Tag Archives: Asparagus

Cold Weather Food means Pie!

I hate the cold. I really do.

In the Netherlands, winter is generally just under ten degrees centigrade and very very wet. Well it isn’t even officially autumn here and it is like a Dutch winter as it is only six degrees and super duper rainy. It is so wet and cold that I actually had to turn up the thermostat from fourteen to nineteen! So if this is the temperature for a Dutch winter… want to know what a Canadian winter is like?

You know it is cold when you actually feel the need to touch your thermostat! Usually I can brave the cold though that wasn’t the story today.

So with this ridiculous cold I thought to make an almost-winter meal!

Plus I bought two boxes of pie crust with two individual rolls of pie crust in them. So I was thinking of using those up rather than freezing them.

What better way to utilize pie crust than to make a pie? Better yet a chicken pot pie!

How wonderful is that?

Chicken Pot Pie Before Baking

This was the first time I have ever made such a thing. I was speaking to dad on the phone this morning and he told me to use seasoning and herbs to make the pot pie flavourful! So I did that and it smelled AMAZING but I have a feeling I used just too many herbs. Oops.

I got the recipe from Pip and Ebby, but the direct link for the recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup (50g) carrots, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup (225g) frozen peas
  • 4 asparagus stalks chopped in ¾ inch length
  • 1 yellow onion (150g), chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cup (190g) chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 1 cup (240ml) chicken broth
  • 1 can (284ml) cream of mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup (60ml) almond milk
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon Italian herb seasoning
  • 2 rolls of refrigerated pie crust

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF (176ᵒC)

  2. In a large frying pan, combine garlic and vegetables in olive oil at medium heat and fry until soft and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Add shredded chicken, chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup, milk, and flour and mix until combined.

  4. Mix well adding herbs and seasoning until you’re happy.

  5. Now place one sheet of pie crust in a pie plate and pour chicken mixture into pie crust. Top with second pie crust sheet and seal sides. With a sharp knife, cut slits to allow pie to breathe when cooking.

  6. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet and put in oven for forty minutes or until golden brown.

  7. Remove from oven and enjoy!

I’m happy to have accomplished this for the first time! But I did over season. Too much thyme!

But it was pretty good for a first time!

I mean generally pot pies are under seasoned with a complete lack of flavour but I just slightly over did it! At least for my taste buds. I am sure my father would have loved it! Though he has a love for sauces and seasonings…

Chicken Pot PieHow does one prevent a pot pie from oozing out the sides though? It makes things very very messy looking.

And does a pot pie ever not look messy? You know how when you slice a cake it looks whole? Well do pot pies always look so blegh?

Chicken Pot Pie

I would think there would be a more solid consistency but that wasn’t quite the case. Is that normal? I am sure it is but I am not a fan of mess. And this is surely extremely messy!

I can say that I feel really warm now! Whether it is that the heat has now been turned on or due to the meal, I don’t know, but I feel good!

No longer cold! But speaking of the cold, I was told that there is meant to be snowfall in southern Alberta one of these days. I was also told that just last month there was snowfall down there as well. How crazy is that? It is meant to be colder in central Alberta, not in southern Alberta! Geez.

But clearly I’m in the right area if I haven’t seen the snow as of yet!

Anyway, this is it for me! Hope you all try this out… maybe with less thyme and rosemary! You won’t regret it!

Happy eating!

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Keeping things Green and Healthy

I feel healthy this week.

Though after watching Carnival Cravings with Anthony Anderson I am craving a twinkie! Or a chocolate bar…. However I have been making vegetarian meals most of this week! And vegetarian food makes me happy.

Just as I am sure beef is making my parents happy.

You know, as they no longer have their picky non-meat-eating daughter living with them!

So this evening I wanted to make a quiche… well a quiche or a chicken pot pie. But I didn’t feel like thawing my chicken out so quiche it was!

I feel like my quiche lacked some egg though. It was very veggie filled but, but was low on egg.

