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Fresh spinach and asparagus? [Feb. 2nd, 2014|11:14 pm]
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[princess_aleera]
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I used to hate asparagus and spinach as a kid, but now, I've suddenly begun to like them! So I bought a bunch of both a couple of days ago and, them being fresh, I need to cook the rest of them soon. Do any of you have any easy-yummy recipes with loads of spinach and asparagus? I've got peppers(paprikas), tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and garlic, a bunch of pasta, and some greek natural yoghurt as well.

Any takers? :D
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mahasin
2014-02-02 11:16 pm (UTC)

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Cream of asparagus soup

I like this recipe: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/07/crockpot-cream-of-asparagus-soup.html

for Spinach I usually just saute with garlic, feta cheese and top with salt and pepper.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-02 11:21 pm (UTC)

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Nice! I like the soup - unfortunately I don't have a blender://

I love the idea of sautéing the spinach with garlic and feta cheese, though! Thanks!
[User Picture]From: mahasin
2014-02-02 11:25 pm (UTC)

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Iv'e done it before where I didn't use a blender so it wasn't a smooth cream of asparagus soup, but a chunky one with potatoes and I think I added carrots to go along with the asparagus bits.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-02 11:58 pm (UTC)

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Oooh, that definitely sounds more doable. I'm allergic to carrots, but I can add some more potatoes and lentils instead:D
[User Picture]From: leatherfemme
2014-02-02 11:27 pm (UTC)

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Clean and dice the peppers, tomatoes, onions and asparagus into roughly equal sizes (onions slightly smaller). Toss with a bit of olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 until things start to turn brown, stirring occasionally. While that is cooking, clean and hand-tear your spinach (unless it's baby spinach) and cook up the pasta. Toss the spinach in with the pasta right after you drain it and toss well. When veggies are done toss in with the pasta. Feel free to add in some yogurt for a little tangy/creamy if you want. Or you can grate, salt and drain the cucumber, toss with the yogurt, add a little minced garlic and some salt (some fresh dill or mint would be best if you have it but not required) and you have tzatziki. If you still have some spinach you can make a salad with that and the tsatziki.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 12:01 am (UTC)

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O.o

Oh, nom. That sounds delicious. I'll definitely give your first one a try, thanks a bunch! :D
[User Picture]From: asparagusmama
2014-02-03 12:01 am (UTC)

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Spinach is lovely in a lasagne - layered with a nice tomato sauce (home made of jar). I chop lots steamed spinach finally and mix with smoked or marinated tofu, but I adapted it from a friend's recipe, and he used goats cheese, feta or mozzella. Top with a nice (soya) cheesy bechamel.

Also, spinach is fantastic in all sorts of Indian curries - it goes particular well with potatoes, daal (red lentil or moong) and chick peas. Ask me if you would like any of the recipes.

I just love asparagus as it is - steamed with lots of melted vegan marg (yum). it's a nice started, and can be topped with a poached egg (if you do eggs). Bit cannabilsitic, I know ;)
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 12:06 am (UTC)

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These sound really interesting! I've recently vowed to start cooking again, not just eat take-out, and since asparagus is my new yum-food, I might tak you up on your offer at some point:D

I'm not actually a vegetarian or vegan - at least not full-time, hehe. I just have meat-weeks and meat-free weeks, so yeah, I do recipes with eggs in them. :P
[User Picture]From: asparagusmama
2014-02-03 12:12 am (UTC)

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You'd be very welcome - but you might have to be a bit patient with a reply, as I have really bad phases will my health :(

I'm only 95% meat free myself. I used to be vegan, but my daughter and I are also coeliacs, and having ME/CFS I have to resort to eggs to bind things and sometimes a bit of meat or fish is a simple massive dose of protein for energy when I'm ill.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 12:19 am (UTC)

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Of course! It won't be a rush, just me trying out this neat, new thing called 'a recipe'... :P

Yeah, I can see how that would make veganism a little difficult. I'm mostly lazy myself, and I have several odd food allergies and intolerances I have to weave my way through. :3

(I have a similar thng with iron - I don't take up iron from pills properly, so I have to eat meat; especially during ~certain parts of the month~, hurr.)
[User Picture]From: asparagusmama
2014-02-03 12:29 am (UTC)

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As long as I'm around and up to it I'll try to help out with recipes. I dream one day of writing a recipe book - gluten free, dairy free easy veggie food :)

Going without dairy is easy, but no eggs and no gluten makes baking impossible!

