Asparagus in Pea Sauce with Crunchy Kasha and Shallots

Asparagus in Pea Sauce with Crunchy Kasha and Shallots

Spring! Peas! Asparagus! All things green!

I almost don’t believe it’s spring because I haven’t been blowing my entire paycheck on tissues and Zyrtec. That, and the fact that there’s still a stubborn chill in the air. Ok, for some of you northern folks, it’s probably more than a “stubborn chill,” but you don’t need me to tell you that. I actually love the way the weather is right now. Brisk.

This meal also makes me feel brisk. It’s full of happy spring time produce (and a little late winter produce). It whips up quickly, which makes it so perfect for a lazy midweek meal. And you can actually make it without a drop of added oil and it’ll still taste so good. Did I mention it has a crunchy kasha topping?

I’ve been on a kasha kick lately. It’s mostly due to the fact that I wasn’t paying attention to the dispenser handle at Whole Foods and all this kasha came spilling out into my bag. Oops. I hardly ever shop there — can we agree that it’s a “treat yourself” place? I think of it that way. But anyways, it’s actually one of the least expensive items there, so I didn’t feel too bad. And I’ve been using it like mad, so it’s fine. I’m gonna have to treat myself again soon.

You guys, I have a confession to make. While I was writing this post about good and healthy spring goodies, I was munching on a handful of artificially colored, super sugary Robin Eggs.  Lalala hey what’s over there? *sneaks more Robin Eggs while your head is turned*

Yep. I’m gonna need these greens come dinner time.


Asparagus in Pea Sauce with Crunchy Kasha and Shallots


    for the asparagus:
  • 1 lb fresh asparagus
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 scant tbsp fresh thyme
  • salt
  • pepper
  • for the pea sauce
  • 1 cup frozen tiny peas, thawed (measured before thawing)
  • juice from 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • salt and pepper
  • for the kasha
  • 1/2 cup kasha
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced with a garlic slicer
  • more salt and pepper


    for the asparagus
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Trim asparagus.
  3. Combine oj, thyme, and a dash of S & P.
  4. Toss asparagus in juice.
  5. Lay asparagus on a non-stick silicone sheet and roast for 15 minutes.
  6. for the peas
  7. While the asparagus is cooking, combine peas, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender until pureed. Set aside.
  8. for the kasha
  9. Coat a pan with non-stick spray
  10. Cook the sliced shallots over medium heat, stirring occasionally till they are just a pale gold.
  11. Add the kasha into the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until both shallots and kasha darken.
  12. Add a little salt and pepper to the pan, remove from heat, and continue to stir (yes, stir after it's removed from heat because it's still toasting and you don't want it to burn)
  13. to assemble
  14. Warm the pea sauce in the microwave
  15. Toss the asparagus in the pea sauce.
  16. Top the asparagus with the kasha and shallots. Sprinkle a little more salt on to taste, and some additional peas for garnish. Serve immediately.

Happy Salad

beet grapefruit avocado salad spicy fruit salad

There is so much about this salad that makes me happy.

It has beets. Awesome, awesome beets, which have been proven to improve athletic performance and recovery.

It as a creamy, sliced-just-as-it-was-ripe avocado.

Ok, the grapefruit I threw in because the two blood oranges I brought home from the store were kinda disappointing.

But best of all, it has my favorite salad dressing of all time. You probably can’t even call it a dressing. There’s no prep work. It’s just lemon, chili, and salt. It’s a super classic combination that goes well on just about ever fruit or veggie or root that you could ever pick.


I wanted some jicama for this too, but I’m kind of glad I couldn’t find any because this turned out so good just the way it is. I’m even glad that the blood oranges were bad because this grapefruit was bursting with flavor….you know how sometimes you can get the bland, disappointing ones? Not this. What’s even better is that I usually get bad photo luck on my day off and get stuck with a cloud cover. But the sky was bright and waiting for spring.

It’s probably kind of silly to get this happy about a salad, where would be be without the everyday little things that bring us joy? 

Happy Salad


  • 1 large beet, grated
  • 1 grapefruit, sectioned
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • chili pepper to taste
  • salt to taste
  • pistachios


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

These wraps contain two of my favorite veggies ever.

I say a lot of things are my favorite, but it’s true! It’s also true that if you love everything, then you don’t love anything. Trust me, there are a lot of foods I can’t stand. I just don’t want to talk about them right now because I’d like to tell you about these instead.

That bright red filling is made of shredded Brussels sprouts and beets. I like to make a sort of hash out of them for dinner and scoop it up with flatbread. That’s rather messy, so I decided to roll them up into neat little packages. You can make several of these at once, which is good for a few days worth of salad lunches.