Spinach, Asparagus, and Feta Quiche prior to Baking

This being odd as I followed the recipe. Which I got from Two Peas & Their Pod, the direct link to the recipe can be found here. If you’ve not visited Two Peas & Their Pod you’d best do so soon! Great site!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 asparagus spears, ends removed and chopped into ¾ an inch
  • ½ cup (285g) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup (240ml) almond milk
  • ½ cup (50g) feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup (56g) shredded mozzarella
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pie crust

Instructions:

  1. In a medium frying pan sauté asparagus until soft and set aside with thawed spinach.

  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk eggs with milk. Add feta, mozzarella, and salt and pepper until combined.

  3. Remove pie crust from refrigerator and place in a lined 9 x 9 baking dish.

  4. Place vegetables in the pie crust and pour egg mixture over vegetables and place in oven for forty-five minutes. The crust and egg should be golden-brown by then.

  5. Once cooked allow quiche to sit for around five minutes and then enjoy!

I also think I missed out on a bit of salt. Oops.

Asparagus, Spinach, and Feta quiche

It did taste good though. Well quiche tastes fabulous with ketchup so of course it tasted good.

My dad introduced me to ketchup with quiche and now I can’t eat quiche without it. I also love paninis and ketchup. Yum!

So my meal filled me right up and I have enough for breakfast tomorrow too!

I almost feel like sending some quiche over to Angola to treat my dad to some of this puppy. But we all know that wouldn’t make it to him in a quick enough fashion to still be edible. Sorry dad! 

Saved a Slice for Dad

Anyway, if you like quiche for supper (or breakfast) and you want to keep it healthy, go for this beauty and definitely enjoy it!

I would have put some paprika powder and red chili flakes in it if I thought of it, but this was still good!

So please enjoy!

Happy eating!

It’s Taco- I mean Tofu Tuesday!

Who needs a taco-Tuesday when you can always have a tofu-Tuesday?

Actually, I have no idea how people make tofu taste so damn delicious. When I was working at the Keltic Lodge in Nova Scotia, a lovely married couple who I befriended made me this divine tofu dish. It was definitely tofu, but it didn’t have the consistency nor did it taste like it. It was kind of spicy and dried. I loved it. I just have no idea how they came about making it.

I actually have no idea how people dry their tofu and make it into amazing things. I need a vegetarian/vegan teacher to educate me on how to drain the liquid from tofu and create amazingness from it.

Today I did try to remove the tofu from the packaging it came in and place it between a dishcloth with a cutting board beneath it and a plate above it BUT the tofu just disintegrated. I wasn’t even pressing hard. It just became a blob of crumbs. A liquefied blob of crumbs. How can anything be liquefied? Well my tofu was! Maybe it was because I got the tofu in a box, gosh I don’t know!

Morinaga Tofu in a Box

Anyway, I tried to make this recipe I found on Popsugar on how to bake tofu. I really did try. It just flopped.

Marinated Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1 block tofu, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon agave nectar
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dill
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF (175ᵒC) and line a cookie sheet with tin foil or parchment paper.

  2. Place tofu slices on tray and drizzle with soy sauce and agave nectar.

  3. Sprinkle with thyme, dill, and cumin and pop in oven.

  4. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.

  5. Enjoy!

I did all of this and my tofu still came out a liquid absorbed blob. It doesn’t taste all too bad, but it wasn’t what I wanted. Because like most people, I dislike the consistency of tofu! Vegetarian meat crumbles are so much easier to eat than tofu as they are more of a solid that tofu is.

Tofu on a bed of Quinoa with Asparagus

Well I served the tofu on a bed of quinoa with some pan fried asparagus seasoned with salt and pepper. Nothing all too special, but I can tell you that that asparagus did rock my world!

I made enough food for two people, though due to a hungry mother hen, half of my asparagus was consumed. Thus making this dish only for one person. Plus lets be honest, I was kind of turned off by my failure with tofu that I couldn’t go for a round two.

Anyway, if any of you can successfully dry tofu out I would really like to hear how this dish went for you! I’m sure once it comes out properly it is magnificent. Please let me know!

Happy eating!

Red and Green Shell Pasta Delight

It feels like Christmas on my plate! Tonight’s meal consists of a lot of red and green, making my meal almost festive. Except it lacks a peppermint-like flavouring. Rightfully so though, because peppermint pasta does not sound all that appetizing!

Damn Delicious Pesto Dish
This is not my photo, it is from Damn Delicious

I’ve seen these photos on Pinterest for a very long time and have been keen on making the recipe that was attached, I just never got around to doing so. So finally, I did what I have been meaning to do.

