Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Spring is one of the most magical times of the year. I love the warmer temperatures, longer days, cherry blossoms and blooming flowers. I don’t love the dent in my wallet because of copious Allegra purchases, that being said. 😏

I also love spring produce! Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables, and while I cringe at off-season prices – I’ve bought it for $5.99 / lb. before, sad but true – I revel at being able to buy it for only $1.69 / lb. now. YEAH! It’s so easy to sauté on the stove quickly to toss with some pasta or serve as a side dish – I love to have it with some 7-minute eggs and red cabbage sauerkraut for breakfasts – but I also love to roast a bunch at once for an easy meal prep option. A solid full bunch gives me about 2 – 3 days of a vegetable side for my lunches during the work week.

I’ve got a quick and easy way to roast up some asparagus, tried and true. No frills, just a good recipe. Very…Pinterest-friendly. Haaaa.

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch asparagus, cleaned and woody ends removed
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or neutral-flavored oil of choice
  • 1 lemon
    • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
    • 4 – 6 slices of lemon
  • Salt, to taste

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 425 °F .

2.) Arrange asparagus on lightly-greased rimmed cooking sheet.

3.) In a small bowl, combine olive oil and lemon zest. Drizzle evenly over asparagus; lightly roll and toss with hands to ensure even coating.

4.) Top asparagus with lemon slices, sprinkle with salt, and place in oven for 20 – 25 minutes; be sure to check after about 15 minutes of cooking, depending on how the temperature may distribute in your oven and the thickness of the asparagus. Remove when roasted to liking!

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Raspberry Jasmine Chia Pudding

I’ve been so bad at meal prepping my breakfasts lately. (Hell, lunches, too! Ha!) After a summer full of packing, moving, and cleaning, I was beat. Needless to say, Gregorys Coffee and Sweetgreen got a lot of business from me; in turn, I got a lot of points on my apps. 😏

Now that I’m – at least temporarily – settled again, I’ve got no excuse not to start prepping my meals. I know my wallet and waistline will both be extremely happier.

Chia pudding is, literally, one of the easiest breakfasts to prepare! Prepping overnight oats seems like preparing a 3-course meal in comparison. Chia seeds + liquid + bowl or jar x at least 3 hours = breakfast, baby!

I am a huge fan of jasmine tea, by the by. Admittedly, I’m a bit picky about floral flavors. Chamomile and jasmine are always on the good list. Rose? HARD PASS. Lavender? Eh. It depends on the dish and my mood at the time. Ha! But yes, there is always a welcomed place in my mouth and stomach when it comes to jasmine. I was so excited to see Runamok Maple release a jasmine tea-infused flavor, and the notes in it are perfect. The maple doesn’t overpower the jasmine, and the jasmine doesn’t overpower the maple. They work hand in hand so well! I couldn’t be more delighted to have two of my favorite flavors marry!

Originally, adding fruit into the pudding was NOT a part of the original recipe. However – speaking of marrying flavors – I had some raspberries in the fridge and an impulsive spark in my belly. I did a quick Google search of whether raspberries and jasmine are compatible. TRUST ME. They work together VERY well!

The basis to making a chia pudding is very easy – as I’ve stated in my previous recipe for Dirty Chai Chia Pudding – and if you remember that 3 tablespoons of chia seeds mix with one cup of liquid, you’ll be good as gold!

This chia pudding recipe is a winner. Good thing, since one bowl will give me breakfast for quite a few days! Ha!

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NOTE: Thanks to Runamok Maple for this opportunity to do another collaboration. Please support small business! Please visit their website and check out their amazing line of syrups. Want your own bottle of the jasmine flavor? Use promo code SEEKSATIATION20 to get 20% off at checkout!

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Raspberry Jasmine Chia Pudding
(Makes roughly 24 oz. in total)

– 6 tablespoons chia seeds
– 1/2 cup raspberries, rinsed
– 1 & 1/2 cups milk of choice (dairy or plant-based)
– 1/2 cup water
– 1 bag jasmine tea (optional for a stronger jasmine flavor; see Step #3a)
– 2 tablespoons Runamok Jasmine Tea-Infused Maple Syrup (or sweetener of choice)

Before We Get Started…

– If not able to use jasmine tea-infused maple syrup, use Step #3a for a jasmine-flavored chia pudding.

Directions:

1.) Place chia seeds in a large bowl and set aside.

2.) Roughly chop raspberries and set aside.

3a.) For a stronger jasmine flavor: Over medium heat, bring milk and water to a slow simmer; it should not be brought to a boil. Turn off heat, add tea bag, and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Allow milk tea mixture to cool down for 15 minutes. Add milk tea mixture to chia seeds and gently whisk until thoroughly combined. Add raspberries and maple syrup; whisk again until combined.

OR

3b.) For a lighter jasmine flavor: Add milk and water to chia seeds and gently whisk until thoroughly combined. Add raspberries and jasmine-infused maple syrup; whisk again until combined.

4.) Place plastic wrap over bowl and place in fridge for no less than 3 hours, preferably overnight. This pudding, refrigerated, will remain fresh for up to five days.

