Creamy Asparagus Soup with Crumbled Bacon

Sounds kinda crazy, right?!  I thought so too.  But you see, I LOVE ASPARAGUS!!!  So I just had to try!  And wouldn’t ya know…IT WAS FABULOUS!!  I’m so happy I discovered it!!!!!  
Also a plus, Mr. Rodgers loved it. Which could possibly be due to the fact that I put bacon on top. The way to every man’s heart, riiiiight?  ;). Haha, but honestly he aluded to the fact that it reminded him of his mom’s split pea soup that she made him growing up. It’s nice when something you make can bring a person comfort and good memories along with the pleasure of good taste and health!  If you need a fresh new way to get the family some veggies…please do yourself a favor and make this soup!
Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bunch asparagus (more if it is super fine)
  • 3 C Stock (Obviously vegetable works best but I never have that on hand…chicken works great as well!)
  • 1/4 C Grassfed Butter
  • 1 Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Almond Flour
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 C Almond Milk
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 4 Pieces Bacon (As natural as possible!)

And here’s how you do it:

  1. First, prep your asparagus. Pop off the tough ends, and cut what is left into inch long pieces. 
  2. Set a small pot of salted water to boil, you only need an inch or so. Take a handful (just a few, this is for a garnish) of the asparagus tips and boil them for 5-10 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside. 
  3. Put stock and the remaining asparagus in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Asparagus should be soft. Drain, but KEEP THE STOCK. 
  4. While waiting for the asparagus to get soft, place your bacon in a pan and cook until crisp. Set aside. 
  5. Melt the butter in a soup pot and add the onion. Cook over low heat until soft. 
  6. Stir in the flour and cook for one minute. Slowly whisk in the stock you saved from boiling the asparagus. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, it should be thickening. 
  7. Stir in the cooked asparagus (not the tips for the garnish!), coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
  8. Using an immersion blender (or transfer to a food processor or blender), blend until very smooth and creamy. Stir in the milk and reserved tips and bring to a boil, simmering for a few minutes to heat through.  (The recipe says to stir in the milk, but last time I made it, I blended it in too!). Serve with crumbled bacon on top. Just how everything should be served, am I right?!

Peectures!!

  
Asparagus, washed and trimmed!

  
Boiling a few tips for a garnish (just a little something to bite into!)

  
Cooking the rest of the asparagus so it’s nice and soft…so we can make it creamy!

  
Sautéing the onions to bring out the flavor…

  
Stir in the almond flour, and whisk in the reserved stock. 

  
Add the cooked asparagus, seasonings, and lemon juice. Cook for about 10 minutes. 

  
Blend however you can. This is what I used to do, but now I have an immersion blender and it is AMAZING!  Don’t even have to take it out of the pot!  But whatever method you use, get it as smooth as possible!! (The recipe says to stir in the milk, but last time I made it, I blended it in too!)

   
 

Stir in the milk (or blend it in)…

  

Add your garnish tips…

  

Put it in a bowl and crumble bacon on top!

    

Hallelujah praise you Jesus, my favorite veggie just became a soup!! Can I get an amen?!

Lemon Garlic Asparagus

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE asparagus.  Freakishly.  Last night I was shoving some in my face telling Mr. Rodgers “I could seriously eat this every day of my life!”  Because of said passion…I jump at every new way to prepare it!  This method seemed so simple, I just had to try it!  And I definitely was not disappointed…with taste or appearance!!  It was just so stinking cute!  It made me happy!  Did I mention it was simple?!  Beautiful.  You ready?  Here we go!

 

You may have guessed, but this is adapted from one of my favorites!!

Meditteranean Frittata 1

Yay for this book!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Bunch Asparagus
  • 1/2 Lemon, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 Large Garlic Cloves, Minced (or 2 tsp minced garlic)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350*
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.  Spread the asparagus out in a single layer.  Spread the lemon slices over the asparagus.  Sprinkle with garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of your asparagus.  It should be tender-crisp.

 

 

And there you go!  Bingo zingo…super easy!!  Do you love it?!  I love it!!

