Hey everyone! This is my first official cooking video for you since I’ve been down in Austin. If you have specific questions surrounding technique or anything else, leave a comment below!
My pig and I had fun making this for you. (ps. The videos will get better as I continue to bust them out for you!)
Today at the Natural Epicurean we did a Wet Cooking Methods lab!
I’m slightly obsessed!
With this veggie really shoving spring into our faces, I can’t help but eat it almost every day of the week! It’s easy to cook, easy to eat, and easy to love. The only thing about it is you can only take so much of the same thing. Most of us find a way we like to eat certain foods and we cook that same recipe until we kill it…until everyone is screaming for you to stop because they know what’s coming for dinner.
So how do you keep asparagus interesting? Well here’s a couple simple ideas
Turn your asparagus into a refreshing salad!
- 1 bundle fresh Asparagus spears, snapped or trimmed to remove the tough ends
- 1/3 cup quinoa cooked in 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 tsp salt.
- 1 red bell pepper, Julienned
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup feta cheese
- enough Lemon Vinaigrette to dress the salad
- Bring a big pot of water to a boil and start getting your asparagus ready! Snap each spear or trim the woody end off, then using a sharp knife simply slice each spear in half length wise. (You don’t necessarily have to slice them in half, but I like it better that way!) Then when your asparagus is prepped just put it into the boiling water and blanch for about 1 minute. Blanching is just a fancy word for quickly boiling. After the minute is up you want to “shock” the asparagus in an ice bath, which is just a bunch of ice water in a bowl. This will stop the cooking and cool down the asparagus getting it ready for the salad. Pat the spears dry, and then add them to a bowl to assemble the salad!
- Cook your quinoa until tender and all of the water has been absorbed, then allow it to cool. You can rinse it in ice water to quickly cool it off. Then add it into the bowl with the asparagus.
- You have a couple of options with the red pepper after you thinly slice it. You can quickly sauté it with a bit of olive oil for some added flavor, roast it with a bit of olive oil at 425 degrees for about 7 minutes, or leave it raw in the salad. I personally like it roasted, but feel free to do whatever you would like. Once it’s prepared how you want, (let it cool if it’s been cooked) put it into the salad bowl!
- Now you can toast the almonds, which it extremely simple! Using a small sauté pan, just allow the almonds to toast until they turn a golden color and you can easily smell them. I do this on medium high heat, with no oil in the pan. Careful because they can go from perfectly toasted to burnt in no time!
- To toss the salad just add the almonds in along with the feta cheese and then lightly dress with the lemon vinaigrette. This salad is best served the same day it’s made, but if you do make it ahead of time, just keep the feta, almonds, and vinaigrette separate until serving time.
If you have questions about this recipe tweet me or leave a comment below!
Asparagus Frozen Yogurt!!
Yea…I went there. And honestly I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to like it, but man was I wrong! The asparagus flavor just excites your taste buds and boggles your mind. I can’t wait for you to try this out! Plus it’s crazy easy to make…and you can always make it dairy free! One of my tricks for jazzing up ice cream is buying a plain fat-free and no sugar added frozen yogurt…then adding great flavors to it. Strawberry rhubarb, sweet potato or beet ice creams are just a few ingredients away when you steal my tip.
- 2 cups fat-free, no sugar added frozen yogurt. (to make this dairy free, just substitute almond or coconut milk ice cream)
- 1 bundle fresh Asparagus spears
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt (You can use almond or coconut yogurt)
- Start by putting the 2 cups of frozen yogurt into a mixing bowl. Allow it to soften while you prep your asparagus!
- In this recipe I only use the top 3-4 inches of the asparagus to make sure they are extremely tender. So slice your asparagus spears and blanch them just like in the recipe above! That means drop them in boiling water for about 1 minute, and then move them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Next just pat them dry once you take them out of the ice bath and add them to your blender or food processor.
- Add the yogurt to the asparagus in the blender or food processor and puree until it’s nice and smooth. To make the puree extremely smooth you can press it through a sieve after your done mixing!
