Last time I was home back in March, my mom gave me a box of Taboule on my way out the door. She said, “here take this for dinner or something.” That was code for “I bought this by accident, I meant to buy couscous, so you take it because I won’t eat it.” So I finally got around to using it (don’t worry it’s not expired).
Now that I’d decide to use “the Taboule”, I needed to find something to go with it. I was thinking asparagus, which I absolutely love. Better yet, it is the beginning of asparagus season, and Wegmans had some nice looking pencil asparagus. I love the thin asparagus because it gets crispier and crunchier when grilled. I love to grill… name a vegetable or fruit and I’ve probably grilled it… peach, pineapple, mango, peppers, corn, you get the idea. Sadly, I am currently grill-less, so the stove top had to suffice. I picked up some soy tempeh as well. If you haven’t tried it, its a (distant) cousin of tofu. They basically smoosh (technical term) soybeans and brown rice together into a brick shape. You can slice it up and cook it in a frying pan. Just like tofu, it is a sponge for flavor, but lacks it on its own, so use a good strong marinade. Its rich in protein, calcium and iron (3 things vegetarians often lack in their diet). You can find it at the store next to the tofu.
So first I made the taboule because it takes a long time. I followed the package instructions, and let it do its thing for an hour and a half while I went to the store and prepared every thing else.
A while back I learned a neat trick for prepping asparagus. If you take a stalk of asparagus and hold one end in each hand and gently bend it, the dry woody end will snap off.
I will give you the recipe that involves grilling the asparagus, since that is my preferred method of cooking… for the fry pan technique: heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat, add asparagus and cook to desired doneness. I like mine super crispy
serves 3-4 people
1 bunch of Asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons of your favorite Italian dressing
¼ teaspoon dried basil
Few dashes of dried garlic
First preheat your grill to a medium heat. Spray your grill pan with non-stick cooking spray. I like to put mine on a cookie sheet so the spray (and later the marinade) does not get all over the place. Then snap the ends off the asparagus. Place the prepared asparagus in a gallon size zip top bag. Add the oil, dressing, pepper, bail, and garlic into the bag. Close the top and shake the bag to coat the veggies. Dump the asparagus out onto the grill pan and arrange into one layer. Place grill pan on the grill. Grill for about 10 mins, turning them occasionally. When the asparagii start to get brown take them off the grill.
Apricot Galzed Tempeh
1/4 block of tempeh, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 tablespoon apricot preserves
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place preserves, vinegar and pepper into zip top bag. Add tempeh and shake to coat. Put tempeh in frying pan and cook on each side until brown, about 3-4 mins. Then remove for pan. This marinade also goes great on grilled chicken
*I also made a balsamic reduction to drizzle over the aspargus and tempeh. I just reduced some balsamic vinegar over medium low heat by about half. This takes 5-10mins. You’ll know its done when it gets syrupy looking and if you dip a spoon in it and run your finger across the back, it leaves a track
Assemble and Enjoy!