Tag Archives: asparagus

Drunken Grilled Veggies

So, I am beyond excited! My plant boxes on the porch are thriving. They soak up 8 hours of sun a day and as a result my basil has sprouted and I have my first pepper… a hot cherry! There are almost 2 dozen buds on my varying pepper plants, and almost a dozen on my tomato plant! The chives are growing like weeds and a few onion shoots have popped up! YAY!

I also went to the Shelburne Farmer’s Market today, way more reasonably priced than the Burlington Farmers Market and it has much more of a hometown feel. I picked up some spinach and rainbow chard. I can’t wait to use the chard, it is gorgeous.

My mom is coming to visit for the weekend and should be here soon, so I’ll keep this post short. I’ve got a lot planned for us… a walk around Shelburne Farms, dinner in town, and a 12 mile bike ride along the lake tomorrow. I’m so excited for her to come up and see our new home.

Grilled veggies are a staple in our diet, especially durring the summer. I have a pretty standard marinade but I switched it up the other night. Mark was impressed, “these are really good, did you put wine on them?” Yes, I did, I put a splash of a dry Chardonnay for a new twist on an old classic. The best were the mushrooms, they soaked up a lot of the wine, and therefore, flavor.

Drunken Grilled Veggies

1/2 bunch of asparagus, woody ends broken off

1/2 a bell pepper, sliced thinly,

1/2 and onion, sliced into thin rings

1 zucchini, sliced into ¼” rounds

10 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and cut in half or in thirds depending on the size

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/4 cup of dry white wine, such as Chardonnay

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning

Few dashes of garlic powder

Lots of black pepper

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place all the ingredients in a zip top bag and shake to coat. Place them on the grill. Let them get crispy and a little charred before you give them a flip. 5-8 minutes on each side, depending on how done you want them. Just give them a check every once in a while. Once they are done to your liking, plate ’em up and enjoy.


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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

We have less than 3 weeks until the Seneca 7. I’m getting a little jittery about the race… I’ve never run 11 miles before. However, training is going really well. Since I got my running app for my phone in the end of February, I’ve logged 100 miles, and that doesn’t include team runs or spring break.

I ran 5 miles 3 days in a row, followed by a speedy 5k yesterday (sub-8 pace). One of those 5-mile days, Mark and I had the team over for a run though Seneca Lake State Park (the finish line for the race) and a BBQ. We grilled up some burgers sausage and veggie burgers. We also made some guacamole, chipotle dip, a spinach salad and a pasta salad. The pasta salad is not your usual mayo-laden, heavy salad. A few summers ago, while in Maine, we were trying to use up all the veggies before we headed home… and this pasta salad was born. Its more veggies than pasta… just the way I like it. I made 2 pounds of pasta salad for the BBQ and the 7 of us ate it all.

You can put pretty much any veggies you like or any you have on hand… all veggie amounts are approximate, there’s really no need to measure

We also got our team t-shirts, courtesy of Mark’s brother, Matt… GO TEAM LAVA TIGERS!

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

1 lb whole wheat or quinoa penne

1/2 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1/2 inch segments

1 bell pepper, diced

2 cups of kale, shredded

1 1/2 cups of corn

1 cup of baby portabellas, wiped clean and quartered

1 medium onion

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size

1/4-1/2 cup of Italian dressing

2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning

Lots of black pepper

Bring water to a boil in a medium or large pot for the pasta. Once it is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the box directions. While it boils, prep the veggies. In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the onion and sauté for 4 minutes, and then add in the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. With 3 minutes left in the pasta cooking time, add the asparagus and bell pepper to the boiling water. Add the kale to the bottom of a colander and place it in the sink. Pour the pasta over the kale and add the corn to the colander. Transfer the ingredients from the colander, the ingredients from the sauté pan, and the tomatoes to a large bowl or casserole dish. Mix it together. Then add in 1/4 cup of the Italian dressing, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Mix it and give it a taste, adjusting it to your taste. You might need a bit more dressing or some more pepper… it’s up to you.

Also, look at the pretty Tulips Mark got me…

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Cous-Soup and Burlington Recap

Cous-soup? it’s a quick, thick soup made with cous cous instead of noodles. It comes together “soup-er” fast… sorry bad pun. In the time it takes the stock to boil, you can prep the ingredients and start sautéing some of the veggies. Then throw the cous cous and veggies in the stock and cook for a few minutes… and presto, delicious soup.