 

Asparagus 1

See?  Lay it out nice and pretty…

Asparagus 2

Sprinkle with garlic…

Asparagus 3

Salt and pepper…and cook until tender crisp!

Asparagus 4

Yummy roasty toasty garlicky lemony goodness!

Asparagus 5

Asparagus 6

 

Smokey Bacon Asparagus Wraps

Yeah. Isn’t that title enough to make you drool already?! I’m drooling. Really. Two of my favorite things in the world? Asparagus. And bacon. Hallelujah!

This is a little gem from Abel James! The spice rub gives it a “barbecue” feel, the bacon adds that smokey flavor, and of course the asparagus gives you your greens! Not to mention it is probably the best vegetable. Ever. Can I get an amen?!

Whoo. Calm down Rodgers. Apparently this recipe makes me go gospel. PRAISE THE LORD! For bacon is delicious and His love never fails!! 😀

ANYWAYS! Back to the recipe! I used turkey bacon, because I am still up in arms about pork. I love pork. But does it love me? I just don’t know.

So, here’s what you need:

 

  • 1 lb Asparagus, tough ends popped off
  • 8 to 10 Slices Turkey Bacon
  • 1/2 tsp each of: sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika (optional, add a dash of chipotle chile powder for a kick!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and cover a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Combine spice mixture in a small bowl.
  3. After your asparagus is trimmed, separate it into 8 to 10 even piles, with 4-5 pieces each.  Obviously this will depend on the size of your spears ;).
  4. Wrap the bacon around each bundle, taking care to not overlap too much, as you don’t want the bacon to be too thick or the bottom layer will not cook all the way.
  5. Lay your bundles on the baking sheet, with seam down.  Sprinkle each bundle generously with your spice rub.
  6. Slide into your preheated oven and cook for 20 or more minutes, until asparagus is tender crisp and the bacon is cooked through.
  7. Serve along side a protein and be happy!  This is most definitely a man pleaser!  Even for a man that loves vegetables like my Mr. Rodgers…they always look more alluring when wrapped in bacon, haha!!  Let me know how you like it!

 

Peectures:

Photo

Here’s my little bundles, all wrapped up and ready to go!

Photo (1)

Then they got their spices!

Photo (2)

And cooked…oh yummy!

Photo (4)

Is your mouth watering yet?

Photo (5)

It surprised me how much the spice rub acgtually did taste like barbecue!

Photo (3)

And serve with your protein!  This was with a lovely roasted chicken!  And we actually got to sit down at the dinner table together and eat!  It was amazing!!  And then Mr. Rodgers did the cutest thing!  His computer was sitting on the table, and he pulled up a video of a crackling fire place while we finished our dinner…it was so romantic!!  I hope you guys have a memory just as sweet to go with this asparagus, hehe!

Sauteed Onions and Asparagus

I have discovered a deep love for asparagus in the last few years.  I don’t know why it took me so long to realize it.  But asparagus.  Is.  Amazing.  I love it to the point that, at family gatherings at my pastor’s house (I love having an adopted New York family!), they occasionally make asparagus.  And usually after all the boys clear out from the dinner table to go watch the game…I am left chatting with Carolyn and eating the rest of the asparagus.  No matter how much is left.  It’s happened I tell you!  So I am on a quest to see how many different ways I can discover to eat it!!  If you have a good recipe please send it to me!!

This one came completely out of my brain.  I wanted something a little different for my asparagus but still warm and full of flavor.  This is what I came up with.  Sautéed Onions and Asparagus!!

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 lb Asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped (I used red, but either will make a lovely flavor)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Kerrygold Butter (We use Kerrygold because it is made from the milk of grass fed cows, and is recommended by Abel James, “The Fat Burning Man.”)
  • 1 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 C Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Melt your butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onions and stir, cooking until tender starting to brown.  It will take a while, so don’t rush it!  My red onions were done in about 10 minutes, but white or yellow will take longer.  But the slower you cook it out, the better the flavor will be.
  2. Add garlic and stir in, cooking for another minute or so, until fragrant.
  3. Add Asparagus and integrate into the onions.
  4. Add Chicken Stock to deglaze your pan.  Stir in the remaining ingredients and continue cooking, stirring often, until asparagus is bright green and tender crips…8-10 minutes.
  5. Heap on a plate, making sure you have some onions on top.  And enjoy!!

