Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Paint the town GREEN

Wikimedia Commons-Greens for Sale by Gideon
Being the Queen of Convenience has its advantages. St. Patrick's Day, spring, Easter and Earth Day all feature green, fresh foods and themes, so why not combine them? Pretty soon, these recipes will be on rotation at home. By the time Memorial Day, Flag Day, summer, cookout, and Independence Day season rolls around, there will be a new crop of recipes that can take us right through back-to-school, apples, early fall, make dinner magically appear, pumpkin Halloween time.

When life gives you lemons, make shandy!

Shandy Town 

12 ounces/360 cl ginger beer or lemonade
12 ounces/360 cl white Belgian beer  (Blue Moon is a mass market example)
Twist of lime and orange (orange especially if using Blue Moon-type beer profile)

Combine ginger ale/lemonade and beer in a large pitcher over ice. Slice the lime into wedges and serve shandy with a wedge of lime.

For a gluten-free Belgian style beer, try New Planet Blonde 

Is that really a thing?

Shrub aka drinking vinegar -it's a thing now. A shrub is a sweetened drinking vinegar that is or will be all the rage. It's tasty and gut friendly. And trending! Why should you believe me? I've been drinking Moscato since 1995!
I highly recommend Elements Grapefruit Vanilla, simply made for elderflower syrup or liqueur à la St. Germain. Elements' lemon mint flavor is a crowd pleaser. Chai pear makes an excellent (excellent excellent) spiced syrup. Sold at Old Line Fine Beer, Wines and Spirits in Beltsville.


As the Queen of Convenience,  I suggest, nay, command you to mix cubed ripe avocados with your favorite salsa. 1 large avocado to 1/3 cup salsa should do it. Add a twist of lime or garlic or garlic salt if you care. Done in 5 minutes!

Tuscan Kale Chips My eldest practically begs for these. As the Queen of Convenience, I use a (wheat-free) Italian dressing mix for the salt and seasoning.

Sushi-Roll Rice Salad

Green potato salad 

Make your classic or favorite potato salad recipe and add a handful finely chopped fresh parsley. 

Asparagus: Celebrate Spring with Asparagus! In Germany, Spargelfest is a two-month springtime feast for asparagus. Celebrate the peak of this tasty vegetable right at home. Thanks, Treda, for telling me about this worthwhile celebration.

Asparagus with Prosciutto, Pecorino, and Poached Eggs

Epicurious | May 2007

32 large asparagus spears (about 3 pounds), trimmed and peeled
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 large eggs
4 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
8 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
8 thin slices proscuitto (about 4 ounces total)
3 ounces Pecorino or parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Special equipment: nonstick muffin pan with 12 (1/3-cup) cups

Have ready large bowl ice water. In medium saucepan over high heat, bring salted water to boil. Add asparagus and boil, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain, then immediately plunge spears into ice water to stop cooking. Drain again and pat dry.

Preheat grill to moderate heat.

Transfer asparagus to large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to coat. Grill, in batches if necessary, until lightly charred, 8 to 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Arrange oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil muffin pan.

Crack one egg into each muffin cup (there will be 4 empty cups). Place muffin pan in large roasting pan and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of muffin pan. Bake until eggs are set but yolks are still runny, about 7 to 8 minutes.

While eggs cook, arrange 4 asparagus spears in fan pattern on each of 8 plates. Sprinkle each plate with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, then drizzle each with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Drape 1 slice prosciutto atop asparagus on each plate.

Using small offset spatula, carefully remove eggs from pan and place 1 atop each slice prosciutto. Drizzle with remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with Pecorino
and parsley.

Cook's note: If you prefer, the asparagus can be baked instead of grilled. Skip the boiling step. Drizzle the raw asparagus with oil and bake it at 450°F on a large rimmed baking sheet until tender, about 10 minutes.

Asparagus with Hazelnut Vinaigrette

Serves 6
For Vinaigrette
1 large shallot, minced
2 tablespoons Sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted, skinned and chopped

1 hard-cooked large egg
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and lower 2 inches of stalks peeled

Make vinaigrette:
In a bowl whisk together shallot, vinegar, mustard, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Add oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk until emulsified. Whisk in hazelnuts.

Finely chop egg. In a deep 10- to 12-inch skillet bring 1 1/2 inches salted water to a boil and cook asparagus over high heat until crisp-tender, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with tongs to a colander and drain.

Transfer asparagus to a serving dish. Spoon vinaigrette over asparagus and sprinkle with egg. Serve asparagus warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese and Bacon

Serves 6; double or triple the recipe if serving for a crowd.
6 bacon slices

2 pounds medium asparagus, tough ends trimmed
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 3 1/2- to 4-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel 

Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Crumble bacon; set aside.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 500°F. Arrange asparagus on large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and turn asparagus to coat well. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast asparagus until crisp-tender when pierced with knife, about 7 minutes. Arrange asparagus in single layer on platter. Sprinkle with goat cheese, then bacon. Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle grated lemon peel over. (Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature.) 

Mint Sauce for Asparagus

double this for 4-6 people

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1 garlic clove, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons fat-free chicken broth
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper 
Posted toWikimedia Commons by Nlitement

Leftover Herbs? Try pesto.

Parsleymintbasil and cilantro.

Frozen green grapes-sometimes easy is best! Freeze individually on a baking sheet. Great for kids old enough to eat grapes. Also makes for delicious edible "ice cubes"!

Green smoothie-- Pineapple-Basil Frosty

One 20-oz can crushed pineapple or one 12-16 oz bag frozen (plus 1/2 cup extra juice)
10 mint leaves or fresh basil leaves

Add 10 baby spinach leaves to intensify green color, if preferred2 cups ice (or 1 cup ice + 1/2 cup water if using frozen pineapple)
Blend at high speed until smooth.
Want to make the world's tastiest gluten-free gingerbread cake? Pretty much like this recipe but with with two Aldi baking mixes to get a higher protein content for the right quick bread texture. Used coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil. Oh, and I made ginger beer then used the pureed ginger and orange instead of the dried ginger and water. Hmm, I also used half cardamom and half cinnamon! See why it's hard for me when people ask for a recipe?

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