Tag Archives: Asparagus

Asparagus, mushroom, and kale egg casserole with quinoa crust

Remember when I told you guys about my party planning skillz? Surprisingly, this was the one recipe I didn’t test prior to my party, and it was a real winner. It’s a GD miracle that it not only turned out, but was a favorite!

Here’s the amazing thing about this recipe: You don’t have to cook the quinoa beforehand. In fact, it falls to the bottom and makes a crust. Oh, quinoa: What will that sassy little minx think of next? Cleaning it’s own dishes!?!


Before we get to the recipe, though, I have to thank Mia for giving me a Liebster award nomination! A Liebster award is given to blogs with less than 300 followers as a way of making them more well-known. The rules for the acceptance are:

1) Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you
2) Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back
3) Answer the 10 questions posed by the blogger who nominated you
4 ) Select 3 – 5 bloggers for the award
5) Pose 10 new questions to the new nominees
6) Post the award on your blog

Here are my questions and answers from Mia:

1) Why did you start blogging?
I took a few photography classes as a graduation gift to myself when I finished grad school. I was following a few food blogs and started taking pictures of my own recipes as a way to keep practicing my photography when it was too cold to shoot outside. Nothing keeps you honest like a little public humiliation, I decided to post the pictures on the internet.
2) What is the most important thing you have gotten out of your blog?
Meeting other bloggers!
3) Favorite memory from childhood?
One summer night my family was coming back from dinner and we passed an office building that had the sprinklers on watering the lawn. We stopped the car and all ran through the sprinklers in the dark. Fun times.
4) Favorite song?
Hard one! My ipod says that Flight Test by The Flaming Lips is the most played, so that must be my favorite song!
5) Favorite thing to do in your free time, if you have any.
Take Ruby to the dog park and watch her get mad at dogs that try to hump her.
6) What book could you read over and over?
This is a hard question. I hate reading books or watching movies more than once (exception: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation) because the list of things I want to read/watch is too long. But I would re-read any of Michael Pollan’s books again, especially Omnivore’s Dilemma.
7) Worst subject in school?
I feel like I had to try way harder than everyone else in Biology.
8) What was the first thing you wanted to be when you grew up?
Cliché alert! Veterinarian.
9) First thing you would buy or do if you won the lottery?
Pay off the mortgage? That’s boring, so I’d pay to have Avon Barksdale brought back to life.
10) If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?
Elvis. Obviously.

Now for my nominations. I have no idea how many followers anyone has, so I’ll just tell you I like these blogs, and it’s safe to say that none of them are Young House Love famous:
Shut up Duffy. Rebecca’s posts always make me laugh. See: this post.
Erica finds. Erica always has thoughtful posts about running, shopping and life in general!
Hope for healing. Somehow Stephanie makes amazing desserts that are gluten, dairy, soy, and refined sugar free.
And the questions for my nominees:
1) Why did you start blogging?
2) What is your absolute favorite blog to read?
3) Favorite memory from childhood?
4) Favorite movie?
5) You can only eat one food for the rest of your life. What is it?
6) What is the last book you read?
7) Dessert island. What 3 things would you bring?
8) What is your dream job?
9) Magazine test: which one do you pick up in a waiting room?
10) If you could meet anyone from history, who would it be?

Asparagus, mushroom, and kale egg casserole with quinoa crust, serves about 12, inspired by Whole Foods
-1 t butter
-12 eggs
-1 3/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
-4 cloves garlic
-1 T fresh thyme leaves
-1 t salt
-1 t pepper
-1 bunch asparagus
-2 cups unpacked baby greens (I used baby kale and baby spinach)
-1 cup mushrooms
-1 3/4 c uncooked quinoa
-1 1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese

Let’s do this:

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9×12 baking dish and set aside. Make sure you do this step; nothing ruins a party faster than quinoa stuck to the bottom of your pan.
Roughly chop your asparagus and greens. Slice the mushrooms.


Roughly chop the garlic and the thyme.


Combine the eggs, milk, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and quinoa in large bowl and whisk.


Add the asparagus, greens, and mushrooms.


