25 April 2012

The Good, the Bad and the Yummy ...

Here comes the asparagus! Being on a diet is tough, but when the new vegetables come into market, life is so much easier! We scored beautiful asparagus spears yesterday and the simplest thing to do was to snap the ends, slice them on the diagonal, drizzle them with good olive oil, sprinkle them with Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, toss on about two teaspoons of fresh lemon zest and roast them under foil in the oven for about 20 minutes in a hot oven (400 degrees F). Took the foil off and let them finish for another five minutes to dissipate some of the steaminess ... and then, we gobbled. It was so good!

Loved using this cast iron pan, too. It kept the veg hot on the table - I was uncouth and didn't use a serving dish ...

What are YOU doing with asparagus these days?

Of course, when you're on a diet you also crave carbohydrates, now and then. I found a wonderful recipe for Tagliatelle Baked with Mushrooms, Gorgonzola, and Walnuts in my Cook's Encyclopedia of One-Pot and Clay-Pot Cooking.  It looked so good and relatively healthy ... once I toned down the heavy cream/light cream/butter element. I used half the olive oil in the vegetable sauté and no heavy cream ... 2% milk and light cream, instead. I did not stint on the cheese or walnuts, though. Or the vegetables. To boot, I halved the recipe so that there was a minimal amount left over ... pasta and me are a leftover nightmare. I have been known to eat pasta for breakfast.

So ... two-tone tagliatelle (spinach and the regular version) ...

Add a layer of sautéed leeks, sweet onion, and Crimini mushrooms , drizzle over that a slurry of light cream and melted blue cheese (or Gorgonzola), jostle the pasta and the sauce a bit to distribute things.

Top with a layer of Parmesan cheese, some chopped walnuts, and plenty of black pepper and bake for about 25 minutes in that hot oven.

Yum! It was a green and gooey dinner for SB and I last evening! Now, it's back to the salads and lean meats for a few days!


  1. Simple and delicious is the best of all possible worlds. This sounds really good. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

  2. Scrumptious is the foist word that came to my mind.

  3. Those asparagus look absolutely delicious! Simple recipes are so often the best. The tagliatelle look fabulous as well, leeks and mushrooms are so delicious together and the walnuts add a great texture. Yummy indeed!

  4. This sounds and looks absolutely delicious! The kind of meal I like to enjoy on a day that has been too long!

  5. This is just delicious. Perfect for spring. I'm making asparagus 4-5 times a week these days.

  6. I could eat just that for dinner! Well, maybe a little crusty bread...

  7. I'm not really a veggie person but that looks delicious!

  8. i don't even think about diets when we're surrounded by beautiful produce! I like to think about foods in terms of their energy instead of their calories etc, that might help you when you think about food(: all that vibrant green has got to be good for the body! the asparagus looks yummy!


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