Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Delicious healthy asparagus recipes

I love eating with the seasons, for a lot of reasons. It's partly because I like eating local foods and it just feels right to eat what's available right here and now. But also, it makes the whole year an exciting journey of exploration. You can't get tired of anything because it disappears so fast and you're on to the next thing.

Right now, the spring vegetables are all over the place, like asparagus. Asparagus is a vegetable that it's worth waiting for because the local stuff is so much more tender and flavourful. Here are some recipes to try.

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta
This recipe from Smitten Kitchen is super easy - the asparagus is blanched with the pasta then drained and tossed with goat cheese, lemon zest, tarragon and olive oil. It's a perfect spring weeknight dinner.

Simple Roasted Asparagus
For a simple side dish that's a change from your standard steamed asparagus, try this roasted version.

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Poached Egg on Toast
From Jamie Oliver, this blended asparagus soup is made into a full meal with the addition of toast and a poached egg. Yum!

Raw Asparagus Salad
Every food has a slightly different nutritional profile when it's cooked vs. raw. This salad recipe from Maria Rodale via the Huffington Post flavours the asparagus with fresh basil and mint.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Are you ready for Meatless Monday

Have you heard of Meatless Monday? It's a movement for people to eat less meat by designating Mondays as a meat-free day. The idea is that it will help people make healthier and more eco-friendly food choices by making it easy: don't worry about going vegetarian, just don't eat meat on Mondays.

I love this idea because it simplifies things. You don't have to count anything, measure percentages, figure out how much you're eating of this or that. Just cook vegetarian on Mondays. Easy.

Here are some of my favourite meatless recipes to help you get started:

Vegetarian Cassoulet
This is a Smitten Kitchen pick. Cassoulet is a French casserole that's traditionally very meat-heavy. This veggie version is super delish and on Tuesday, you can throw in some bacon or sausage if you like.

Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
Another one from Smitten Kitchen, I love this because it's easy to pack for lunch. Make it as a Sunday-night side dish and then have it for your Meatless Monday lunch alongside a big green salad.

Quick Black Bean Soup
This one is super easy and makes a yummy soup. Try it - you won't miss the meat!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fresh Ginger Recipes: Cake, Cookies and Smoothies

I looove ginger, in both savoury and sweet dishes. So when I saw a ginger cake recipe in the Culinate newsletter I was excited to share some fresh ginger recipes with you.

First off, their recipe for gingery gingerbread cake, with fresh and dried ginger. I'm bookmarking this for an upcoming baking session – it looks divine!

Then there are these fresh ginger cookies from All Recipes. I never find ginger cookies gingery enough so maybe the fresh ginger will do it.

I also love to add fresh ginger to my smoothies. I used to grate it first but I've found that my blender can handle chunks - so I just peel and chop now. Pear and ginger is a great combination, or pineapple and ginger, or mango and ginger. I always use bananas too, and protein powder, and fresh nut milk (but you could use the milk option of your choice). Honey goes well with ginger in smoothies too.