 

Peectures!!

Photo (7)

Caramelize your onions in the butter…

Photo (8)

Add asparagus.  Deglaze the pan with chicken stock, and stir in other liquids.

Photo (9)

Continue cooking, stirring often, until asparagus is tender crisp and liquids have reduced.

Photo (10)

Yummy!!!!

Photo (12)

 

One Pot Wonder: Salmon and Asparagus With Raspberry Red Onion Balsamic Reduction

That is a mouthful!  But a wonderful mouthful!  This reduction is sweet, a little spicy, tart…and just wonderful.  It would be great on a number of different things, and it rocked on this fresh caught salmon!  Plus who can argue with a one pot, super quick meal?! Inspiration for this lovely meal came from a great blog called apronstringblog.com.  It was originally a blackberry glaze that used blackberry preserves.  However, it has been my experience that preserves and jellies are crammed with sugar, often amongst other strange ingredients that are hard to pronounce.  So I decided to make it with fresh blackberries cooked down.  However, right after we got groceries, we also got very busy.  I forgot about the beautiful blackberries in my fridge until they had fuzzies on them.  😦  It made me want to cry!!  Luckily, I found some raspberries in my freezer!  And so this beauty was born…not too reminiscent of the original, but still salmon with a yummy berry sauce!  So let me share this creation with you!!   Here’s what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1/4 Small Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 C Raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2-3 Tbsp Raw Honey
  • 2-3 Balsamic Vinegar (I used strawberry balsamic vinegar that we got in an adorable specialty shop in Lake Placid while on our anniversary.)
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, Cumin, and Thyme
  • 1 lb Asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 C Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Fresh Salmon
  • Salt and Pepper

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your broiler.
  2. Start your sauce first!!  Take out a medium sauce pan and melt the coconut oil over medium heat.  Add red onions and cook, stirring, until just starting to brown and caramelize.
  3. Stir in raspberries and cook for a minute or so.  If they are frozen, stir until they are mostly thawed.  Add raw honey to taste (I used 3 Tbsp and it was nice and sweet, but I know that not everyone would want it that sweet so feel free to use less.)    Let honey melt and stir to coat raspberries.
  4. Add vinegar and stir in.  Turn heat down to medium low and continue cooking until a sauce has formed from the raspberry juice.  Add red pepper flakes, cumin, and thyme.  Let simmer while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  5. Trim the ends off the asparagus and rinse.  Put a large cast iron skillet on the stove and pour coconut milk in the bottom.  Bring to a simmer, then add asparagus spears.
  6. Salt and pepper salmon, then place on top of the asparagus.  Cover pan and steam for about 8 minutes, until liquid is almost gone.
  7. Smear the raspberry sauce all over the salmon.  Slide the skillet under the broiler and cook for a couple of minutes, until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.  Serve immediately!  🙂

 

Photo (1)

Gotta love one pot, fast dinners!! Have some peectures

Photo (2)

Thinly slice your red onion.

Photo (3)

Cook until starting to brown.

Photo (5)

Add raspberries and stir, cooking until they begin rendering their juices.

Photo (6)

Add raw honey and cook, stirring until meted.

Photo (7)

Add balsamic vinegar.  Continue cooking until raspberries have “melted” into a sauce.

Photo (8)

Stir in spices, reduce heat, and simmer until your salmon is ready.

Photo (9)

Place a large cast iron skillet on the stove top.  Pour coconut milk in the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil.  Add asparagus.

Photo (10)

Salt and pepper salmon, and lay on top of asparagus.  Cover and steam for about 8 minutes.

Photo (11)

Smear raspberry sauce all over salmon.  Slide under broiler and cook a couple minutes, until salmon is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

Photo (12)

Yum!