I know what you mean about certain times of the month, that is when I go for meat dishes. Oh, and lots of dairy free chocolate too :)
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 09:07 pm (UTC)

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There'd definitely be a market for that:D

Haha, yeah. I'm intolerant to chocolate now, so I don't get to nom those anymore, bah. These mysterious bodies, eh. :P
[User Picture]From: asparagusmama
2014-02-10 09:43 pm (UTC)

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I hope so. so far just a dream, as I have neither the health or the free time, but one day. i make notes (when I remember) when I try something new or adapt a recipe to fit our allergies and intolerances :)

No chocolate? I hope you can eat carob instead?

I know *sigh* but what can we do with these useless, mysterious bodies, eh? :(
[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2014-02-06 03:43 pm (UTC)

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Don't feel bad for eating meat. We've evolved to do so. You can eat meat ethically-- just don't buy the junk and try to find the best quality, best raised, most sustainable stuff that you can. You don't need much, and a little good stuff will do you worlds better than a daily crapburgerfest. Can I recommend Nigel Slater as a recipemeister? He's a great favourite over here in Blighty, and a proponent of quality over quantity. Also a vegetable lover. He has several cookbooks out: I'd recommend 'Appetite' as a starter. They're all good.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-06 05:18 pm (UTC)

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I don't feel bad for eating meat - I just don't see the point of advertising it on a veggie comm:)

I haven't heard of Nigel Meister; I'll check him out. Thank you!
[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2014-02-07 11:55 am (UTC)

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Valid point! I had to give up vegetarianism for health reasons, but I still prefer veggie food and am steadily training my steadfastly carnivorous husband to like it too (he still won't touch chick peas, but give me time).

Nigel Slater writes for the Guardian Observer. You can find some of his recipes here:
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/series/nigelslaterrecipes

Or check him out at his website: www.nigelslater.com

(I'm not advertising for him-- I just really like his writing and his cooking)

Edited at 2014-02-07 12:41 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-07 02:07 pm (UTC)

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Chick peas are delicious, though D: :P

Thanks for the links! ;)
[User Picture]From: asparagusmama
2014-02-03 12:05 am (UTC)

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And if you go for the Indian option, then the cucumber and yogurt will make a nice raita (beat the yogurt, mix in coriander leaves or pinch of powdered, black pepper and pinch of chilli, grate the cucmber and mix in). It's cooling with the spicy curry.

Diced tomatoes and onions with more coriander, black pepper and chilli make another salad to go with curry.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 12:07 am (UTC)

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Man, I would LOVE to be able to make raita of my own. I don't think I'd pull it off, but it's definitely something to try these upcoming weeks :D

Oooo, I love coriander so that sounds like a good bet too. Thanks for all the suggestions!!
[User Picture]From: asparagusmama
2014-02-03 12:13 am (UTC)

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My husband was Pakistani, so I had to learn to cook Indian food very well very fast :)
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 12:17 am (UTC)

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Mmm, lucky. I do love Indian food:D
[User Picture]From: delphia2000
2014-02-03 02:12 am (UTC)

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Both go well in crepes, sauteed in a little olive oil & garlic. A little of your favorite grated cheese on top before you wrap them up. With hollendaise if you're feeling decadent. Or a bit of garlic sour cream.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 02:27 am (UTC)

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Oh, that sounds really interesting! Thanks for the tip!
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 01:35 pm (UTC)

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Haha, definitely! Thanks for the link, I'll give it a go! :D
[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2014-02-03 02:05 pm (UTC)

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If you do eggs and cheese (or even just eggs) quiche or something quiche-esque is a good way to go and it's very simple. Do your pastry according to your favourite recipe (don't ask me; I'm awful at it). Grate or slice or chop into chunks a cheese of your choosing-- sharp ones complement eggs very well, but use whatever you like, however much you like. Use about three medium eggs for an 8-inch baking dish, more or less according to how much cheese you want, beaten with a little salt and pepper.

