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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Vegan Ranch Dressing

During the month of January, perhaps a hair beyond that, I am embarking on a dairy-free diet.

Granted, I’m not one of those people that’s, “DIET! DIET! DIET!” I’m sure you’ve seen that on both my Instagram and this blog. I believe in eating healthy. I believe in eating balanced. I believe in eating two Tres Leches cake doughnuts followed by a hot chocolate from Doughnut Plant every so often. The old adage “moderation is key” is SO true, y’all.

My dairy-free diet does have a basis in my own health and not in vanity – regular dairy intake might be contributing to an increase in my body’s production of testosterone. FUN! Not that I’m becoming manly, but it’d rather have my hormones in balance, thankyouveryMUCH. Dairy can affect IGF-1 (Insulin Growth Factor-1) into our bodies; too much can lead to an imbalance as, in some females, it causes higher testosterone production. I might be one of those females. 💁

[Mind you, I am not a doctor! I’ve worked at a hospital for almost 9 years, but my background is strictly liberal studies and communications. Ha! Speak with your own medical professional if you think this may be a concern for you.]

Removing dairy is not a huge issue; sure, I miss cheese like WHOA, I’ve had to consciously meal-prep breakfasts more as I can’t easily grab a Siggi’s and fruit on my way out the door, and I damn near keeled over when my department’s Director of Nursing bought our office pizza yesterday, BUT…I’ve got this. I’ve just got to be creative and mindful.

I wanted to see if I could use the creamy power of pulverized cashews to make something insanely tasty. I’ve mixed in lots of things with cashew cream in the past, but as I had to sadly turn down ranch dressing for my salad at dinner the other night – damn near torture for me – I wanted to see if I could take those wonderful ranch flavors and make them into something not mixed into a cow’s utter secretions.

(I know, I made milk sound so lovely, right?)

The result was pretty damn good! I immediately texted my friend Liana – one of my best vegan friends to bounce my food ideas off of – as soon as I tasted it; I figured she’d be the only person immediately as excited as I was. Ha! I miss that quintessential buttermilk tang, but I was very shocked and pleased by what I created. In this case, the dill really saved the day when bringing that good ranch flavor to this dressing.

I can definitely survive any ranch cravings as long as I’ve got this in my back pocket…figuratively, of course. I’m sure it’d last a lot longer in my fridge. 😏

Vegan Ranch Dressing

Vegan Ranch Dressing
(Makes roughly 1 & 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:
– 1 cup raw cashews, left whole
– 3 cups of hot water, for soaking cashews
– 3/4 cup water, for inclusion in dressing
– 1/2 tablespoon avocado oil
– 1 tablespoon fresh chives, finely minced or 1 teaspoon dried chives
– 3 teaspoons fresh dill, finely minced or 1 teaspoon dried dill
– 2 teaspoons fresh parsley, finely minced or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– Juice of 1/2 lemon
– 1/2 teaspoon salt

Before We Get Started…

– Oil of choice can be substituted for avocado oil here. Olive oil works just fine.

Directions:

1.) Add cashews to a large bowl and cover with 3 cups hot water. Allow to stand for at least one hour or up to 8 hours. (NOTE: I always do an hour of soaking with fine results.) Drain cashews and place into food processor or high-speed blender.

2.) Pulse cashews until a fine meal forms. Slowly add in 1/4 cup water and blend until mixture begins to thin out slightly; do this twice more in 1/4 cup water increments. With the final 1/4 cup of water, add in avocado oil. Blend until smooth.

3.) Remove cashew cream and add to large bowl. Gently fold in chives, dill, parsley, garlic powder, and lemon juice until combined. Add salt; add more to taste, if desired.

4.) Refrigerate dressing; will keep in fridge for up to a week.

Walnut Lentil Pâté

Another month, another recipe for Yoga By Candace! Truthfully, as much as I get joy from creating recipes for this blog, I always jump at the chance to share my passion for developing cool recipes with other websites and publications. I’m so grateful Candace decided to take a chance on lil’ ol’ me a year ago and allow me to share my hard work with a different audience.

This recipe for Walnut Lentil Pâté is rather fantastic. I was in my hometown a few weeks ago and had breakfast at Plantin’ Seeds. They host events throughout the year, provide education on how to procure and use locally-sourced plant-based foods year round, and serve amazing pay – as – you – wish donation – based meals on Thursdays through Saturdays. One Saturday, they served a salad with Walnut Lentil Pâté, and, despite my initial apprehension of trying this odd brown schmear on my plate, I ended up falling head over heels for it. I knew I had to try my hand at creating my replication, and I think I did a pretty good job!

