Thursday, June 30, 2011

Midnight Asparagus and Creamy Eggs

eggs and asparagus









One of my favorite things to listen to on long drives are the NPR Splendid Table podcasts on iTunes.  They are about 50 minutes long…just the right length to get me to and from Covington/Mandeville/Nola and Baton Rouge. 

The week before I left for NYC, I was listening and heard the recipe for Midnight Asparagus and Creamy Eggs.  It went straight on my “to make” list that I have saved as a note on my phone.  Usually these recipes sit on the list for a long time…but I had to make this one asap. 

The recipe is so easy, so quick, and so good.  Three ingredients – asparagus, eggs, and lemon (salt, pepper, and oil don’t count!).  You broil chopped asparagus, then add the eggs, and then finish with a squeeze of lemon.  How can this go wrong??  (Actually the second time I made it I overcooked the yolks…it’s definitely not as good without the runny yolks!)

So here I am in NYC, cooking for myself in a tiny, but cute apartment.  And what am I making?  Asparagus and Eggs two nights in a row.  (Don’t worry, I ate out plenty the first week I was here…now I’m saving money…and calories…by cooking).  I eat mine with toast to sop up the yolk-lemon sauce…it reminds me of hollandaise!

nyc kitchen 2

Don’t be scared of eating the yolks either!  Low-fat diets are an old way of thinking.  Fat doesn’t make you fat!  To many calories does.  And a little fat in each meal can help keep you full longer.  I love nuts, avocados, cheese…all in moderation. 

The original recipe included chopped onion, but I omitted it.  I also altered the recipe for one.  My apartment in NYC doesn’t have a broiler so I cooked it on the stove instead.  Just as good!   I use the entire bunch of asparagus just for me…I don’t think it would be as filling if I didn’t.

eggs and asparagus 2

Midnight Asparagus and Creamy Eggs
adapted from Splendid Table

1 bunch of asparagus (the thinner the better), trimmed of tough stems
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 (or 3) large eggs
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces.

Put the oven rack in the center of the oven, about 5 inches below the heat source, and preheat the broiler.

Add the olive oil to a straight-sided (broiler safe*) 12-inch sauté pan. Set the oiled pan beneath the broiler to heat for 2 minutes.

Pull the oven rack out. Then, taking care not to touch the hot handle, add the asparagus, salt, and pepper into the pan. With a wooden spatula, turn the asparagus to coat with the oil, spread them out, and let them cook under the broiler for 3 minutes, stirring them once. You want them to brown slightly, but not become mushy.

Again, being careful not to touch the pan's handle, use the spatula to make 2 (or 3) empty spaces among the asparagus.  Carefully break the eggs into the spaces.  Broil 1 more minute, until whites are set and yolk is still runny.  Immediately, and carefully, remove the pan from the oven.

Squeeze the lemon juice over everything. Give the pan another sprinkle of salt.

Here’s the tricky part…serving!  You could eat right from the pan or slid a rubber spatula under the eggs/asparagus to loosen and then slide out onto a plate (or bowl).  Not the prettiest presentation, but still delish!

* Broiler safe pans are usually entirely metal.  If you don’t own one with a metal handle, wrap the handle in double thickness of foil…it will be fine for such a short amount of time under the broiler. 

Per serving (with 2 eggs) – 251 calories, 15 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 15 g fat (4 g saturated), 20 g protein (exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 fat, 3 protein); remember, I eat this with whole wheat toast which adds another 100+ calories per slice and sometime I’ll do three eggs…depends on how hungry I am!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cold Sesame Noodles

cold sesame noodles

This recipe is another one of those that’s been in my recipe binder for years…the printed date at the bottom of the page is September 5, 2004.  I’m almost positive my mom printed it out and told me that it looked good and that we should make it.  And it is! So good!

I loved to make this when I lived with friends in college.  Who doesn’t love pasta?  It’s one of Tyler Florence’s recipes, which are always really good but sometimes lacking in the health department.  Did he really think 2 green onions were enough vegetables?  And the original recipe also included 5 tablespoons of oil and 1/2 a cup of peanut butter…a little too much fat for me!  Not that fat is a bad thing!

The original recipe looked like this:

4 servings
729 calories
78 g carbs
5.5 g fiber
35 g fat
21 g protein

My version looks much better:

4 servings
410 calories
61 g carbs
9 g fiber
13 g fat
16 g protein

You could add shredded chicken to it for a little more protein, or just leave as is for a vegetarian meal.  Either way it’s delish!

Cold Sesame Noodles
adapted from Tyler Florence

makes 4 large servings

8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or angel hair pasta
1 tablespoons sesame oil
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups snow peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili sauce, such as Sriracha, optional
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (preferably natural and unsweetened)
juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Cook the pasta according to package directions.  Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cool. Drain the noodles really well and transfer to a large bowl; toss with the sesame oil so they don't stick together.  Add all of the sliced vegetables and cilantro; toss to combine. 

In a blender, combine the ginger through the soy sauce.  Blend until smooth.  Toss the pasta and vegetables with the peanut sauce until well coated. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Note - Other things you could add:  edamame, cucumber, chicken, chopped peanuts

Per serving - 410 calories, 13 g fat (2 g saturated), 61 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 16 g protein (exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 starch, 1/2 protein, 2 1/2fat)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Curried Tuna Salad

Curried Tuna Salad

I know, I know…another salad recipe.  I can’t help it!  Its what I eat when I know I’m not going to have time to cook THE WHOLE WEEK.  For the past 8 days (Saturday to Saturday) I have been wrapped up with all things dance.  Extra rehearsals, privates, teaching class, choreography for Saintsations, Saintsation practice, 2 days of dress rehearsal, 3 recitals. 

And sure enough, I didn’t find time to cook (besides quickly grilling some zucchini to eat with pesto and mozzarella for a quick lunch…and making cookies for some deserving dancers).  So it was a good thing I found time to make this earlier in the week. 

The recipe was inspired by this and this.  I love curried chicken salad, so why not tuna?  And I haven’t had fish in a while (something I try to eat regularly), so it was a perfect solution.  I buy water-packed canned light (as opposed to albacore) tuna for the lower mercury levels.   

The biggest differences between my recipes for chicken and tuna salad and other traditional ones is that I try to add more veggies and use less mayo (swapping Greek yogurt for SOME of it…you can read my opinion of mayo here). 

And while I did have a tuna salad sandwich one day, the rest was eaten over romaine with cucumbers.  Love a salad on a salad!

Curried Tuna Salad

makes 5 servings

3 5-6 ounce cans light tuna packed in water, drained
4 celery stalks, diced finely
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup raisins, chopped
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Greek yogurt (I use Fage 0%)
1/2 - 1 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to combine, breaking up any large pieces of tuna.  Taste for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or curry powder if needed.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 

Per serving (about a cup) – 258 calories, 11 g fat (2.4 g saturated), 10 g carbohydrate, 1.6 g fiber, 29 g protein (exchanges: 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 fruit, 2 fat, 4 protein)