly, this dish is kind of bland. I hate to waste food, so I added hot sauce when I ate it the next few nights. In retrospect, it would have been good if it were made to be creamy, so I think next time I’ll add Greek yogurt or something to give it some body.

That was the first Whole Foods app recipe I made, and it was kind of a fail despite looks. I learned my lesson judging the spin class too soon last time, and have deprived myself of nearly 3 years of a rock hard bod because of it. And, so, I gave it another chance.

I made a kale, mushroom and polenta sauté courtesy of the Whole Foods app.

kale, mushroom, tomato and polenta saute

Ingredients:

Canola oil cooking spray
½ lb button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (my addition)
red onion, sliced (my addition)
5 Roma tomatoes, slice (my addition, it called for sundried tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
1 18-oz roll pre-cooked polenta, sliced
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

I learned my lesion before with the bland quinoa recipe, so I manipulated this one a bit. You start by heating a large skillet over medium-high heat with cooking spray. The recipe actually calls for olive oil, but I’m not one for greasy kale so I went spray instead. Add onions, mushrooms, salt and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic and polenta, and cook for another few. Add kale and ¼ c water, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for another couple of minutes until the kale wilts. Toss well, season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and serve in a bowl. Top with Parmesan, and consume.

I’ve made many iterations of kale, but this has to be one of my favorites. It ties with the cannellini beans and lemon juice recipe, which is one of my old stand-bys. Delicious. Whole Foods app, you’ve redeemed yourself.

Now that it’s basically committed to Winter outside, I’ve decided it’s time to start making soups. Unfortunately, my immersion blender croaked earlier this summer while I was making salsa (sigh), and so I bought a new one earlier today. It’s Halloween weekend, so I figured it would be economically sound if I made a pumpkin soup that also happens to be a Weight Watchers recipe.

Don’t mind if I do.

adorbs

Ingredients:

3 ½ lb pumpkin
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 c vegetable broth
1 ½ tsp fresh sage, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

This guy has nothing to do with anything, but I thought he was precious so he made this blog’s guest list.

You start by pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut pumpkin in half, horizontally, and scoop out seeds and membranes. Set pumpkin halves cut-side down, place garlic clove under each half. Bake one hour.

I baked these earlier this afternoon as make-ahead, and then stored them in the refrigerator as I dragged myself to yoga. I will never understand why I go to yoga so begrudgingly, but I’m always so insanely proud I went. It’s one of life’s mysteries, I suppose.

Later on, I scooped the pumpkin flesh out of the shells into a large bowl. Add garlic and two cups of broth. I then pureed with the immersion blender, which not surprisingly resulted in a kitchen covered in pumpkin guts. After the mixture is smooth, pour the puree into a large saucepan. Stir in remaining one cup of broth, sage, salt, allspice and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Top with sage and serve.

I would add butter to this soup and a little heavy cream; although I’m not surprised Weight Watchers omitted those two fatties. They’ll make the guest list next time:

pumpkin soup with sage

 

11
Mar
10

quinoa stuffed bell peppers, scallops and asparagus.

I have been running, like, so very much. Like, legit running. As in, I went for a five mile run on Saturday, and followed that up with a four mile run on Sunday. It doesn’t hurt that it’s been gorgeous out with a chance of pleasant. I’ve been walking around just spewing rainbows and sunshine at everything in sight since the weather finally decided to up and ditch the “30 degrees and blustery.” Spring is happening any day now, and I could not be more thrilled. I took this picture of me doing bicycle crunches – which I typically loathe – on Sunday:

me, crunching

I also have to be swimsuit ready by the end of the month, when I take off to Pueurto Vallarta for a few days. I would looove to lose the 10 or so lbs I’ve gained honestly with my fair share of peanut butter and the inability to turn down a cookie, hard or soft. I’m upping the ante with the working out, and my foods these days need to be those that aid in a Gisele physique.

Last night, I made some stuffed peppers with quinoa. WTF is quinoa, you ask? In short, it’s a grainy thing that tastes like a slightly crunchy couscous. I bought the red kind, because in a weird way it makes me feel earthy and Native American, and that’s appealing to me.

I started by cooking the quinoa in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes as instructed by the box. Meanwhile, I chopped the tomatoes and parsley. I mixed all three together, and added a couple tablespoons of olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Then, I cut the tops off both my peppers, and then cut the ribs right on out of there. I stood them up in a casserole dish, and then did a Giada trick and filled the pan with 3 cups of veggie stock. This keeps the peppers moist and whatnot. I covered the peppers in aluminum foil, and then baked for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, I removed the top, and covered them in parmesan cheese. Then, I baked for 15 minutes until they looked like this:

quinoa stuffed bell peppers

Ingredients:

1 cup red quinoa, cooked

2 bell peppers (one orange, one yellow)

1/4 c feta cheese

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

6 heirloom tomatoes, chopped

shredded parmesan cheese, shreddded

3 c vegetable stock

Nice, right? They tasted like something Pocahontas would get down on for sure. Ignore the murky looking veggie stock with bits of filling floating around. There’s nothing to see there.

Earlier this week, I made a much more photogenic dish of scallops and asparagus. I can’t take credit for the recipe, because I pretty much just followed this recipe step by step. It was my first time with scallops, though, so pardon my lack of originality for my virgin voyage:

Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus

3 tbsp olive oil

2 lbs scallops, muscle removed

1/2 stick of butter

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

Technically, the recipe wanted me to add 1/3 c of white wine, but I didn’t have any so I went without. I started by sauteeing the chopped asparagus in the olive oil for about 5-6 minutes, and then was instructed to remove them from the skillet. Then, I seasoned the scallops with salt and pepper, and then seared them in the skillet until they turned opaque. So that took about 2-3 minutes for each side. I then removed them from the skillet, and whisked the butter and white wine vinegar until it became frothy and such. I added the asparagus back in AGAIN, and coated them in the saucy mix. I topped the scallops with the asparagus like epicurious wanted, and then made it all disappear. Delicious, and so very attractive. See below:

seared sea scallops and asparagus




May 2017
M T W T F S S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Categories