Monday, November 7, 2011

Apples and Asparagus... Oh My!

Apples and asparagus, yep you read that right.  Don't worry, they weren't mixed.  I'm not a great cook or anything but I didn't have a recipe that said to mix them and my mind says they don't mix well so I didn't go there with them at all.  As promised last week this is my blog of some A recipes that I made.  Yep, that's right... recipes that start with A.  You see, I participate in a weekly blog group called Alphabe-Thursday and we started another round of the alphabet so I've decided to post recipes that I try each week that begin with the letter we are on.  This way I get to try some healthy new recipes and have a topic for the blog each week... SCORE!  So usually these posts will be around Thursday.  I decided to go this route late last week so this A post is the one promised since I didn't have it in time last Thursday.  So here goes....

I actually tried 2 recipes, Apple Quinoa Salad and Asparagus Parmesan.  Both were pretty good but I've cooked quinoa twice now and I don't think I'm doing it right.  it tastes ok but like I've said before, I've never had it so who am I to say what it really tastes like??  LOL! 

So here are a few pictures taken along the way:


Picture 1 is the cooked quinoa.  I think it is supposed to be more translucent, as I've said in a past blog called Such a Fancy Name for a Little Grain.  Anyways, picture 2 there are the ingredients I chose to use... or had in the house and could use;-)  Last is the finished product... the dried cranberries, & a little honey & cinnamon, added in.  Now you can mix anything in with this grain really, it's pretty versatile I've learned from all the recipes I've found.  This recipe actually called for lime rather than lemon and then the addition of walnuts and mint.  I didn't have lime or walnuts and I wasn't sure cashews or almonds would go very well so no nuts.  No mint either, I don't have any and I wasn't sure I'd like that flavor mixed with apples and cranberries.   I did find another recipe however that was similar and said to add vanilla extract so maybe I'll add a little of that or almond extract later to give it a little different flavor along the way cause it made quite a bit... probably 8 servings or more.  Ooooo, maybe coconut extract might be good???  We'll see as I eat it, I could flavor each individual serving differently.  The good thing is that this is also great warm or cold so I eat it in the morning like an oatmeal or in the evening like a dessert. 

Ok, the next recipe was great.... I added a little too much salt (garlic salt really) but it was edible and I know for the future that I need to pay closer attention!  So here are some pics:


There we have the ingredients.  A little hard to see but it's simply asparagus, olive oil, shredded Parmesan and then the recipe says salt and pepper to taste but I used garlic salt and garlic pepper.  I love garlic so I like to add it to everything so since it said to use salt and pepper and I have the garlic salt & garlic pepper I thought why not??  Then we have the asparagus all cleaned, chopped and being bathed:-)  Next they are on the pan and coated in their goodness so they can cook at 400 for 10 minutes.  Last, they are ready to eat... yum!  This was great and definitely will be made again.  Now as I said, I went a little heavy on the salt.  Since both spices had garlic salt in them and one came out a little fast, I ended up with more salt then I'd usually use.  It is still good though and I can't wait to have more! 

Can you believe that I went all my childhood and early adulthood never even knowing asparagus existed??  We did not eat this in my household as I grew up and when I was on my own I never even noticed it in the grocery store.  I'd have to say that it wasn't until the last few years that I realized it was out there and finally gave it a try.  I never know what to do with it and used to only use it in stir fry so I searched for some other easy ways to make it. 

I have to say that preparing the asparagus... cleaning it... is a bit of a pain but I'm glad I did it cause it made them nicer to eat.  I let the stalks snap where they wanted, the ends are tough & not so good to eat, and then used a peeler to take off some of the outside skin to get rid of some of that stringiness you can sometimes encounter when eating it.  Did you know that it's a member of the lily family???  Quite interesting, you can find out all you want to know about asparagus at Asparagus.org.  I was looking for a little info on the cleaning cause I hear different things from different people but it turns out it doesn't have to be peeled, it's a preference thing... I liked it peeled:-)  There are even some recipe ideas that they offer up so check them out.

Ok, that's if for the A recipes folks!  If you want to see what I cook up for B tune in on Wednesday or Thursday for the Alphabe-Thursday B blog:-)

3 Unleashed voices:

Jamie Walker said...

mmm. I love asparagus! LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Rainbow said...

Thank you for stopping by :)
I love asparagus..I could eat my weight in it!!

Blessings
Rainbow

Jenny said...

I love everything about quionoa (except trying to spell it and this doesn't look right!) I use a lot of these types of grains because I try to eat primarily gluten-free. Your asparagus looks delicious, too. I usually put it on the grill and then sprinkle some fresh lemon juice over it. Have you tried making risotto? Asparagus is fabulous in that, too!

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