Cream Of Asparagus

The stuff my husband brings from farmers markets nowadays makes me want to shake the winter hibernation off with some fresh healthy recipes.  I know, right? What’s happening to me?!  Well, I guess all the things green and juicy and flavorful, and not kale are quite inspiring. Plus they are reminding that there is a slight (very slight, but…) chance of sunny days on the horizon, and low possibly (but still a possibility!!!) of a t-shirt-kind of day, and that perhaps we should get into a t-shirt appropriate shape!

Here is something healthy and delicious to celebrate the spring!

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Vegan Cream Of Asparagus

From While Chasing Kids | Soups | American

This soup is so creamy and smooth you would never guess it’s vegan!
Serves: 6

00:45
00:10
00:35

cal Calories 245kcal

Low fat Total Fat 8g

Low sat-fat Saturated Fat 1g

chol Free Cholesterol 0mg

High sodium Sodium 1030mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 39g

Serving size 419g Calories from fat 72kcal Fiber 8g Protein 9g Sugar 14g
6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 bunches fresh asparagus, chopped
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 steam fresh rosemary
  • 6 cups lowsodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven and sauté cumin seeds for about 3 minutes till fragrant. Add garlic and onion, sauté, until onion is golden yellow. Add asparagus and sauté for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add cauliflower, cilantro, chopped rosemary leaves, and vegetable broth. Bring to boil and cook on medium low heat for about 25 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Pure soup in a blender. Pour the pure back into the Dutch oven and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, bring to boil and take off the heat.
  4. Serve hot; garnish with a few drops of vinegar and pine nuts.

Tips

  • Add cumin seeds for a slightly nutty flavor.

If you liked this recipe you may enjoy:

Skinny Parade

I’m so excited to present the beautiful entries of all the amazing food bloggers that decided to participate in our parade!  If you are anything like me (a pathological baker and a dessert addict), you would appreciate these guilt-free showpieces! Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal Truffles by Shift Ctrl ART

 

I recently found Katja’s blog and I’m infatuated! Her recipes are wonderful. She is also a very talented artist, a terrific photographer; and I think her home-improvement projects are simply brilliant.

Alcoholic Pears and Chocolate Sauce by The Healthy Epicurean

Fiona’s page is also one of my most recent discoveries.  I was blown away by her gorgeous photographs,  healthy approach to eating, and nutritious recipes. Check out her blog and get inspired! 

Turkish Coffee Meringues by Butter, Sugar, Flowers

Moriah’s love for crafts results in charming desserts and a beautiful blog. She also has her own jewelry shop!

Yogurt and Granola Parfait by de la casa

I asked Christina to display one of her posts, because I’m a huge fan.  I actually abuse her blog as my own cookbook – her recipes are so simple and delicious!   Coincidentally, this one is the only chocolate-less delight today!

Profiteroles by Diane’s Kitchen Table

Diane has been my virtual friend for a very long time (in blog years).  She is an excellent cook and a brilliant story teller.  Read one of my favorites and you’ll know why I love her blog so much.

Gluten Free Dark Chocolate Brownies by In Pursuit Of More

If you are looking for healthy vegetarian recipes, you don’t need to go far – just visit Shira’s blog.  Delicious looking photos and moving stories are awaiting!

 Thank you, ladies!

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Quinoa salad

In Russia we say that the way to man’s heart goes through his stomach.  If that is true, the road to my husband’s heart is paved with vegetarian burritos, pizza, and this quinoa salad.

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It’s perfect for winters when all you see at the farmers markets are chard and kale.  It’s so hearty, it could be served as your main dish.  We use whatever there is in the fridge – I chop up fresh vegetables that we like to eat raw and top them with cooked ones (doesn’t matter hot or cold). Voilà!

If only I had Dave’s taste buds and didn’t crave a dessert after this….

A very healthy dinner or lunch idea – this salad is a meal on its own

00:55
00:15
00:40

cal Calories 276kcal

High fat Total Fat 14g

Low sat-fat Saturated Fat 2g

chol Free Cholesterol 0mg

Low sodium Sodium 54mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 34g

Serving size 362g Calories from fat 126kcal Fiber 5g Protein 7g Sugar 7g
6 servings

Ingredients

  • salad
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rainbow quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 bunch kale
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 2 strings green onion
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus
  • 2 tbs pine seeds
  • dressing
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Wash brown rice and quinoa. Place the grains in the rice cooker, cover with water, and cook until done.
  2. Chop all the vegetables and cilantro.
  3. Saute or steam the vegetables you want cooked until tender
  4. Once the rice-quinoa mixture is ready, open the lid of the rice cooker and let it cool for just about 5 minutes.
  5. Make the dressing. Whisk all the ingredients together.
  6. Combine all salad ingredients and toss with the dressing.

Tips

  • This salad has no limits! Don’t waste anything in your fridge. You can use your favorite veggies and fruit, sprinkle nuts or seeds over it, and dress with your favorite salad dressing!

