After the long winter months of high priced asparagus, sometimes reaching $3.99 a pound or more, the prices have finally come down now that spring is here. Most recently, the price was down to $1.48 a pound at my local grocer’s and, of course, I had to buy it. The prices will continue to be low for a while and I plan on incorporating this delectible vegetable into my menus. I love asparagus!
Of course it is marvelous just steamed with a little butter. However, I like to just throw some into an ungreased hot cast iron skillet and toss them around for two or three minutes just to slightly cook them and then incorporate them into salads.
One of my favorite salads is a salmon salad plate. I bake salmon fillet (just lightly coated with olive oil and a little sprinkle of garlic salt) for about 20 minutes in a 425 degree oven (or more like 15 minutes at a convection roast setting). I place the salmon on a bed of greens, grape tomatoes, and whatever chopped vegetables I have on hand. I place the lightly grilled asparagus artistically on top of the salmon and have a healthy, beautiful entree. See photo to the right.
One of my favorite low cost, healthy and easy meals is brown rice with black beans. I simply saute chopped onion and red pepper in a little olive oil, add some minced garlic, throw in a can of beans (could be blackeyed peas, black beans or any canned bean of your choice), sprinkle on some cayenne and salt to taste and also a splash of vinegar. I top this with a few spoonfuls of a salad made from chopped parsley, onion, tomatoes, minced garlic and chopped asparagus (cooked in the cast iron pan first). I mix this chopped vegetable mixture with olive oil, vinegar, salt and cayenne (do you notice I used cayenne in just about everything? I will be doing a separate post on the wonders of cayenne and hot peppers in general soon). This rice and beans dish is so satisfying. I could eat this several times a week.
Actually, both the salmon salad and the rice and beans are examples of perfect “food combining”. I learned about food combining from Harvey and Marilyn Diamond’s book “Fit for Life” about 30 years ago. I’ll be doing a separate post on that as well in the future.
If you’re not familiar with the term “impossible pie”, it’s a pie that is made with Bisquick that doesn’t have a separate crust. The Bisquick makes it own sort of crust. This pie is similar to a quiche. It is easy to make, light in texture, and is great for brunch, lunch or dinner!
Cottage Cheese and Sour Cream Asparagus Impossible Pie
3/4 cup thin asparagus spears cut into 1/2 inch pieces (tips reserved)
1/2 cup scallions thinly sliced
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup cottage cheese (I use Cabot’s Vermont Syle)
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Bisquick
dash of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup parmesean cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a pie plate and place chopped asparagus and scallions in plate. In a bowl, combine melted butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, eggs, Bisquick and 1/4 cup of the parmesean cheese; mix well and pour over asparagus and scallions. Artistically arrange asparagus tips on top, lightly pressing into the cheese mixture so they are slightly submerged (see photo below). Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup parmesean cheese on top.
Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes or until browned. Set on wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes. Slice and serve….goes great with a side salad. Notice that there is no added salt to the recipe; the cottage cheese, butter, Bisquick and parmesean cheese all contain salt. You could also add a little chopped ham or smoked salmon to the mixture and perhaps a little fresh dill as well.
I’m always looking for more asparagus recipes. If anyone out there has a recipe they’d like to share, I’d love to hear from you!