Stir to combine.


Pour the mixture into your baking dish. Shake side to side a little so the quinoa settles to the bottom evenly.


Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and remove the tin foil.


Add the cheese.
Bake uncovered for 10 more minutes. Leave the casserole in the oven but turn the oven to broil. Broil for 3 minutes to brown the cheese and remove from oven.


Serve to hungry guests!


Thanks again, for the nomination, Mia!
Tagged , , , ,

Asparagus and Garlic Scape Pizza with Vegan Cauliflower Crust

There’s a whole bunch of spring vegetables comin’ at you today, readers! First, some business:

1. It’s garlic scape season!!! Get yo self to the farmer’s market and see if you can get your hands on some. Make some pesto, or this pizza!

2. Cupcakes and Cashmere’s wedding. In a word: perfection. Discuss.

Ok back to the recipe. Michelle first tipped me off to cauliflower pizza crust. I didn’t have eggs in the house both times I’ve made this, so I modified this vegan cauliflower crust recipe.

Note: This does not taste like traditional pizza crust. It’s almost potato-like, and I love it. Also, you can’t really pick it up and eat it with your hands (although, rest assured, the Huz tried). I eat mine with a fork like the civilized midwesterner that I am.

Asparagus and Garlic Scape Pizza with Vegan Cauliflower Crust, serves 2-3
-1 head cauliflower
-3/4 cup flour (I used brown rice flour, but any will work) + a little extra for dusting your baking sheet
-3 flax eggs (or regular eggs)
-1 t salt
-1/2 t each basil, oregano, and rosemary
-3 T olive oil
-1 bunch asparagus (try for the thin asparagus if you can find it)
-1 bunch garlic scapes
-1 1/2 cup cheese (I used Daiya mozzarella, but I think a combination of mozzarella and parmesan would be great!)

Let’s prep: assemble flax eggs (1 T ground flax plus 1 T water), roughly chop the cauliflower.

Add the cauliflower to a food processor and process about 20 seconds until it looks like this:

Add the cauliflower to a large bowl and combine with the flax eggs, flour, salt, and spices. You might have to knead with your hands.

Add a little flour to your baking sheet and spread out the dough with a spatula.



Bake the crust at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

While the crust is baking, cut your scapes into about 2 inch pieces. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a pan and saute the garlic scapes until they start to soften. Break the ends off your asparagus and cut into 2 inch pieces. Add them to the garlic scapes and saute for about 5 minutes.

Remove crust from oven and spread with about a tablespoon of olive oil.

Sprinkle cheese on top of pizza and add the garlic scapes and asparagus.

Bake about 10 minutes or until crust is browned a bit.

Tagged , ,

Grilled summer veggie tacos


Today I did something I’ve always wanted to do.

I had the day off, and I went for a long run on the lake with friends (yes, I made them all get up before they had to go to work and run with me – I’m a great friend like that). When it was over, I was hot and disgusting. So I jumped in the lake. It was glorious.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to jump in the lake during a run, but somehow the opportunity never presented itself. Now, am I past the threshold at which one can bare her midriff in sports bra and shorts and jump in the lake? Most definitely. But I wasn’t about to get my tank top wet too, and the only person watching was an octogenarian who thankfully judged me in silence. Afterwards, I went to Starbucks and ordered a huge iced tea with seaweed in my hair. Even less romantic was the soggy bus ride home. But by then I had snacks so I didn’t care.

When I got home, my dear neighbor promptly told me about the seaweed, because she’s one of those people who is always like “well, I wouldn’t want you walking around like that!”. Which, don’t get me wrong, I appreciate most of the time (e.g. spinach in teeth before a big meeting). But when I’m about to walk in my house, I say just let me go on with my bad self, even if I look like the little mermaid.