Steam your asparagus only just until it turns bright green: about a minute. You don't have to cook your spinach or your peppers, just slice the peppers and make sure the spinach is nice and clean. Put a layer of cheese over your pastry, scatter your lovely vegetables over, pour over the egg mixture and bake for around 18-20 minutes at medium heat. If your oven is ornery, you might want to cover it with some foil, only uncovering it for the last 5 minutes or so to go all nice on top.

If you don't have or don't want to use pastry, you could improvise a crust out of sliced, parboiled potatoes. Cook them just until they'll finish nicely while sucking up all the juices from your veggies. Or, indeed, not. If you oil the dish a bit it should work just fine with no crust at all. Sort of a baked omelette, I suppose.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 09:08 pm (UTC)

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I'm not a huge fan of pastry, but the potato option sounds intriguing. I might just try this! Thank you! :D
[User Picture]From: mark356
2014-02-03 07:01 pm (UTC)

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I am super-lazy, so I only know two spinach recipes, both really easy.

First is aloo palak (spinach with potatos). I like the Mad Tea Party recipe here:
http://madteaparty.wordpress.com/2007/04/30/aloo-palak-spinach-with-potatoes/
Super easy and so so good!

You can also go the Japanese route: the simplest Japanese way to do spinach is to just wash the bunches very thoroughly, blanch them (briefly if the spinach is young and tender, a little longer if not), wring them out slightly, and then cut then into chopstick-friendly lengths, maybe about 2 inches long. You can drizzle a little soy sauce and/or toasted sesame oil on them if you want, maybe even a dash of hot oil, but I have been served them just plain too. Have them hot or cold.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 09:10 pm (UTC)

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Oooh, I've never tried that style of aloo before; it looks really good. And I'll probably try the Japanese option at some point, because it sounds delish. Thanks a bunch for the recipes! :D
[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2014-02-06 02:47 pm (UTC)

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If you like Japanese style food, spinach and asparagus make a fantastic topping for a sophisticated vegetable ramen! You can use the cheap fried noodles out of instant packets, but if you have access to a decent Asian grocer or a health food store, you can get really nice, not fried, lovely noodles. Soba, the brown buckwheat noodle, is particularly yummy and quite healthy, and udon is a good fat noodle with real comfort value. What's the killer ingredient here is your soup. By all means, if you have a ready made stock that you like, use that, but here's a recipe (it's just out of my head-- sorry) for a good clear Japanese style veggie broth. This'll make a fair bit, but it freezes extremely well. You will need to strain it. I usually use a cloth laid in a colander. You could easily use a large paper coffee filter.

Onion: regular, one large or two medium. Cut them in half and leave the skin on. I do prefer shallots for this, as they have a nice sweetness to them. Use around four.
Ginger: a good, fat, thumb-of-a-large-man sized piece, cut into coins.
Garlic: one small head, sliced in half. Leave the skin on.
Shiitake mushrooms, about 2, leave whole (really expensive fresh in supermarkets, but easily available dried in Asian groceries, sometimes marked as 'Chinese Mushroom'; the dried ones are extremely versatile and perfectly lovely).
Kombu, if you can get it: this is a kelp that is used in a lot of Japanese cooking. It usually comes in plastic bags, in the form of leaves a few inches long, crusted with sea salt. Give one leaf a little rinse to get most of the salt off. Put the rest into a jar with a tight lid. They will keep aaaaaaaages.
One Napa cabbage (Chinese leaf). Cut it in half longways, and cut the butt end off of one of the halves. Set the de-butted half aside for later.
Pepper-- if you've got the five-colour type, all the better. Pink peppercorns are really fresh and lovely. If not, just plain. Leave grains whole.
A chili pepper, if you like. Leave it whole or cut it in half and de-seed it if you don't want things too hot.

If you can't get kombu, no worries. If you can't get napa cabbage, no worries either. You can use lettuce. Actually, lettuce makes a really nice soup ingredient, and if you've got some that's a little wilty, this is an ideal thing to do with it.

Chuck all that in a pot and cover it with water, enough for everything to jostle about comfortably with half a finger's depth above. Bring it to a **gentle** boil, then turn it down and let it simmer for, y'know, time. You don't have to be too fussy here. About an hour is good enough; more is good too. Just don't let it boil vigorously.

