Posts Tagged 'asparagus'

Avocado and Dill Pasta Salad

I have found the dish I want to bring to every potluck from now on.

Except I don’t really go to potlucks. But if I did, I’d bring this always.  So full of vegetables, and the dressing is INSANE (in a good way).

It has been one heck of a week.  On Monday, I turned 28.  There was Chinese food, great friends and so much cake (funfetti with pink frosting, perfect for a 28 year old).

Alyssa and I decided the cake must be magic, because we both had AMAZING runs on Tuesday. She busted out some crazy fast mile repeats, and I did a 6 mile run with 4 tempo miles all under 7:00 min/mile!

We started a space unit at school, and this week the kids made Alka Seltzer rockets. I love my job.

Today I went for my second run of the week (I guess I’m going for quality, not quantity at the moment) and ended up doing 4.5 miles at 7:30 min/mile. It didn’t even feel that hard! I don’t know where this speed came from– or if it will stick around — but I like it.

I just made a few changes to this salad as it was originally written on Ashley’s beautiful blog. I served it over a bed of mixed sprouts, which was heavenly, and I left the sweetener out of the dressing. There are so many little tweaks you can make to personalize it!



Lemon and Roasted Asparagus Risotto-Style Orzo

Even though I started Saturday morning with a four hour math test, I grade this weekend A+++.  Perfect weather, good coffee, lots of time with Mike and Ellie, a run and brunch with good friends, and a lot of time in the kitchen; that’s pretty tough to beat.

We went to Hayes Valley on Saturday afternoon and got lattes at Ritual 

The people watching (and the DOG watching!) was fantastic and as always, the lattes were divine.  I’m not sure what Ellie was so focused on, but there was definitely a lot to look at.

Sunday morning started with a trip to the East Bay to meet up with a bunch of my favorite people for a run followed by brunch.

6 leisurely miles with Courtney felt a lot harder than it should have (and my right knee/hip were a little cranky) but it was soooo nice to run in the warm sun for a change.  I’m going to spend a lot of quality time with my foam roller this week, and within the next few weeks, I need to start a training plan for the San Francisco Marathon 2nd Half.  I’m hoping to smash my PR (1:39ish right now), but I haven’t picked a plan yet.  Anyone have suggestions?

I’m making the most of asparagus season, buying a bunch of it every week and roasting it to either eat plain or incorporate into our dinner.  I made this dish with whole-wheat orzo cooked like risotto (by adding a ladle of broth and stirring until it was absorbed), which is a little time-consuming but totally worth it.  A little lemon juice and zest, and a bunch of roasted asparagus make it perfect for Spring.

It’s great alongside my new favorite salad: lettuce, toasted almonds, red bell pepper, and goat cheese with a simple vinaigrette.


(adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian)

Tofu with Roasted Asparagus and Dill

I know it’s a totally overdone and annoying blogger move to complain about how busy you are. But it’s my blog, and JEEZ I’m busy right now. I have a marathon in 2 weeks, a huge and difficult math test to take in 3 weeks, and I’m trying to get all my kids ready for state testing at work. Plus there’s that little girl I live with who I kind of like to hang out with sometimes. I’m feeling more than a little overwhelmed right now, but I’ll get through it. Baking helps. So does beer.

I’m incredibly grateful that it’s asparagus season, even if a bunch of organic asparagus costs as much as two lattes, I think I honestly get more enjoyment out of asparagus. At least for right now.

I pretty much never buy fresh dill because you have to commit to SO much of it, and I hate it when I only use a tiny bit and find brown slime that used to be dill in the back of the produce drawer a few weeks later. But this time, I planned ahead! I have dilled potato salad in the works which will involve all the dill leftover from this dish!

Speaking of this dish, it’s another one inspired by Super Natural Every Day. I’ve heard that if you change at least three things, you can call a recipe your own. I’m not sure if that’s technically correct in every case, but I did change the protein, the vegetable, some of the fat, and the method of cooking of one of the components, so at least a bit of this is my own (if we’re keeping score).

It’s hard to beat leeks cooked slowly in butter. They kind of smell like In-N-Out (which I guess could be a bad thing, but in this household it’s definitely a good thing). When you combine those with roasted asparagus and fresh dill, you end up with Spring in a bowl, and it’s really quite lovely!


Barley and Asparagus Salad

I am spoiled. So spoiled. I pay a high price to live where I do, but with the ocean a few minutes away, a city full of amazing food, and fresh local produce pretty much year-round, I feel pretty lucky to call California home. At least, until a big earthquake hits.

If you ever find yourself in Berkeley like I did the other day, please do yourself a favor and visit Berkeley Bowl. The produce section is indescribably amazing. Not only do they have about 20 different kinds of apples and 10 kinds of potatoes, they have signs telling you where each and every item was grown. Except for the shallots and a red onion (which I got at Trader Joe’s a while ago), all the produce in this salad is from California. There were huge piles of local asparagus, ripe avocados, and beautiful oranges. Mike’s only request for dinner was lots of vegetables, so I decided a salad — with barley to make it more filling — would be perfect.

Since I’m not working this week, it was the perfect opportunity to go meet Mike for lunch in the city.

We went to the Ferry Building, which has a huge variety of lunch options. We ended up at Delica.

I got 3 salads: wasabi potato salad (awesome), burdock salad (also tasty), and the hijiki and soybean salad (which is really similar to something I’ve made before).

My only complaint is that the serving sizes were TINY, but that was okay because it meant I had room for dessert!

Cookies and cream gelato… I need more of you in my life.

I love this weather and this view!


1 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp orange zest
pinch sugar, salt, and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup pot barley (slightly less processed than pearl barley, which you can sub if that’s what you have)
2 cups water
3 ounces mixed salad greens
12 spears asparagus, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced

Bring the water to a boil and add the barley. Turn down to low and simmer, covered, about 45 minutes or until barley is tender. Let cool.

Blanch the asparagus: Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and cook for 30 seconds, then drain and submerge into cold water to stop the pieces from cooking. Drain well and set aside.

Put the greens and barley in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss, then add the asparagus, avocado, walnuts, and onion. Mix to combine, then serve.


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