This is definitely one of the easiest meals I’ve come around to making. With a minimal amount of ingredients and a two-step process, you are done in minutes! (Well almost, water does take some time to boil and then cook pasta), but for the rest it is pretty instantaneous!

Pesto Shell Pasta with Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I got the recipe from here, but like always I’ve tweaked it a bit here and there.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup (170g) small whole wheat shell pasta
  • ½ lb (200g) asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons basil pesto
  • ¾ cup (180g) sun dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup (40g) parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, place water to boil. Once boiling add a teaspoon of salt and cook pasta with lid uncovered for 8 minutes (or as package directions state)

  2. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil and cook asparagus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until slightly wilted, but still crisp. Set aside and let cool.

  3. Once pasta is al dente, drain well and replace in pot. Mix pesto, sun dried tomatoes, and parmesan cheese with pasta. Mix in asparagus and serve immediately.

  4. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese if desired. 

Pesto Pasta with Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes

 

So this was a really easy meal. I made it just before the Uruguay – England football match, which by the way Uruguay won! Guess that is it for England. Sorry to all my English friends, but this World Cup your national team kind of sucked.

Not to worry, you can always cheer on our Dutch team! Or the lovely Argentines!

I feel ever so slightly mean for just dissing the English team, but it is true, they have been nixed since the final score for this game was 2:1 to Uruguay! I can say though, those last 2 minutes of overtime were tense!

I am not a football fan, but watching the Fifa World Cup is so insane. I had to actually stop typing just to watch the final minutes during overtime in case England got another goal making it a draw.

Even if you aren’t a football fan though, this would be an ideal meal for busy weeknights! It is so quick and easy, and not to mention tasty!

So if you plan on making this recipe, I truly hope you enjoy it!

Eet smakelijk!

Healthy and Light Dinner in the Summer Heat

I love the heat. I mean I was raised in it. You can’t live in Latin America and the Caribbean and not find joy while being in high temperatures and sunshine with the possibility to cool down in a pool in your backyard. But lately, the temperatures have been insanely high in the Netherlands and have caused me to want to almost peel my skin off like Robbie Williams in the music video Rock DJ. Although I am not the best dancer… with or without skin.

So for this evening’s meal I had to opt for something pleasant in the heat, while still being light on our stomachs. Mostly because the real meal for the evening will be popcorn as my sister, mom, and I will be headed to the movie theater to watch a comedy. The movie is The Other Woman. I showed mom the trailer before she moved to South Africa and she seemed to like the trailer, so we got lucky that it was playing when she returned to the Netherlands three months later!

Although to watch this movie I will be missing out on my team playing in the FIFA World Cup, but not to worry, I’ll know whether we win or lose by the reaction of everyone else wearing orange downtown. Actually, I am pretty sure the entire nation will be sporting our national color of orange.

 Grilled Chicken with Garlic Mashed Cauliflower and Asparagus

I made this lovely meal. I mostly loved my presentation on the new plates, but luckily it also tasted fantabulous!

The meal is fried chicken breast with garlic mashed cauliflower and asparagus.

I absolutely love cauliflower mash, it makes a great substitute  for potatoes, while giving you so much less guilt with the other additional flavours to make it fluffy. It is my version of perfection, true perfection!

Here is the recipe for the mash:

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 2-3 Tablespoons light cream cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable bouillon powder
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chives, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Trim cauliflower of leaves and wash. Chop cauliflower into chunks and place a pot on the stove top to boil. Once water boils, add cauliflower chunks to cook for 6 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

  2. Once cooked, drain all liquid. Replace in pot and add cream cheese to cauliflower. Grab your immersion blender and blend until smooth. 

  3. Add garlic and Parmesan cheese as well as vegetable bouillon powder to mixture and continue to blend. Add black pepper and fresh chives and cover with a pot to allow to keep warm.

  4. When everything is ready sprinkle more chives and pepper on top and enjoy!

I fried my chicken while I boiled my cauliflower and then used the fat in the pan from the chicken to cook the asparagus.

Everything came out truly delicious! Except when I added my garlic to the mash I had a whole garlic and expected it to purée in the pot, or at least blend into a mush. That didn’t quite happen. Luckily I was the one to end up eating the full garlic clove rather than my mom.