Skinny Parade – Spicy Chocolate Fudge Brownies

“My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes,” I thought today, looking at the scale.  The quote, of course, is from my favorite “Anne Of Green Gables”.  The feelings are genuinely mine. I am certain, my love for desserts and baking has absolutely nothing to do with them…

So, today, purely to prove I’m not in denial, we are trying something new, and hope you will jump on board! I suggest we make a parade of skinny desserts.  If you want to participate – the rules are very simple:

  • Make a dessert under 200 calories per serving;
  • Post the recipe and photos in your blog with a link to this entry;
  • Leave a comment here, letting me know you are in.

Next week on Thursday, I will show off your photos with respective links in one blog post.

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And for now, I hope you enjoy my skinny creation.

Cinnamon-Fudge-Walnut Brownies

From While Chasing Kids | Desserts | American

This fudge reminds me of Mexican hot chocolate because of its cinnamon flavor; and the nuts and melted chocolate chunks make it irresistible

01:00
00:15
00:45

cal Calories 170kcal

fat Total Fat 8g

sat fat Saturated Fat 4g

chol Cholesterol 26mg

sodium Sodium 76mg

carbs Total Carbohydrate 25g

Serving size 46g Calories from fat 72kcal Fiber 2g Protein 3g Sugar 18g
20 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup fatfree milk
  • 5 tbs butter, melted
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F (175⁰C). Coat a 9-inch square metal baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Spread walnuts over ungreased rimmed baking sheet and roast them in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes.
  4. Place milk and ½ cup of chocolate in a small sauce pan. Cook on low heat, stirring until the chocolate melts (about 3 minutes). Set aside. Lightly beat the eggs. Stir in eggs and melted butter with the milk mixture. Pour the milk mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir to incorporate. Mix in the remaining ¼ cup of chocolate chunks and walnuts.
  5. Bake at 350⁰F (175⁰C) for about 27 minutes or until a wooden toothpick, inserted in the center, comes out with moist crumbs attached to it. Cool on in a pan on a wire rack.

 

SpicyBrownies_WM-3

Kale Salad

“Well, if you like burgers give ’em a try sometime. Me, I can’t usually get ’em myself because my girlfriend’s a vegetarian which pretty much makes me a vegetarian. But I do love the taste of a good burger.” 

I don’t even like them, but I was dreaming of a Big Kahuna Burger, as my husband turned all vegetarian on me last weekend.  Our good friend from Denver was visiting, and instead of barhopping with my man every night (like they always do when Jayson flies in), he brainwashed Dave on healthy lifestyle and hit every vegetarian joint in the area.

After long negotiations, we agreed that at least our weekend diet remains unchanged.  However, weekdays are vegetarian.  Ouch!  While mourning my beloved chicken, fish, and occasional beef, I got totally high on ice cream and chocolate. Which I think is a good start to any diet, since I cannot look at chocolate.. nah… more than 4 pieces of chocolate at once.

This Kale salad (Whole Foods recipe) was our first vegetarian dinner.  It turned out tolerable I suppose… The husband ate two bunches of Kale, and I didn’t turn green after eating a bowlful either.  I paired the salad with baked sweet potatoes, which complimented the dish very well. 

Print this recipe

KALE SALAD

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bunches kale, stems and tough ribs discarded, leaves very finely chopped
  • 1 avocado, peeled, seed discarded, cubed
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, chili powder and salt. Add kale and avocado, toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Make ahead: this salad will keep well refrigerated in an airtight container for a couple days.

Carrot Cinnamon Cupcakes

My friend that I mentioned earlier, the super healthy one, just sent us a low fat, low sugar, and apparently enjoyable carrot cake recipe.

While chasing the kids outside this afternoon I was debating if we should give a try to this nutritious cake.  To my Evil-Me the idea seemed really disturbing.  Healthy cake? It must be AWFUL!  My Not-So-Evil-Me thought it may be beneficial for the family to eat something good. 

Then it hit me!  Why not make a “partial healthy” cake!? 

My Evil-Me and Not-So-Evil-Me reached a consensus and produced this awesomeness!  The cake part is pretty healthy while the topping is decidedly evil.  I converted the cake into guilt-free sized cupcakes! Now, if I could only manage eating them in guilt-free quantities!!!

Print this recipe

CARROT CINNAMON CUPCAKES

INGREDIENTS:

Cake

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups finely grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
  • 1 cup raisins

FROSTING

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 8 oz /225 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1-4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs cinnamon

Yields 48 mini cupcakes

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375º F /190º C.  Mix the first 11 ingredients (till carrots), making sure everything is incorporated; leaving a few lumps will make the cupcakes fluffier.

Mix in the carrots and raisins.

Line the mini-cupcake pan with paper liners.  (I like using this unbleached baking cups)

Spray them with cooking spray.  Fill each cup 3/4 full with the batter.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the wooden stick comes out clean.

Let the cupcakes cool on a wire rack.

Once the cupcakes are at room temperature, with the hand mixer whip together butter and cream cheese.  Once combined and fluffy, add sugar 1 cup at a time.  I really liked the frosting with just 1 cup of sugar; however if you like a stiffer frosting, add more sugar. Add cinnamon.

Fill the pastry bag with your favorite attachment with the frosting, and decorate the cupcakes.

Now, try to restrain yourself from eating them all in one sitting!

Make ahead: these cakes will store well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

 

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