Anyway, I think this ridiculous story is a vessel for this recipe, which I polished off the other night. If you have some summer veggies to get rid of, I highly recommend:

Grilled summer veggie tacos, serves 2 with leftovers

Go get:
-2 ears of corn
-cherry tomatoes (I used about a dozen, but that’s because the Huz still hasn’t realized that tomatoes are the best things ever. Not sure what’s taking so long)
-1 bunch slim asparagus
-1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
-corn tortillas
-balsamic vinaigrette dressing (I made my own, see recipe below)
-Olive oil for cooking veggies


Let’s do this:
Prep the veggies by cutting the corn off the cobs, slicing your tomatoes in half, and trimming the asparagus.

Start up your grill and heat it to medium. Spray the veggies with olive oil and put them in your grill pan (you can also use tin foil if you don’t have a grill pan). Here the veggies are on the grill:


Once the veggies are cooked and charred a little, remove them from the heat and turn the burners off. Throw your tortillas on the grill to warm while the veggies cool a little.


Remove the tortillas from the grill and arrange the veggies in the tortillas. Top with goat cheese crumbles and balsamic vinaigrette. Enjoy!


Lazy girl’s balsamic:
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1 garlic clove, minced
-1 t maple syrup
-1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until combined.

Tagged , , ,

Shaved asparagus and goat cheese pizza


DR-Dad claims he is a master pizza chef. Of course, these claims are unsubstantiated as I’ve never had one of his pizzas (it’s a new skill for him). So he might be a great pizza maker like I am a great tightrope walker, under the whole tree-falling-in-the-forest theory.

DR-Dad did recently win a chili competition, so I suppose stranger things have happened (imagine me with one eyebrow raised extremely high while receiving this news, given the lackluster grilled cheese skills of my youth). Not long after he won, he tried to steal my crockpot, so something is definitely up.

The point is: I might or might not have great pizza making skills in my genes.

What I know for sure is that I had a bunch of farmer’s market asparagus and some Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough. So shaved asparagus pizza was born.

Since we’re talking about DR-Dad, allow me to quote him: “Kids, we can do this the easy way or the hard way. Your choice.” Hence we have two choices: easy-way-pizza (i.e. EWM!), or hard-way-pizza. You choose.

Easy way Hard way
Trader Joe’s pizza crust Make your own pizza crust (and by this I literally mean to go to another blog and figure out how to make your own pizza crust)
Trader Joe’s refrigerated pesto, or make ghesto (a.k.a. ghetto-pesto, see recipe below) Make your own pesto (again, you’re gonna need to find another blog)

Let’s do this:
Go get your dough, ghesto, and any pizza toppings you like. We kept it simple with asparagus, red onion, goat cheese and tomato (tomato for me only since the Huz hates tomato. And I still married him).


Preheat your oven (if using TJ’s dough, to 350 degrees). Grab your asparagus and shred the asparagus with a vegetable peeler. Pretty:



Roll out your dough into circles and place on a cookie sheet. Top with your ghesto, then all your toppings. Really pile on the asparagus because it shrinks a lot once its cooked.


Cook for about 12 minutes, or until the edges of your dough are browned and the asparagus is a little crispy.


Now invite DR-dad to join your pizza masters club.


Ghesto (a.k.a. Ghetto Pesto)
3 cloves garlic
about a cup sliced almonds
fresh basil leaves (I’d guess I used about 10-12)
handful of spinach
olive oil (anywhere from 1/4c to 3/4c)

Mince the garlic in the food processor. Scrape it off the sides and add the almonds, basil and spinach and give it a whirl. I usually keep the food processor going and add olive oil through the shoot at the top until the ghesto is the texture I want. For pizza, I like it to be a little thinner, so I use more. If I was going to use the ghesto for spreading on crackers or a sandwich, I’d probably make it a little thicker (less olive oil).


Fun with farro


I’ve been dying to try farro, but somehow it eluded me. I never seemed to remember to buy it when I went to the store, and when I did remember I was usually at a store that didn’t carry it.

