Baked Asparagus Risotto

You always know when it’s spring in my family because that’s when there’s fresh, wild asparagus incorporated into nearly every dish. Asparagus was never something we would buy at the store when I was growing up since we always had so much of it growing around our property. Because of that, we only ate it seasonally, but we sure made the most out of asparagus season!

Sometimes we would just have it grilled or steamed with melted butter on top. Other times it would be pureed in asparagus soup or added to my mom’s famous veggie lasagna (hopefully a post on this coming soon). But one of my favorite spring dishes has always been asparagus risotto.

During my time volunteering at Healthy Community Kitchens, I learned how to make authentic risotto. It was only then that I realized that this recipe isn’t true risotto. That being said, risotto is one of those dishes that has to be very precise and takes some time to master. So while I work on developing that skill, enjoy this simpler baked version!

Makes 4, 1 cup servings

Ingredients

1 Tbs olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice

8 cup spinach leaves (about 4 oz)

2 cup vegetable broth*

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)

1/2 cup fresh, grated Parmesan cheese, divided (2 oz)

1 1/2 cup diagonally sliced asparagus (about 1 inch pieces) **

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add rice and stir well. Stir in spinach, broth, salt, and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese.

Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Stir in asparagus and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Cover and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.

Notes

*Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth to make it vegetarian.

**Also try substituting half of the asparagus with peas (as pictured).

Artisan Bread

Today I want to share a super simple bread recipe from It’s Always Autumn. There are only four ingredients and no kneading is required. All you need is flour, yeast, salt, and water! It’s crisp and chewy on the outside, but soft and delightful on the inside. Enjoy a slice or two alongside your favorite winter soup or by itself with butter and raw honey.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Directions

In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough comes together into a cohesive ball. It will still be sticky, but that’s okay.

Cover the bowl and set aside for 8-24 hours at room temperature. When you’re ready to bake it, turn the dough onto a well floured surface, form it into a ball, and let rest for 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450° and place a baking dish with sides in the oven.

Remove the dish and grease with olive oil before placing the dough inside. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

Remove the cover and continue baking for 10-15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Enjoy!

3 Ingredient Roasted Butternut Squash

Fall is finally here which means back to school as well as lots of opportunities for fall baking. I’ve been settling into apartment life for the past month and now that classes have started again, it’s hard to find time to actually cook wholesome meals. Thankfully I had yesterday morning free to do a little meal prep, including roasting some squash from my grandpa’s garden. It makes a perfect side with pretty much anything. This recipe is extremely simple and easy too (only three ingredients), so it’s perfect for this busy time of year. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

1 Butternut squash

2 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut squash into halves vertically and scoop out seeds to discard. Place the squash skin side down in a glass baking dish.
  3. Make three slices in each half of the squash, being sure not to cut all the way through. (See above photos.) This will allow the butter and brown sugar to flavor more of the squash.
  4. Spread the butter evenly on both halves and sprinkle with brown sugar.
  5. Bake skin side up for approximately 30 minutes or until the squash is soft a fork can be inserted easily.
  6. Squash can be eaten as is or scooped out of the skins and mashed. Enjoy!

 

Spaghetti Pie

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a great day! Today I want to feature a family recipe of mine that my sister Lauren at LuBerry Pie posted a while back. Just as a side note (and I know this mentioned at the end of the post), since I make everything egg-free, flax seed works wonderfully in this recipe instead of the egg whites. Directions for this is listed in the variations. Enjoy!

LuBerry Pie

Today I am going to share a simple and delicious recipe that my mother shared with me. It is extremely adaptable so there are plenty of ways to spice it up if you are looking for something a little more exciting; however, even the most basic version is a crowdpleaser.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. spaghetti (or pasta of choice)
  • 1 lb. shredded cheese (I recommend mozzarella, but you can mix in other kinds for added flavor)
  • 2 egg whites
  • Your favorite pasta sauce! (I used Newman’s Own Marinara)

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
  2. While pasta is cooking, separate egg whites from yolks and beat.
  3. Rinse pasta with cold water to cool. (This is very important to prevent the eggs from cooking when they hit the pasta!)
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooked spaghetti and egg whites, fully covering all of the spaghetti.
  5. In a 9 x 13…

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Avocado Salad with Feta and Chickpeas

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to share my all time favorite salad. This avocado salad is my go-to lunch whether I’m at home or on the go. It’s so absolutely delicious, simple, and satisfying. The avocado is full of unsaturated fats and the lime juice gives it some pizzazz. The chickpeas and cheese provide a great vegetarian source of protein, too! Enjoy!