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This recipe does take some time. Between caramelizing onions, simmering lentils, and roasting walnuts, it’s not as simple as throwing a few ingredients into a food processor and giving them a a few pulses. The elbow grease you put into it will be worth it.

Be sure to head over to Yoga By Candace for the full recipe!

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classic gazpacho avocado mango

Classic Gazpacho with Avocado & Mango

Oh. HELLO.

What’ s up, my bebes?

If you’ve been following my Instagram ( @seeksatiation ), you know that I’m not dead. Conversely, I’m quite alive and kickin’! I’ve been taking a blogging break, and it’s been quite lovely. Since I work that typical Monday through Friday 9 to 5 grind, my recipe development takes place on the weekends; some weekends, though, I’d love to relax. I’ve been allowing myself to do that, and it’s been lovely! I’ve been reading THIS book and THAT book. I’ve been going to the gym. (Hell, I’ve lost 10 pounds and can now lift 30 pounds, which is a damn lot for my little chicken arms. Ha!) I’ve watched “Glow“. (I LOVE Marc Maron & Alison Brie!) I’ve been doing my usual food writing for Candace’s site. I’ve been attending fun events by Palate Connect. I’ve gone to a few Yankees games, which…they’ve all lost. Am I bad luck? Perhaps…perhaps…

So, yes! I’ve been having a nice few weekends to myself!

Coming in August, I’m hoping to launch back into the blog; this fall, I’m hoping to give it a sexy little makeover as well!

In the meantime, check out the newest recipe I did for Yoga By Candace: Classic Gazpacho with Avocados & Mango. I’m tellin’ ya, avocado in gazpacho is wonderful, but it’s the mango that truly brings this recipe to the next level. Its sweetness counters the acidity of the tomatoes beautifully.

classic gazpacho avocado mango

CLICK THIS LINK to be transported to what may surely be a summer staple in your kitchen!

Catch y’all in August with some new original recipes for Seek Satiation! 🙂

classic gazpacho avocado mango

 

sauteed broccoli rabe

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic & Pepper

Eat your flowers!

Okay, that’s not something I’ve heard too often in my life, nor something I’ve really participated in doing. Decorative edible flowers on dessert is a concept I’m ambivalent about, and I really am not a fan of rosewater. Floral is not my taste of choice. My brain starts firing off, “Why are you drinking this bottle of perfume, Allison?!?!”

However, the taste of broccoli rabe’s little yellow flowers do not fill my mouth with the scent of a strong bouquet of flowers, but rather a slight nutty flavor that’s quite enjoyable!

sauteed broccoli rabe

At my local farmers’ market, one vendor has been selling rabe of all sorts – broccoli, kale, and mustard – with yellow and red flowers speckling all of the bunches. They’re so beautiful! I bought the flowery broccoli rabe on a whim, researching whether the flowers were edible. I learned that flowering broccoli rabe should be eaten sooner than later, but a nice blanch followed by a sauté should get rid of any bitter flavor some people may experience with broccoli rabe.

sauteed broccoli rabe

Luckily, I bought a lot of broccoli rabe for $3, which allowed me to experiment with a little less guilt if I screwed up the first few times.

I experienced trial but little error. Lucky me!

sauteed broccoli rabe

The blanching helps bring out the vibrant green, and the leaving the flowers on simply gave it a pop of color. I’m not sure if it added any discernible taste notes, since the garlic – of course – was the predominant flavor, but hey, I see no reason to take ’em off. Leaving them on is up to you!

So go ahead. Eat your greens…and eat your flowers!

sauteed broccoli rabe

Sautéed Broccoli Rabe with Garlic & Pepper
(Serves 2 – 3 as a side dish)

Ingredients:

– 1 large bunch broccoli rabe (roughly 1 lb.)
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
– Salt, to taste

Before We Get Started…

– If you purchase broccoli rabe with flowers, of course, it is up to you whether you want to remove them!

Directions:

1.) Trim the woodier / harder ends of your broccoli rabe and discard / save for composting.

2.) Fill a large bowl with cold water – add ice cubes, if preferred – and place in refrigerator to chill while water is brought to a boil and broccoli rabe blanches. (see #3).

3.) Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil. Add broccoli rabe and boil for 3 – 5 minutes or until are tender. Remove chilled bowl of water from fridge; use tongs to gently remove from boiling water to the chilled water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, drain water, and lay broccoli rabe on clean cloth or paper towels. Pat dry to remove as much moisture as possible.

4.) In a large sauté pan (a 12″ pan works well here!), add olive oil and turn heat to medium. Once oil shimmers, add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds; do not allow garlic to brown! Add broccoli rabe and sauté for five minutes. Add pepper and, toss in pan, and cook for one additional minute. Salt to taste, and remove from heat. Serve immediately!