Photo (13)

This glaze is amazing!!

Photo (14)

Photo (15)

 

 

Surprising Chicken Bake!

Why the title, you ask?  Because when I saw the original of this recipe and looked over the ingredient list, I thought…”this sounds really weird.  I never would have put those ingredients together.”  But the picture was so pretty.  So I had to try it…Feeding Mr. Rodgers style!  And so I planned a tweak here and a twist there, threw it all together (which seriously came together a lot faster than I ever would have guessed!)…and hoped for the best.

Pulled it out of the oven 40 minutes or so later and it was gorgeous!!  Dumped some on top of a steaming pile of quinoa, bit into it, and melted!  And get this!  I have tried to cook with zucchini before, usually grilled because my mamma raised me eating grilled zucchini and I love it!  Well Mr. Rodgers does not share that passion.  I figured that out pretty fast.  When it comes to cooked zucchini, he is NOT a fan!  Well after a few bites of this, a few approving “mmmm’s” and thoughtful moments…he said the words I never thought I would hear coming out of his mouth.  “I REALLY like the zucchini in this!”  HOLD THE PHONE!  This recipe must be something special if it made a believer out of him!  😛

So let’s get down to it!  Adapted from myfoodreligion.com!

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and ends trimmed
  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced in half (like tenders)
  • 2 Zucchini, sliced into approximately 1 inch thick rounds
  • Shredded parmesan cheese, optional

And here’s how you do it:  (Really, it’s easy, but looks fancy.  If you know me, you know that is my favorite kind of meal!!)

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Get everything prepped…sliced and minced and opened and such.
  3. Lay your cut chicken breasts in a single layer at the bottom of a 9 X 13 (or comparable) baking dish.  Crack fresh salt and pepper over the chicken.
  4. Take your zucchini rounds and lay them in a single layer on top of the chicken, then propped up around the sides if you have enough.  Confused?  Scroll down to my pictures.  Obviously you don’t have to do it exactly how I did…but it sure did turn out purdy!
  5. Take a large bowl and dump in your two cans (diced tomatoes and coconut milk).  Add dried herbs and minced garlic  and stir until combined.  It will be a faint pink color.
  6. Dump the mixture over the zucchini/chicken layers.
  7. Layer the asparagus on top in a single layer.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan if you so desire!  I did it on half to try it both ways…it was delicious both!!!
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until chicken is cooked (if you want to make sure, you can probably stab a meat thermometer down until it pierces the chicken, and make sure it is at 165*), asparagus is tender, and the rest is bubbly, browned, and delicious looking.
  10. Serve on top of a pile of hot steaming quinoa and spoon some of the saucy deliciousness over top.  Now take a bite and be as amazed and surprised and Mr. Rodgers and I were!!  Yaaaaay healthy gorgeous one pan meal wonderfulness!

Peectures!

Chicken Bake 1.5Rinse and prep your veggies!  Pop the ends off of your asparagus, and slice your zucchini in about inch-thick rounds.

Chicken Bake 1Cut your chicken breasts in half, like tenders.  Lay them in a single layer across the bottom of your baking dish.  Crack fresh salt and pepper over the chicken.

Chicken Bake 2Lay a single layer of zucchini rounds on top of the chicken.  Make a border around the edge with the zucchini as well.

Chicken Bake 3Open your cans!!

Chicken Bake 5Dump them in a bowl with the herbs and spices.

Chicken Bake 6Stir until combined.

Chicken Bake 7Dump over top of the zucchini/chicken layers…

Chicken Bake 8Layer on the asparagus…sprinkle with parmesan if you are going that route.

Chicken Bake 9Slide into the preheated oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes until chicken is cooked, edges are browned, and asparagus is tender….

Chicken Bake 10Doesn’t that look yummy?!

Chicken Bake 11I can’t believe how fantastic it turned out!!!

Chicken Bake 12Doesn’t that look tasty?!  It was.  😀  Try it!!  Let me know!!