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 Makes 1 serving

Ingredients

1 avocado, diced

1/4 cup chickpeas

2 Tbs. crumbled feta cheese

2 Tbs. cilantro, chopped

1 Tbs. scallions, chopped

Juice of half a lime

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Combine avocado, chickpeas, and feta in a bowl.
  2. Toss with lime juice.
  3. Garnish with cilantro and scallions.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Enjoy!

Fall Harvest Couscous Salad

Hi everyone! I hope you are all enjoying fall as the air is getting crisper and the leaves are finally changing colors! Today I want to share a variation of my Sweet Potato  and Quinoa Salad. Instead of quinoa, I used couscous and replaced the sweet potato with butternut squash. At first glance, they look pretty similar, but the curry gives the couscous a totally different flavor and a bit a heat. I’d love to hear what you think or which you prefer, so feel free to comment below!

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Serves 5

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash, diced
  • 1 1/3 cup dry couscous
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup curly parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 3-4 tsp. Penzeys Curry
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss the squash in your favorite olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Spread the squash evenly on the baking sheet and roast until tender.
  4. While the squash is in the oven, prepare the couscous according to the package directions.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, curry, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  6. When the couscous is done, put it in a large bowl and toss it with the dressing.
  7. Add the squash, cranberries, onion, and parsley.
  8. Adjust seasonings as necessary. Serve hot or cold.

 

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Believe it or not, it’s suddenly the middle of August which means Labor Day is only a few weeks away! As cookouts are planned and gatherings are arranged, it’s nearly time to start thinking about what to make for clean, healthy, crowd pleasing side dish. This Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad is fresh and summery, but incorporates some fall flavors as well, making it ideal for the last barbecue of the summer.

0415171705a.jpgPreheat the oven to 425°F. Wash, peel, and cube the sweet potato and toss it with some olive oil. You can also add salt and pepper to taste if you wish. To make cleanup easier, put a sheet of parchment paper down on a baking sheet before spreading the sweet potato on it. Make sure there is only one layer of potato cubes so that it roasts evenly. After about 15 minutes, they should be slightly golden and tender, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, put the quinoa and broth in a pot or saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the quinoa simmer for roughly 10-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. When it is done, it will be soft and fluffy and the germ ring of the grain will be visible.

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Since we’re waiting on the sweet potato and quinoa, now is a great time to start prepping the other ingredients. Chop the basil, cilantro, and scallions and set aside. Wash and juice the lemon as well.

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In a small bowl, add the minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon juice and give in a good whisk.

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When the sweet potato and quinoa are ready, put both in a large bowl. Add the cranberries, herbs, and onions and mix in the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy warm or cold–it’s delicious either way!

 

Ingredients

Salad

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup tricolor quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cup reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions
  • 2 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbs. fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 1/2 tsp freshly minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 Tbs garlic infused olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Wash, peel, and cube the sweet potato and toss it with some olive oil. You can also add salt and pepper to taste if you wish.
  3. To make cleanup easier, put a sheet of parchment paper down on a baking sheet before spreading the sweet potato on it. Make sure there is only one layer of potato cubes so that it roasts evenly. After about 15 minutes, they should be slightly golden and tender, but not mushy.
  4. Meanwhile, put the quinoa and broth in a pot or saucepan.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and let the quinoa simmer for roughly 10-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. When it is done, it will be soft and fluffy and the germ ring of the grain will be visible.
  6. Chop the basil, cilantro, and scallions and set aside. Wash and juice the lemon as well.
  7. In a small bowl, add the garlic, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and lemon juice and give it a good whisk.
  8. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, sweet potato, cranberries, onions, and herbs and  mix in the dressing. Salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve warm or cold. Enjoy!