So a little recap. Mark and I made this soup on Thursday night while I was still in Burlington… on Friday, we made French toast with the left over bread from dinner and the left over fruit from a peach blueberry pie that we also made on Thursday. Mark had the day off from work and we were starting on a great adventure of watching his boss’s cats for the holiday weekend. I’m allergic to cats but I sucked it up because his boss has a house on Lake Champlain… it’s only my dream to own a lake house. So we went over to the house, and went kayaking on Lake Champlain where I (probably illegally) harvested some Cambrian age red sandstone. For lunch we went to August First Bakery and got some delicious food… a tofu salad for me and some curried chicken salad for Mark. This is defiantly one of Burlington’s hidden gems. That night we went to the Skinny Pancake… a crepe place on the lake that had live music. The food was good but the crepes were massive… too much for me. Then we watched the sun set over the lake

On Saturday we had breakfast at the Inn at Shelburne Farms. I got a frittata with farm made cheese, turnips, greens, onions, and pea shoots… so good. We wandered around the grounds for a bit, looking at the lake and the gardens.


 After some digestion we set out to hike Camel’s Hump, the 3rd tallest peak in Vermont, 4,083ft. Boy was that a good butt toning hike, it was straight up the whole way… no exaggeration… it was like doing the Stairmaster. We lunched at the top and headed back down. We bbq’d for dinner… local veggie burgers, some local sausage for Mark, grilled asparagus, corn and salad.

On Sunday we had a filling breakfast of peach, blueberry, banana pancakes then we went to go see the Intervale Community Garden and walk along the Causeway, which connects a little north of Burlington with Grand Isle. The causeway is a 3 miles long stretch of marble fill that was used to for train transport until the 60’s. Since then, the tracks have been removed and it has been converted into a park. We made burritos and “Mexican dumplings” for dinner… I know Mexican food for the 4th of July? Then we watched the Fireworks from Overlook Park.


Sadly, I left around noon on Monday; I was SO not ready to leave. But enough rambling about the copious amounts of food I ate this week and missing Mark, and back to the recipe. You can use pretty much any veggies you’d like but I’d really recommend the broccoli.


4 heaping bowls or 6-8 normal bowls

4 cups of low sodium veggie stock

4 cups water

4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes, (half if you don’t like spicy food)

1 box cous cous (or 1 cup uncooked) we used Near East Parmesan and threw in the spice packet as well for some added flavor

1 small head of broccoli, cut into pieces about the size of the top half of your thumb

2 cups mushrooms sliced, we used chanterelles

8 stalks asparagus, woody ends removed, cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic scapes, cut into very small pieces (optional)

Grated cheese for garnish (optional) we used sharp cheddar

Sliced green onions for garnish (optional)

Black pepper

So this is completely optional but I crushed up some red pepper flakes and let them sit in 2 tablespoons of oil for a few hours to infuse the oil with the flavor of the red pepper, hoping to intensify the heat. If you don’t want to do that just add the 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes into a large pot with the stock and water and onion and bring to a boil. While the stock is heating up, add the other 2 tablespoons of oil to a sauté pan over medium heat, add in garlic scapes and mushrooms, sauté for about 5 mins, until they are soft, stirring occasionally. Once the stock is boiling throw in the cous cous and seasoning packet provided, stir and cook for 1 min. Then toss in the broccoli and asparagus. Cook for 3 mins, stirring occasionally. Then add in the sautéed mushroom and garlic scapes and cook for an additional minute, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and spoon into bowls. Top with shredded cheese, black pepper and green onions if desired.

We ate our soup with some local 7 grain bread and Vermont Hummus Company roasted red pepper hummus.  We also made a peach and berry pie. I bought a pre-made whole wheat pie crust and filled it with 1 pint of blueberries, 2 peaches sliced and 4 tablespoons each of sugar and corn starch. Bake for 45 mins or so at 375ish… clearly I made this up… the bottom was a bit soggy so I’m going to work on that. I read that if you brush the empty crust with egg whites and then bake for 3-4 mins before filling, it can help prevent a soggy bottomed crust. Though the pie fell apart a bit, it was still delicious. Enjoy!

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“Grilled” Asparagus and Apricot Glazed Tempeh

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

Grilled Asparagus

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

Black pepper

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

black pepper

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!

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