Posts tagged ‘Vegetarian’

December 23rd, 2011

Edible ivory

Another shout-out to Costco: white asparagus, aka “edible ivory”, actually affordable! Apparently white asparagus is more widely available in Europe; Jens works with someone who was weirded out by the green asparagus stateside.

This is a very simple recipe, other than the elbow grease that goes into hand-whisking the homemade mayonnaise. It comes together in about 30 minutes, and is very fresh-tasting while also being totally rich and delicious. It’s so simple, in fact, that you don’t even need to go beyond a jump to get to the recipe.


  1. Get a pot of water boiling for the pasta (remember the tip from French Cooking in 10 Minutes?)
  2. Make the homemade mayonnaise: good extra virgin olive oil from farmer’s market stand (greek olive oil used here, EVOO is the reason the mayo is green-ish), eggs, dijon or whole grain mustard, vinegar. Whisk vigorously while adding EVOO bit by bit until it reaches the right consistency. Where are the amounts, you ask? Good question (I say as I look pointedly at the chef.) He did this all to taste and forgets the exact amounts, but you can use this recipe from Bon Apetit as a guideline. You can also make this in a tall, narrow container using an immersion blender.
  3. Boil the asparagus until tender – the time will vary depending on the thickness of the stems.
  4. At the same time, cook the pasta (Barilla spaghetti in this case, I like the slightly ridged texture as it gives it a good toothsome bite.) Reserve a few tablespoons of the pasta water.
  5. Once the pasta is almost done, fry up some eggs, sunny-side up.
  6. Slice up lemon wedges. Plate everything, dollop some mayo on the pasta, thin it out with some pasta water if it’s too thick and serve some extra table-side in case people want to make it even richer. Your call whether you want to dribble the yolk on your pasta or the asparagus. Eat asparagus with fingers. Yum.
November 17th, 2011

Creamy Avocado Saffron Papardelle


Inspired by this recipe and an abundance of saffron courtesy of Costco, Jens came up with this recipe. It’s great because you get a creamy sauce without the heaviness of cream. There’s also something really decadent about having a saffron-flavored dish on a weeknight. Seriously, if you ever see saffron on sale at Costco, snap it up. It’s so much cheaper than buying almost anywhere else (6 strands at a time? No thanks.) I’m also amused by how very serious the “Kirkland signature” saffron is. From the package:

“The Consejo Regulador, recognized by the EU, guarantees the consumer that saffron with the DO La Mancha seal is authentic. The numbered label on the jar, supplied only by the COnsejo Regulador, guarantees that this saffron has been grown, harvested, and packed in La Mancha and that it is the highest quality available.”

/end Costco fangirl rant.

For the recipe, read more »

November 17th, 2011

Maximum healthy, minimal dishes

After explaining the recipe to me, Jens gave a monologue about “maximum implementation, minimal implements.” He really likes minimizing the amount of dirtied utensils. I actually have gotten very exasperated at him as he strategizes about dishes and said, “Just dirty another butter knife, I’m the one who does the dishes and I don’t care!”

So as a preface to this dish, he wants to point out that if you plan ahead, all you’ll be dirtying is: 1 non-stick pan, 1 cutting board, 1 knife, 2 bowls (that you’ll be using to reserve things and eat from), 1 spatula, and 2 spoons. He’s sitting across from me looking very pleased with himself.

This feels very healthy. It’s tasty, but not mind-blowing, but I thought I’d post it anyway because maybe someone will have suggestions on how to improve it. I actually prefer it when blogs post things that aren’t perfect-awesome-mindblowing because it makes them more approachable rather than aspirational.

Jens claims it’s sort of Chinese but I pointed out to him that A) Chinese people usually eat white rice and B) brussels sprouts don’t seem very Chinese to me. I guess if you think of them as stand-ins for Napa cabbage?

For the recipe, read more »

November 7th, 2010

Earthy, or grassy? Mushroomy! A guest post from Jens.

This is the dish referred to in this post, made while the butternut squash was roasting in the oven. It’s easy, quick, and delicious. The key is to get good, flavorful mushrooms. I can’t imagine this working with plain white buttons.

Normally after the cookery is done and Jens and I are eating, I do an “interview with the chef” and get a quick rundown of the ingredients and cooking process. This interview is several weeks late, and Jens did most of the writing.

It’s sort of meta to have a guest post by Jens, on a cooking blog that features his cooking. read more »

November 6th, 2010

Jens’ Healthy Restaurant: Quinoa and Chard

Jens: Have you ever encountered a vegetable so flavorful?

He’s referring to Swiss Chard, of course.

The excuse for the scarcity of posts this month is that Jens has been working more than usual and getting dinner at work, so no home cookery has been taking place. (I’ve reverted to my college desperation days of boxed mac and cheese. I have very little motivation to cook for myself, as I can easily – though not healthily – survive on cookies and leftovers.)

So today was the first day in a few weeks that he’s gotten a chance to cook, and he cooked up a storm. For brunch he made a leek-parsley pasta dish inspired by this epicurious recipe. However, the constraints of the recipe were, um, constraining, so for dinner he fully Jens’ed it up with a super healthy concoction using swiss chard, quinoa, radishes, and tomatoes. Super healthy and very delicious!

I still can’t believe that I’m saying things like that. read more »

August 28th, 2010

Vegetarian huevos rancheros chicharron tacos

Today Jens discovered* cheese chicharron – he fried up thin slices of aged sheeps’ milk cheese (akin to parmesan, but much stronger). There was some tomatillo-shallot-corn salsa left over from another taco night. And then we found out that our Trader Joe’s cage free eggs were NOT part of the recall! So of course to celebrate we had huevos rancheros. Except as tacos.

Jens: Whew, that was not a light lunch.

read more »

July 30th, 2010

Salad Art (Experimental Series)

Salad Art, Experimental Series Experimental because of the blueberries and the finely sliced kumquats. The dressing (not shown) was a vinaigrette enriched with pureed avocado.

This was one of Jens’ early forays into adding sweet stuff to savory salads. I think that now that he’s mostly overcome my anti-salad bias, he’s chosen another mountain to climb, which is my fruits-are-not-savory-items prejudice.