Friday, November 23, 2012

Asparagus and Beet Salad, can't beat it......

and it's so pretty!!!!

I was invited to a Thanksgiving gathering and part of that invitation included bringing along a side dish, which is such a great thing, everyone sharing in the preparation of a meal, community in its best design. I thought this over a lot, this side dish. I thought green beans with almonds, broccoli with orange sauce, country beets, Brussel sprout hash and on and on. Nothing was sounding right, so I went online and came across this recipe. The good thing about this dish, I didn't have to worry about how to keep it warm and it offered up a variety of veggies. (Also, when i arrived at the dinner, there were green beans and brussel sprouts already represented, whew. Glad I went with my gut.)

I altered the recipe somewhat, but I will share the original with notes.

Asparagus and Beet Salad

  • 1/2 pound asparagus (I used 1.25 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (2 teaspoons)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (6 tablespoons and a splash)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) sliced beets (fresh beets)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) garbanzos
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red onion, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (1/2 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons roasted, salted pistachios (used unsalted)
  • Salt (just a sprinkle)


Boiling water
Icy water
  1. Snap off tough ends of asparagus. Cut spears diagonally into 1-inch lengths. (The asparagus I found was very thin, so I did not cut it up.)
  2. 2. In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, bring about 1 inch water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook just until tender-crisp when pierced, about 3 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water. Lift out when cold.
  3. 3. Dry the frying pan and add cumin. Stir over low heat just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour cumin into a wide bowl and add lemon juice.
  4. 4. Drain beets and garbanzos, rinse with cool water, and drain again. Add to bowl along with asparagus, onion, cilantro, and pistachios. Mix and add salt to taste.

The garbanzos are a bit problematic. They have a tendency to sink to the bottom of the bowl. So, the salad needs to be tossed often. Next time I make this, I may cut way back on the garbanzos, maybe add more beets or find another something to substitute them altogether. Any suggestions?????
Quote of the day:Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.  Henry Van Dyke

Oh, a little trivia, I was listening to NPR yesterday and they said that if a person prepared a Thanksgiving meal from start to finish with all the fixings and desserts that the preparer would burn 700 calories.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Buckwheat and pancakes, Buckwheat in pancakes,....

Buckwheat is for pancakes, and buckwheat is gluten free, ya'll!!!

I woke up early, 3:30ish. Don't know why, but it's been a productive morning: Laundry done (well most of it), dishes done, dogs walked (poo and pee; no, that is not their names), journal writing (three pages) and a run to the grocery store for some Grade A dark amber maple syrup and Hodgson Mill Buckwheat Flour. I had a hankerin' for some pancakes, substantial pancakes with flavor and texture. Buckwheat fills the bill and they are pretty, too.

I followed the pancake recipe on the back of the buckwheat flour sack with a few minor modifications.

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 heaping tsp. cinnamon (modification)
1 heaping tsp ground ginger (modification)
1 egg beaten
1 cup milk (modification, I used hemp milk)
2 Tbsp. melted butter

Preheat griddle of large skillet (cast iron works great!!) on med high, grease lightly with oil. Griddle is ready when small drops of water  sizzle and disappear almost immediately.
Mix dry ingredients together; add egg, milk and butter, beating each well after each addition. Pour 1/4 cup on griddle, as many as it will take without pancakes touching. Watch for the bubbles on top of the pancake, when there are a lot, flip and let cook for a minute more.
Mmm, mmm, good!

Quote of the day:

I happen to know everything there is to know about maple syrup! I love maple syrup. I love maple syrup on pancakes. I love it on pizza. And I take maple syrup and put a little bit on my hair when I've had a rough week. What do you think holds it up, slick? Jeremy Grey "Wedding Crashers"