Alas, finally farro and I have met. And it was love at first bite. The taste is similar to barley, but a little sturdier and more nutty. I can’t wait to make ground farro for breakfast! Until then, enjoy this fridge-cleaning recipe:

Farro with asparagus, broccoli, tofu, green beans, and mushrooms

Go get:
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 c sliced mushrooms
1/2 chopped red onion
1 bunch asparagus
1 handful (?) green beans
1/2 block tofu (I used a new sprouted tofu from trader joe’s – see below!)
2 c broccoli florets



Let’s do this:
Add the olive oil to a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the following in order:

  • Garlic: stir to cook for about a minute
  • Onions: stir to cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until soft
  • Mushrooms: stir to cook for about 5 minutes, until soft
  • Tofu: let cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Broccoli, asparagus and green beans: cover the pan and let the steam cook these for about 5-6 minutes or until tender


Tagged , , , , ,

Asparagus, chickpea, dandelion and green pea one-pot wonder

There’s nothing like a one-pot wonder to make my night! As you might have noticed, I got Heidi Swanson’s new book in the mail and I couldn’t wait to put one of her spring recipes to use!!! I needed to get rid of some asparagus and green peas, so I added them to her chickpea and dandelion dish, with great results.

I’m a lover of all greens, but if you don’t like stronger greens, then go for something milder than the dandelion, like spinach or kale. Dandelion is not for the faint of heart, but I like it. Heidi says to look for young dandelions that are about the length of a pencil.

Asparagus, chickpea, dandelion and green pea one-pot wonder, inspired by Super Natural Every Day

Go get:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 bunch thin asparagus
1 bunch dandelion (I cut mine into 3 inch pieces to make it easier to cook)
1 c fresh peas (you can also use frozen)
4 cloves garlic
zest from one lemon
3 T olive oil
1 t sea salt
Let’s do this:

Get a big ol’ skillet and add the olive oil, garlic, and salt while it is still cold. Stir until the garlic starts to cook but don’t let it turn brown. Add the asparagus and cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peas and dandelion and cook/stir for about 3-4 more minutes, until the dandelion starts to wilt. Stir in the chickpeas to warm them up, and add in the lemon zest right before you take the skillet off the heat. Add more salt if needed and serve!


The thing I really love about Heidi’s recipes is that I always look at the ingredient list and think that they will be bland, but she gets me every time with a delicious flavorful recipe! Touche, Heidi, touche.

Tagged , , ,

Swiss chard, mushroom, asparagus and quinoa dinner


I had some swiss chard in the fridge that was starting to get a little wilted. Did you know that if your greens are getting wilty you can trim the stems and throw them in a glass of water and they’ll perk right up? I swear these were wilted before I left for work, and after a few hours in water they were good as new!

Point being, it was time do something with these suckers. So I consulted my new favorite cookbook, Power Foods. Seriously, if you need a new cookbook, this thing is amazeballs. Really simple recipes with no weird ingredients.

Swiss chard, mushroom, asparagus and quinoa dinner, adapted from Power Foods

2 c water
1 c quinoa
2 T olive oil
2 bunches swiss chard, washed and a little bit wet
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bunch asparagus (I had very thin asparagus, you might add the asparagus earlier if yours is thick)
16 oz cremini mushrooms
2 t fresh thyme
sea salt
2 oz grated parmesan (optional topping)


Add quinoa to a small saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover until quinoa is cooked and all liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, cut your swiss chard into about 1/2 inch strips (including the stems), and slice mushrooms thinly.

Add 1 T olive oil to a large saucepan and cook chard until it becomes wilted and tender. I actually had so much swiss chard at first that I had to cook mine in two batches since I didn’t have a pot big enough! It takes about 6-8 minutes for the chard to wilt, so you have time to do two batches while the mushrooms are cooking. Season chard with salt and pepper and set aside.

Add remaining 1 T olive oil to a skillet, then add garlic. Stir for 2 minutes until garlic is golden. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally until they are almost cooked through, then add asparagus. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once asparagus and mushrooms are cooked through, season with salt and pepper. Add quinoa and thyme, stirring for about a minute.

To serve: divide chard among plates and top with quinoa/asparagus/mushroom mixture. Sprinkle parmesan on top and enjoy!



Now, wanna guess what I had for dessert?


(topped with unsweetened coconut flakes and banana – almost enough to curb my sweet tooth!)

Tagged , , ,