- Now just add the asparagus mixture to the frozen softened yogurt and mix well! You can easily just swirl the asparagus mixture into it as well to create a white on green look with your ice cream. Taste the asparagus frozen yogurt mixture before you put it into the freezer. If it’s too strong of a flavor for you, just add a bit more frozen yogurt to mellow it out. Then let it freeze back up for a couple of hours and serve!
What are your favorite asparagus recipes?
One of my favorite things to do is just simply roast the spears. I love the two recipes above, but there is almost nothing better than asparagus lightly coated in olive oil, sprinkled with salt, pepper, and lemon zest, then roasted at 425 for 7-10 minutes. Yep there’s a little bonus recipe for you. Finish them off with a bit of fresh lemon juice and YES! delicious.
Talk to you all soon! Enjoy your asparagus! (we could get into the whole smelly pee thing…but thats another blog. and it’s gross)
My girlfriend @Marahartt inspired me to make these cookies!
because my experience with no bake cookies looks like this:
They just weren’t very pleasant…..Too sweet, Crazy texture, and nothing like a cookie. Plus they were no where close to healthy since they were packed with powdered sugar, sweetened coconut, and milk chocolate.
Well welcome to my world folks, where I make recipes as healthy as possible. Those cookies above (if you can even call them cookies) were a thing of the past. (occasionally i’m in the mood for unhealthy…but that’s another blog.) The no bake cookies I’ve created for you today are Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan, and just plain wonderful. If that doesn’t sell you though, I have some powerful ingredients just waiting to make you happy and healthy.
Introducing! The new and improved: Healthy No Bake Cookie
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup toasted shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted almond butter
- 1/3 cup Agave Nectar
- 2 tbsp. Chia Seeds
- 2 tbsp. minced crystalized ginger
- 1/4 cup dried goji berries
- 2 tbsp. Black currant juice
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Why ground Flax Seed?
Many nutrition experts prefer ground flax seed over whole flax seed because the ground is easier for our bodies to digest. In this recipe I needed something to bind the cookies together, and the health benefits of Flax Seed made it my number one choice. Flax seed is full of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals called lignans.
Why Chia Seeds?
I’m a lover of chia seeds because they really give you a boost of energy…that lasts! But that’s not the only benefit of putting these in my recipe. Chia seeds also have more omega-3′s than Atlantic Salmon, more antioxidants than fresh blueberries, and more calcium then 2% milk. I try to sneak chia seeds into everything that I can. More recipes will come with these as the star.
Why Goji Berries?
More and more people are using these berries…and honestly…I just wanted to try them in a recipe! I have never used them before, so I thought this was the perfect time! The cool thing though is goji berries are packed with nutritional benefits: tons of Antioxidants, essential minerals, amino acids and 4 unique polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates). I bought my goji berries dehydrated..and then I rehydrated them in black currant juice. Feel free to rehydrate them in whatever liquid you would like! If you can’t find these tasty little berries…dried cranberries are and excellent alternative!
- Start by re-hydrating the goji berries in the black currant juice. You can really use any kind of juice, or even water to re-hydrate the berries…black currant juice is just what I had available. Place the berries into a small bowl and then cover with the liquid for about 30 minutes.
- In a nice sized bowl, mix the oats, toasted coconut, ground flax seed, chocolate chips, chia seeds, and ginger. (to toast the coconut, spread it out on a small baking sheet and toast at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes, or until nicely browned…but not burned!) …also, make sure to chop the crystalized ginger into very small pieces. This is a sticky ingredient, so I like to use scissors and snip small pieces right into the bowl.
- Once the goji berries are nice and plump, drain them from the juice remaining in the bowl and then add them to the mix. give it a quick toss and then get ready to add the next ingredients!
- In goes the almond butter, Agave, and vanilla. Using a silicon spatula, just gently mix all of the ingredients together!
- Once everything is nicely incorporated…use a 1 tbsp. measure and make your cookies. This recipe makes about 30. Roll each tbsp. full of the cookie mix into a ball and then flatten it into a round cookie shape.