Honey Chai Nice Cream

Have you ever watched an episode of “Chopped” and think to yourself, “…damn. How do they come up with some of these creations?”

Well, I’m getting a mini-taste of that this summer, so to speak!

Candace and I have been doing a collaboration called the “YBC Ingredient Challenge!” Or, perhaps the younger generation might understand #SSxYBC better. (Ha!) But here’s the skinny: She wanted me to make three recipe posts for her site over the summer: June, July, & August. She mailed me nine ingredients, and I have to use three ingredients each month for each recipe. BUT! Here is the catch: I have to blindly pick them! I had a friend take out all of the ingredients, put them in a bag, and I videotaped myself blindly picking my first three for June’s recipe.

Luckily, I didn’t pick anything too outrageous on this first go-round: Vega One Vanilla Chai All – In – One Shake Mix, honey, and sea salt.

At the time I developed this recipe, I got a really nice summer cold – UGHHHH – and I was looking for something soothing to eat.

Hence, this nice cream! The flavor is really quite lovely; I had read some reviews of the Vega One mix online that were pretty polarizing, but I happened to love the flavor!

Be sure to check out the full recipe at Yoga By Candace! Be sure to check out her blog at the end of this month for the next recipe, as well! Who knows WHAT I’ll pull out of that bag…

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Honey Chai Nice Cream – for Yoga by Candace

 

Cherry Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal

Summer Goals: Buy cherries when they are cheap!

I swear, one day, they’ll be at Westside Market for $3.99 a pound, then, in the blink of an eye, they are $9.99 a pound.

I’ve got rent and student loans to pay. I’ve gotta buy those cherries when they’re on the low-low.

I’m purposely giving myself slow plan-less weekends; as I’ll be moving from Inwood down to the Upper West Side in the end of August, I’m taking the time to slowly pack up what I need, pitch what I don’t, and use up what’s left in my kitchen! Luckily, I’ll take any excuse to create and cook, so the latter is obviously not an issue for me.

I’ve recently discovered dairy-free Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread. Being free of palm oil, I feel a bit better about indulging in this sweet treat from both a health and ethics perspective. Mixed with some summer-ripened cherries and healthy oats, this breakfast is a win-win! I don’t even care that it’s approximately 110 degrees in my kitchen right now. I’ll move to my air-conditioned bedroom to eat this goodness! Ha!

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NOTE: Thank you to Crier Communications for providing me with this Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread for testing purposes!

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Cherry Chocolate Hazelnut Oatmeal
(Makes three cups)

Ingredients:

– 2 cups water or milk of choice
– 1 cup rolled oats, uncooked
– 1/2 cup cherries, pits removed and quartered
– 1 tablespoon dairy-free Nocciolata Organic Hazelnut Spread (or comparable hazelnut spread)
– 1 scoop collagen peptides (optional)

Directions:

1.) Cook rolled oats according to directions on package. While oats are cooking, mix in cherries and cook for five minutes. Stir in hazelnut spread until melted and incorporated. Serve immediately!

Pasta con Ceci

This is a recipe that I’ll definitely be adding to my arsenal of quick dinners recipes AND meal prep recipes. Why?

– This took me 20 minutes, start to finish.

– This will satisfy your pasta cravings while sneaking some bean proteins in.

– It’s wicked cheap!

– Goya beans flow like wine in NYC, so it’ll be easy to find a can of chickpeas. Ha!

There isn’t much else to say; I feel that I could pad this post if I wanted to. I just whipped it up, photographed it, ate it, packed a bunch in Gladware to bring to work for the week, and DONE.

Backtracking: After I photographed it, I sat on my kitchen counter and ate a small bowl of it while my neighbors watched me from their kitchen window.

I can only imagine what they think of me when I’m standing on my wicker stool, towering 4 feet above my butcher block, head down, massive DSLR in hand. I’d like to think that they’re jealous they don’t get to eat the awesome food I’m creating!

Yeah…yeah…that’s it…

Pasta con Ceci
(Based on the Food 52 recipe for Pasta con Ceci)
(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

-3 cups boiling water
-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
-3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
-3 tablespoons tomato paste (I use Muir Glen organic tomato paste)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
-1 & 1/2 cups uncooked wagon wheel pasta

Before We Get Started…

– If you don’t have wagon wheel pasta, ditalini or another small shape works well! If you live near a Whole Foods location that has the bulk bins with dinosaur-shaped pasta, DO IT. Life’s too short not to!

– The consistency of the tomato paste adds to this dish, so please do not substitute tomato sauce in its place.

Directions:

1.) In a large saucepan, heat water and bring to a slow boil.

2.) While the water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil on low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add garlic and cook and stir until soft; you can allow the garlic to slightly brown, but do not let it burn!

3.) Add tomato paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add salt, chickpeas, dried pasta, and boiling water. Stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Keep heat at medium-low and simmer until the pasta is cooked and the liquid has reduced, roughly 15 minutes.

4.) To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with extra olive oil, if desired. If meal-prepping or if there are leftovers, this will last in the fridge up to four days.