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

The citrus dip is the easiest thing ever. Just throw everything in the blender and you’re done!   It’s not vegan, but can be easily made so.

There are so many things you can do with sprouts. Here’s a list of goodies for all you Brussels sprouts lovers.

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

Yield: 14-16 wraps, depending on leaf size

Serving Size: 1 wrap


    for the wraps
  • 2 medium beets
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb turnip greens (you won't use them all)
  • for the dipping sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 1/2 cups grapefruit juice
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 medium-large garlic clove
  • 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • salt to taste


  1. Shred the beets and the sprouts in your food processor. Work in batches if you must. (I had to).
  2. Coat a big sautee pan with non-stick spray, and bring to medium heat.
  3. Cook the beets & sprouts for about five minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Cook for 4 minutes more, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle on the nutritional yeast.
  6. Let it cool a little bit and then sprinkle with salt to taste.
  7. Gently wash the turnip greens and pat them dry.
  8. Pick the fullest, greenest leaves. You'll need about 16. It's ok if they're different sizes. Just as long as they don't have any holes or brown spots, you're good.
  9. Place 1 - 2 tablespoons of the beet-sprout mix in the center of each leaf. Fold lengthwise then crosswise. For some of the bigger leaves, you might even be able to use 3 tbsp.
  10. for the mix
  11. Put the avocado, grapefruit juice, sesame oil, garlic clove, fish sauce, chili powder, and honey in a blender till well combined. Taste and add salt if desired.

inspired by Spinach Tiger 

Ruby Wraps with Grapefruit Dip

Mamabear’s Green Dressing

You know those days when absolutely nothing goes as planned? I’ve had about 5 of those in a row. Some were big things, some were little.

My mom was visiting. We don’t get along too well, but we’re working on it, and I love her deeply no matter what. She had to cut her visit short and that made me sad. The second she left I went to the kitchen to make this dressing. Eating my feelings, I guess.

This recipe is something I got from her. She loves salad. She doesn’t just eat it because she pigged out the day before, or because it’s healthy, but just because she loves it. When I go visit her, 75% of the meals she makes are salad.

Before she left, she filled up this little cup with flowers. Thanks, Mom.


Mamabear's Green Dressing


  • 1 cup of loosely packed basil
  • 3/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 avocado
  • at least 1 1/4 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • salt to taste


  1. Put everything in the blender. It will be very creamy. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add a little more orange juice. Serve over a bed of fresh greens.

Fat-Free Pomegranate Dressing with Classic Salad

Goat cheese and greens are such a classic combination. The grassy, slightly bitter greens pair so well with the creaminess of the goat cheese. This fresh pomegranate dressing adds a flavorful twist to an oldie-but-goodie.


Juicing and seeding the pomegranates sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually quite simple.

To seed the pomegranates, cut them into quarters. Place the quarters (two or three at a time) into a container with a very very airtight lid. Shake the container vigorously….this will loosen most of the seeds. The rest will come off easily by hand. It’s important that the container be airtight because if it’s not, some juice will come out with the shaking. It’s happened to me in the past. Luckily, I wasn’t wearing anything that I was overly attached to.

To juice them, I couldn’t use my blend-and-squeeze method, but I did use my kitchen cloths…..again. Kitchen cloths are one of my most used items. They are so cheap and easy to clean and they don’t take up much space. Just fold them and stuff them in a drawer. Or skip the folding, whatever.

I set up a pasta strainer over a pot and then cut a kitchen cloth into a circle to fit in the strainer. Like I said, these kitchen cloths are so cheap I didn’t mind losing one.   My setup.

I piled all the seeds on top of the kitchen cloth and started pressing down on them with the bottom of a mug. I was able to get most of the juice out this way. Then I gathered then ends of the cloth and squeezed the rest of the juice out with my hand. There wasn’t much left — the mug did most of the work.

Two pomegranates yield about just over one cup of juice. I carefully poured all the juice into my cup and didn’t spill a single drop. I was priding myself on this when I opened up a new canister of peppercorns and somehow spilled several of them all over the floor. Oh well, I needed to vacuum anyways.

I juiced some lemons and added some thyme (thyme is one of my favorite smells of all time, ha). And a little garlic, because it’s hard to have a good salad dressing without garlic.


Oh, hey! Happy New Year! Here’s to keeping all our resolutions.


Fat-Free Pomegranate Dressing

  • 2 ripe pomegranates
  • 2 -3 big lemons
  • 1 heaping tablespoon fresh thyme (about 4-5 small sprigs)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To make:

  1. Juice the pomegranates and lemons. You should have 1 cup of pomegranate juice and half a cup of lemon juice
  2. Add the thyme, garlic, and juices to a blender to combine.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour over a salad of fresh greens and goat cheese. Enjoy!