Monthly Archives: May, 2013

Strawberry Asparagus Salad

Strawberry Asparagus Salad

Spring in a bowl, that’s what we got here. As a kid, asparagus season was met with dread. Maybe Mom should have tried serving it raw instead over cooked. I had no idea you could eat asparagus raw until I was an adult, well into my 30’s. Wasted time, I tell ya. Raw asparagus has a sweet gentle taste compared to its cooked form (of course, I like the cooked for now as well, as long as it’s not overcooked).

The dressing will work just fine if you only heat it enough to incorporate the honey. The picture shows it that way, I was too hungry to wait for it to reduce. It’s much better if you can reduce it some, but it’s tasty either way. Continue reading →


Savory Oatmeal

Savory Oatmeal

So one day I wanted something comforting but wasn’t sure what I had at home that would fit the bill. Oatmeal had the right texture and filling capacity but I did not want something sweet (I know, shocked me to. I don’t know what was up). Eureka! Savory Oatmeal. I’m pretty sure I am not the first person to think of it (my Scottish ancestors eat a lot of oatmeal I’m sure), but I don’t remember seeing it before. Topped off with a fried egg and served with some vegetable juice it fit the bill just fine.

I used Italian seasoning and of course garlic but you could use just about any combination that tickles your fancy. Continue reading →

Butternut Squash Fondue/Soup

Butternut Squash FondueThis is an odd yet yummy recipe. Depending on the size of the squash you use (and its moisture content I’m betting) it’s either think, creamy soup or fondue. The first time I made it, it was a little too thick and cheesy to be soup. So I broke out the bread cubes and called it fondue. Since there is only so much fondue one person can eat by themselves I took it to work so that my guinea pigs coworkers could tell me what they thought. Everyone gave it the thumbs up and agreed that it should be a fondue instead of a soup.

The weather has taken a quick turn to winter again it seems and I had a squash hanging out on the counter asking when I was going to use it (food doesn’t talk to you? Hmm, you should have that looked into).

To be quite honest, I like this squashy fondue better than traditional fondue. Plus, you have the added benefit of the nutritional veggie base. You can keep it vegetarian by using vegetable broth and you can keep it low fat by using nonfat broth and Neufchatel cheese.

The hot sauce and paprika don’t make the dish hot or even spicy but they definitely add depth to the flavor, that something you can’t quite put your tongue on. It will still be good if you leave it out, they weren’t in the first version. Continue reading →

Salad Topper: Chive Blossoms

Chive BlossomHere’s something pretty to throw on your salad. Mid spring or early summer chives send up a woody stock that blossoms out into a lovely purple flower. Chives are part of the onion family and while their flavor is mild their blossoms are not. They seem to concentrate all their power into one fluffy flower! These are fairly hot. I usually throw them into a tossed green salad served with a creamy dressing like ranch. The dressing helps counteract the assertiveness of the chive blossom. You could certainly use them in other salads. You could also serve them on a crudite platter as is.

Toss the salad gently as chive blossoms can fall apart. They are compound flower, rather l a dandelion seed head and fall apart easily. Their color can range from crayon purple to lilac. I think mine need to

Chive Blossom Profile

be repotted and are blooming a bit lighter than usual this year.

Chives are an easy plant to grow. Give them a decent size pot, good soil, and a spot in the sun and they will be quite happy on your porch or balcony.

Have you used chive blossoms before? How did you use them? I’ve been considering battering and frying them. Has anyone had them that way?


Edamame Salad

Edamame SaladI fell off the salad wagon. Not only did I fall off the salad wagon, I fell of the vegetable wagon and the cooking wagon and I have the road rash to show for it.

Perhaps it’s getting used to the new job and hours, maybe it’s the allergies, maybe it’s because I actually did fall down and go scrape on the concrete and it still hurts like heck, or maybe it’s PMS. Maybe it’s all just excuses for why I have not only not felt like cooking but not firing up the computer to post. I’m not on the computer as much since I got my shiny new phone. I guess I am on the computer, probably much more, it’s just much smaller.

Whatever it is, here is my peace offering for being away. I fell in love with edamame (soy beans) at the sushi restaurant. Steamed edamame is an appetizer and snack in Japanese cuisine. The little bowl of fuzzy pods are cracked open and consumed in no time at our table. Once I knew what to do with them I bought a bag of frozen beans for at home. A quick boil and voila! Snack time. If I’m craving something salty I’ll use a couple dashes of soy sauce on them, soy on soy action. That is what gave me the idea for this salad dressing.

It’s really pretty simple and lovely and easy, which is exactly what one needs to crawl back on to the salad wagon. Continue reading →

Quick Bacon & Green Beans

Quick Bacon & Green BeansFresh green beans and I don’t get along, I’ve never been able to cook them right. Maybe that will be one of my summer goals, to finally figure out cooked fresh green beans! I love canned green beans though. It’s another one of those turn arounds from when I was a kid. When I was a kid I hated them but since I didn’t like most veg that was okay.

Elephant garlic is not just giant garlic although it is closely related. It has a really mild garlic taste so it’s okay to use a lot of it. You do not want to use regular garlic in a straight across swap unless you are really into garlic (like me!).

Use the best bacon you can find (like there’s bad bacon, ha!). I used Trader Joe’s Black Forest bacon which is one of the best bacon’s I’ve had. They seem to have tried to follow the real Black Forest method which you can read about here. Be careful when cooking it, it cooks fast and must have a high sugar content as it burns fast.

This is a total fake for one of those all day kind of recipes, it doesn’t take very long at all. You could serve it as a side by I frequently it as an entrée with some toast. Continue reading →

Seared Scallops with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction

Seared Scallops with Strawberry Balsamic ReductionBalsamic vinegar and strawberries are friends. Balsamic be all like, “Strawberry! Missed ya! Why you only visit me once a year?” I figure they should have a good long visit together… in a pan…where they wouldn’t be interrupted. And seared scallops are just seared scallops; they’re awesome all on their own. We all know that spinach already gets along with everybody else so I had to invite them to the party. I can’t say much more here other than sometimes I impress even myself, which is saying a lot. My inner food critic is pretty harsh.

By the way, I did not lick the browned butter out of the pan when the scallops were done. It was tempting but I resisted. Instead I wiped it up with crusty bread and then toasted the bread. I highly recommend this! So yummy. Continue reading →

Sesame Ginger Kale Salad

Sesame Ginger Kale SaladKale and I never used to get along. My first job was in a pizza parlor. Every morning we had to fill the salad display with ice and prepared salads. These displays were edged with large leaves of kale which we kept in a bucket with water when not on display. They smelled horrible. It wasn’t being kept in the water; they smelled horrible when they were freshly delivered. I often put the produce order away and they stunk right off the truck. I couldn’t imagine how people could eat the stuff. I knew they did, but it was smelly and the leaves were tuff and fibrous. It was even worse if you were hung over.

Twenty some years later a coworker offered me his salad that he wasn’t going to eat. Kale and I had met a few times at the store and farmer’s market but there had been no real introduction. This kale looked different and it didn’t seem to smell, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there. But this coworker had pretty good taste and the salad had sesame and ginger in it. You can sell me just about anything if it’s been coated in sesame and ginger. It was love at first bite and kale and I have been spending a lot of quality time together since. It’s even managed to introduce me to some of its other leafy friends like sorrel, mustard, and beet. A gate opened and suddenly there was a whole new leafy world available!

This is my ode to that life changing salad. Continue reading →