Let the soup cool enough to be handled. Pick out the veggies with a slotted spoon and discard (you might want to keep the shiitakes-- slice them, discarding the stems, which are really tough; you can use the sliced mushrooms as a topping), then strain the soup. You should end up with a lovely, bright clear broth. Season it with salt or shoyu to your taste.

To serve, cook up your noodles! Set them aside when they're done-- if they're going to sit longer than a few minutes, stir some sesame oil into them to keep them from gumming up. It'll taste yummy anyway. Hot up as much of your soup as you'll need. Chop your asparagus and the de-butted end of your Napa cabbage into nice pieces and chuck it into your soup to cook. Arrange your noodles in bowls, and put your clean spinach leaves in a bunch at the side (you can blanch them, but I find it isn't necessary; they'll cook in the bowl). Once your asparagus is done to your liking, ladle the hot soup over the noodles and spinach and serve. Top with chopped scallions for added beauty and yumminess. You can add tofu or boiled egg to round this out as a proteinaceous feast.

Sorry-- that looks really complicated! But it isn't-- most of the ingredients are things you can stock in your storecupboard so you can knock this together easily. It does take some time, though, so do by all means go the instant soup route if that's easier for you. Miso is another option, if you can get it.

Edited at 2014-02-06 03:04 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-06 05:24 pm (UTC)

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Haha, it does look rather complicated, but I'm sure it'll be fine once I try! Thank you for this; my flatmate's been looking to make ramen for a while now, and with my nifty ingredients, we can make a batch together! :D
[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2014-02-07 11:41 am (UTC)

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Oh good! Ramen is much maligned. It's super delicious and healthy if you use nice ingredients!

Yeah, it does seem complicated, but it's rather made up for by how little fuss it is. Just throw stuff in a pot and cook it slowly. The ginger and onions are the backbone of this particular soup-- use any other vegetables you like, as soup ingredients or as toppings. Ramen cries out for creativity!
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-07 02:06 pm (UTC)

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Yes, it is! I quite like ramen, even if I've never made it myself before :3

^^
[User Picture]From: cleodhna
2014-02-08 04:20 pm (UTC)

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I'm sure once you start you won't go back!
[User Picture]From: thewickedquill
2014-02-03 08:53 pm (UTC)

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You've already had so many great suggestions, but here's my input anyway :)

Spinach can be put in almost anything, and I love it! so it would be impossible to choose. But when it comes to asparagus, my absolute favourite is oven roasted with either hollandaise sauce or dijon-lemon sauce.

I did notice that you said you didn't have a blender? I'm assuming that means you probably don't have a processor, either :) in which case I'd say try the dijon-lemon sauce if it sounds like something you'd fancy.

It is simple to prepare and makes an elegant and tasty accompaniment to a large assortment of mains.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 09:12 pm (UTC)

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I have! I'm floored by the feedback but hey, just keep'em coming if you have them. I'm planning to use a lot more spinach and asparagus in my cooking from now on, so it works out brilliantly:3

Yeah, no processor or fancy stuff. Student in a shared house, heh, so my resources are somewhat limited. The dijon-lemon sauce sounds nice, though! Thank you! :D
[User Picture]From: thewickedquill
2014-02-03 09:26 pm (UTC)

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It's my pleasure :)
And I remember what it's like in student housing. (I shared a studio with a roommate and we didn't even have an oven - just a toaster oven that could barely fit an 8x8-inch pan - and a double ring burner!)
I can send you the recipe if you like - I got it from Cooking Light. It's really easy :) Just say the word and I'll drop you a message.
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-03 09:44 pm (UTC)

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Please do! I feel privelieged because I've got an oven, a microwave AND a proper kettle, haha. ^^

PLease do! :D
[User Picture]From: thewickedquill
2014-02-03 10:22 pm (UTC)

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lol! Hey, I had a kettle...! :P

Posted the recipe in a PM. Hope you enjoy :)

~Shay
[User Picture]From: princess_aleera
2014-02-04 05:56 pm (UTC)

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No, I mean the electric ones. I'm trying to find a non-British word for it, but my brain isn't cooperatingXD

Thank you! :3

~Aleera