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Lemon

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

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Lemon Roasted Asparagus

If you want to do the Whole30 Challenge successfully, you better learn to love your vegetables!  Asparagus may not be the “sexiest” vegetable (then again, what is?) or the trendiest item on the menu, but they’re packed with nutrients. 

Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, and vitamins, A, C, E and K.  While you can eat asparagus raw, which is great chopped up in a salad, I prefer it best roasted.  

The beauty of this recipe, and asparagus in general, is it really doesn’t require much effort to make it extremely flavorful.  Ina Garten, my chef idol and wannabe best friend, has a perfectly simple asparagus recipe, only calling for a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  She doesn’t even use “high quality” butter, which for Ina is rare, maybe even unheard of. 

Not to toot my own horn, and one up Ina, but I added one simple ingredient and it’s now become my favorite asparagus recipe, vegetable and side dish.  If you haven’t already guessed, seeing as its in the title of the recipe, it’s LEMON.  Lemon adds a fresh burst of flavor.  I use both the zest and the juice to really make this vegetable sing. 

Ever since, asparagus has been making a regular appearance at my dinner table.

 

Lemon Roasted Asparagus

1 Bunch Asparagus

2 Tbspn Olive Oil

1 Lemon

Salt

Pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut off the bottom ends of the Asparagus (the flat white tips).  These are tough and therefore not ideal for eating/cooking
  3. Lay the asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Using a lemon zester, zest the outside of the lemon over the asparagus.  Try to sprinkle the zest evenly but don’t worry too much as you’ll be tossing the asparagus to coat evenly.
  5. Once zested, roll the lemon to release the juices. 
  6. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the lemon juice over the asparagus.
  7. Give the asparagus a light toss to ensure they are evenly coated.
  8. Place the asparagus in the oven and cook for 40 minutes or until lightly brown and tips are slightly charred and crispy. 

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Stawberry Lemon Bars

Ina Garten is my chef idol and wannabe best friend/mom/roommate.  You get the point… LOVE her!  Growing up, her lemon bars were one of my favorite summer treats.  Tart and sweet, these bars are light, refreshing and delicious. 

Unfortunately, like most of Ina’s baked goods, these traditional lemon bars are full of sugar, flour and butter…high quality butter of course (only the best for Ina).  As soon as I began experimenting with reinventing many of my favorite treats in a Paleo version, I had to try to healthify my beloved lemon bars.

I first made these in the Hamptons, and fresh strawberries are everywhere!  I love my local farm stand there because it is filled with only in-season and locally grown fruits and vegetables.  As soon as the farmer told me about these strawberries (and let me sample!) I knew I had to make a strawberry-lemon hybrid dessert. 

I added pureed fresh strawberries into the lemon bar recipe and out came these strawberry lemon bars!  They are sweet, fresh, and tangy and have a bright pop of color!  By adding the strawberries I could also reduce the amount of honey.  These are definitely a staple in my summer dessert repertoire now. 

 

Strawberry Lemon Bars

 For the Crust:

¼ cup Honey

½ cup Coconut Oil at room temperature, it should be soft but not melted!

1 cup Almond Flour

 

For the filling:

3 Eggs

¼ Cup Honey

3 tsps almond flour

3 Lemons

1-Pint Strawberries

 

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

2.     In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut oil and honey

3.     Stir (or mix with your hands- my favorite tool) until a dough forms

4.     Press the dough evenly into a greased 8x8 baking pan

5.     Pre-bake the crust for about 8 minutes until golden brown

6.     Remove the crust from the oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees

7.     While the crust is cooling, place the strawberries in a food process and blend until you have a smooth strawberry puree

8.     In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, lemon juice and strawberry puree

9.     Add almond flour to slightly thicken the strawberry lemon mixture

10. Pour the topping over the cooled crust

11. Bake for 25 minutes.  When you remove the bars from the oven the center will be slightly jiggly but not completely liquid

12. Chill in the fridge for 6 hours.  The longer these chill the better!

13. Cut the bars into squares

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