- I place my finished cookies on a lightly greased cookie sheet, and then refrigerate them for at least 2 hours.
Once these healthy no bake cookies are finished…share them with a friend, eat them with your breakfast, eat them as a snack, eat them as dessert, eat them on a bus, eat them on a plane, eat them on a jog, eat them at a party….
Obviously there are no limits here.
Feel free to experiment with other dried fruits or berries…chopped apricots, mango, or blueberries would be fantastic in these cookies!
Make sure to tweet me with your questions.
If you like this recipe and what I do here on my blog, leave a comment below!
Sometimes I have dreams about food.
Shocking right? And most of the time they are crazy…which is why i don’t tell you about them. (I think I’ll just publish a “Tanner’s Crazy Dreams” book later in my life) Every once in a while though I have a dream that is not quite as crazy as the others and needs to be shared. Last night I fell asleep in Lincoln, Nebraska and woke up in the land of Julia Child.
As a 17 year old…sure I know who Julia Child is, but I never really had a chance to experience what she was all about. To be totally honest I thought she was boring when I first layed eyes on her TV show. CRAZY…I know. But there has been a change in the air.
Every day during the week I’ve started to watch “The French Chef” on the Cooking Channel. Her show puts me in a trance, ignites my passion for food, and sends me over a flavor rainbow with a huge pot of beef bourguignon on the other side. I DIDN’T KNOW HER MAGIC EXISTED. Sure, I knew who she was, I knew she was THE celebrity chef…but I didn’t know why she was who she was.
After being completely sucked into everything she has done…I’ve started to feel sad, and guilty, and in love. I feel like maybe I could’ve gotten to know her better before she passed away…even though I know that would’ve been a far off dream. Maybe I could’ve run into her in a french bistro, and asked her to sign my forehead. Who knows! But I think my feelings of guilt, sadness, and love all stem from me wishing I could meet her and follow in her footsteps…and somehow fall in love over a fancy dinner. I mean she’s just plain awesome.
So I finished sending emails last night and slowly fell asleep. My dream started like normal…Everything I was thinking about before bed started fighting to the death. The topic that came out on top received the high honor of supplying me with great entertainment for about 5 hours. Julia was obviously the winner with her big knife and chicken minions.
In my dream Julia received an email from me. (I frequently send out emails to amazing chefs asking for advice) While I slobbered on my body pillow last night…My new Idol hit reply. She asked me to come to her home. Not because she wanted to cook with me, or talk with me, but because she was out of butter and desperately needed me to bring her some. Funny huh? I remember arriving at her kitchen, which was the exact kitchen out of her show, and guess what happened? She wouldn’t say a word to me. I offered her the butter she desperately needed…and she just didn’t say anything. I didn’t know if I came too late, or made her mad…I was extremely confused, but became even more confused when she finally looked up at me and said “just keep chopping.”
“Just Keep Chopping,” What the heck does that mean? I wasn’t even chopping anything. I was just standing in her kitchen with the butter she asked for! I tried again to communicate with her, but from then on the only thing she would say to me was “just keep chopping.”
Sadly I don’t remember much more from this dream. The part that I do remember though really REALLY impacted me. The “just keep chopping” went on for quite some time I believe. Before I headed over to the radio station today to share my super bowl hot wings recipe…I googled quotes from Julia Child. I was thinking that it would be really creepy to see “just keep chopping” on the list.
No, I didn’t find it (that would’ve been crazy!)…but I did find this one:
“You’ll never know everything about anything, especially something you love.”
― Julia Child
So I decided to interpret my dream in this way:
Just keep chopping is Julia’s way of telling me to not give up. Lately I’ve been trying to really figure out the direction I want to go after High School…and what this quote tells me is that for the rest of my life I get to chase after my dreams. I WILL be on the Food Network, I WILL go to culinary school, I WILL speak to and inspire millions of people. And while I’m doing all of this I will continue to grow, and learn about what I love. Everything will happen the way it should. (even though I’m slightly disappointed I didn’t get to eat any of her food in my dream)
Share your dreams with me in the comments.