I can tell you that it is a relief that I am not in a relationship or my partner would be afraid of me with my breath.

Garlic Mash with Fried Chicken and AsparagusI am in love with how the plate looks. I swear, giving this to my mom for tonight’s dinner made me feel very chef-like with the fabulous presentation.

So, about football? Are you watching the World Cup?

I know I am. I watched the first game of Brasil and Croatia last night and cheered Brasil constantly. Can you believe it was only team Brasil who made goals? Even against their own team?

Well tonight it is the Netherlands against Spain. I am kind of fearful of that turn out, but I am still supporting!

huphollandhupI’ve got my bright orange nail polish on and am sporting some orange earrings. I also bought an orange team Holland T-shirt at our local grocery store too! I am ready to join our country in supporting our national team!

Who are you cheering for?

 

 

Two Green Asparagus Soup Dishes

By now you should know that I love to cook. Well if you do not know then take a second to take in that you are currently on a food obsessed blog. Yeah that means I am food obsessed and love to cook.

There are two things that I love creating in the kitchen:
1) Desserts
2) Soups.

I’ve loved soup since I pretty much came out of the womb. I would eat ichiban religiously even. Every grocery shopping trip would lead to at least two bags of noodles ready to be crushed when we get home. It was an obsession.

Now that I am older and able to actually create things while in the kitchen instead of just pouring water I make soups. And a couple nights ago I gave Asparagus soup a go. I can tell you – I hate peeling asparagus!

Asparagus Soup

The soup recipe I followed was from here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 asparagus spears, sliced into thin ribbons (for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 large shallots, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh, trimmed asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup high quality white wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 6 large basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sprigs of fresh dill and basil leaves (for garnish)

Directions:

1. Prepare asparagus ribbons by laying spears on cutting board and running vegetable peeler along the spears.

2. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.

3. Add shallots, leek, and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes.

4. Add asparagus, chicken stock, wine, salt, and pepper to the pot. Simmer for 15 minutes or until asparagus is tender.

5. Remove pot from heat. Add chopped dill and basil leaves and in batches, puree soup in a blender or food processor. Return soup to pot and add half and half. Move pot back to cook top, add salt an pepper as needed, and heat through.

6. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh dill sprig, basil leaves, and asparagus ribbons.

Once you get over the peeling of the asparagus, it is a very easy and straight forward recipe, wouldn’t you say? Next time I make this mind you, I will NOT add that much dill. I followed the recipe perfectly and the dill was far too strong. The soup lacked the taste of asparagus. Which really is a shame as I love asparagus.

A little on the liquidy side
A little on the liquidy side

I decided to keep the soup though. Not to eat by itself, but to maybe add to something else. Initially I thought only of making the soup into a pasta sauce, but then I remembered that many pasta casseroles are made with soups so what’s a casserole with asparagus soup if not delicious?

Now even though I wasn’t all too keen on the soup I made, adding it to a casserole was the best idea ever. And this recipe wasn’t even of my findings but my moms.

The recipe that she found is from here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box  whole-wheat macaroni noodles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups white mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup asparagus, chopped, tough ends removed
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons flour
  • 2 cups previously made asparagus soup
  • ½ cup cooking cream
  • 1/3 cup asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 cup light, old cheddar cheese, grated
  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400º F (200º C).

  2. Cook pasta as directed on the box.

  3. Meanwhile, in fry pan, heat oil over medium heat. Sautée mushrooms until soft. Add asparagus and celery and cook 5 minutes. Mix in heaping teaspoons of flour to thicken the soup for casserole. Remove from heat.

  4. In a large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, mushrooms, asparagus, celery, green onion, soup, milk, asiago cheese and pepper.

  5. Pour mixture into large casserole dish and top with cheddar cheese.

  6. Bake for 15 minutes.

Asparagus CasseroleAgain, this is another quick and easy recipe as you can tell. Honestly this recipe is perfect. The taste of the soup wasn’t as strong and the combination of the still crunchy celery and the beautifully sautéed mushrooms fit well.

Asparagus Casserole

This recipe is an absolute must!

So if you’re making both, I truly hope you enjoy ’em! Although if I were you I would hold off on the dill just a bit.

Bon appétit!