Bacon Wrapped Asparagus Recipe

bacon wrapped asparagus recipe

Everything tastes better with bacon – especially home grown asparagus picked fresh from the garden. This Bacon Wrapped Asparagus recipe is quick to prepare, easy to produce, and can be prepared ahead of time for a BBQ party or in an oven.

Ingredients: 

1 1/2 pounds asparagus spears, trimmed
Olive oil for tossing
Pepper to taste
4 slices of bacon

Directions: 

Preheat BBQ or oven (broiler), to 400˚ F.

Lightly toss asparagus spears in olive oil and black pepper. Divide the spears into 4 bundles and wrap a bacon slice around each bundle.

If grilling on the BBQ, place the bundles on the hot grill and cover for 10-12 minutes. If you’re using the oven, place the bundles on a pan for 12 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready to dive into when the bacon is crispy and the asparagus is tender. While this Bacon Wrapped Asparagus recipe is a delicious way to use fresh, garden-picked asparagus, but of course store-bought asparagus can also be used.

Tomatillo Salsa Recipe

This Tomatillo Salsa Recipe is a great side dish for any southwestern style meal, and it’s a nice way to use up tomatillos, which seem to ripen all at once at the end of summer. Combining the green tomatillos with the red and yellow tomatoes makes it both tasty and eye-catching.

3 Tbsp olive oil
½ small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1/3 cup dry white wine (or substitute tequila if you’re feeling adventurous)
8 tomatillos, cored and diced
4 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced – try this with a sweet variety like Sungold!
Salt and pepper to taste
6 sprigs fresh basil, torn
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the onions to sauté for 2 minutes. Add the wine and tomatillos, stir to combine, and remove from the heat. Add the yellow and red tomatoes while the pan is still warm, and then salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the basil and allow the salsa to stand for about 20 minutes before serving. Drain most of the juices from the salsa before serving.

Salsa Verde Recipe

Salsa Verde (literally “green sauce”) is the most popular condiment in Mexico, ubiquitous on restaurant tables around the country. Good salsa verde recipes are easy to make, and nearly all the ingredients can be grown in the home garden.

Ingredients:
15 tomatillos, halved
1-2 jalapeno peppers
2-3 cloves garlic
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1 avocado, quartered
salt & pepper to taste

Method:
Begin by laying the tomatillos, cut-side-down on a cookie sheet. Broil these until they are soft and slightly blackened. They don’t all have to be charred black, but the black skin adds a nice, smokey flavour to the salsa. Add these and the chopped onion to a food processor and work until you have a smooth liquid.
Heat a heavy skillet over high, and add the separated garlic cloves, unpeeled, and the jalapenos. You want to get these all a bit blackened on the outside, but keep them moving in the pan so they don’t stick. Then peel the garlic – the actual cloves may show some charring, but they will be nice and soft. Once the peppers are pan roasted, put them in a plastic bag or sealable container in the fridge for 10 minutes. This makes them easy to peel. Cut off the stems and de-seed for a milder sauce. Add the garlic and jalapenos to the processor and whiz until smooth.
Add the cilantro and lime juice and continue processing. Add the sliced avocado, and pulse until it is blended into the salsa.
Stir in salt & pepper to taste.
This recipe produces about 4 cups of salsa verde. Any leftovers can be frozen in bags or in sealed containers. Serve with tortillas, or drizzle over tacos, enchiladas, and so on. Salsa verde compliments just about any Mexican dish.

Cheesy Nutty Kale Chips

1 bunch kale, washed and dried
1 cup cashews
1/2 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped into large pieces
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 lemon, peeled, cut into wedges, and de-seeded

Flavour Paste

Cover the cashews with water in a small bowl and let the soak for at least one hour before proceeding.

Preheat oven to the lowest heat setting.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper. Drain cashews and set aside. Trim stems the from each kale leaf and cut each leaf into chip-size pieces.

Add the cashews, red pepper, garlic, soy sauce, oil, and nutritional yeast to a food processor. Scoop the flesh from the lemon and add this to the food processor as well. Blend until smooth. (Alternatively, you can use just the lemon juice for a slightly less bright lemon flavor.)

In a large bowl, combine kale and cashew paste, making sure kale is evenly coated. Place kale pieces on baking sheets allowing space between each piece so they do not touch or overlap. This will take more than one batch, so reserve any remaining kale and refrigerate, covered, until first batch has finished baking.

Chips

Bake kale until crisp and completely dry, between 2 and 4 hours. Check after the first hour and turn leaves over. Check kale periodically. Chips will be ready when crunchy and stiff and topping doesn’t feel chewy or moist.

Kale chips will keep in an air tight container for one week.

Salt and Vinegar Zucchini Chips

Wondering what to do with a mountain of zucchini? Dig into the pile and create a healthy treat to snack on.

125 mL (1/2 cup) white vinegar

125 mL (1/2 cup) water

One medium zucchini

7.5 mL (1/2 Tbsp) sea salt

30 mL (2 Tbsp) olive oil

Large bowl

Dehydrator

Slice one small zucchini into slices less than 1/2 a centimeter thick.

Place the zucchini slices into a bowl and cover them with a mixture of 250 mL vinegar and 250 mL water. Marinate them overnight. Make sure that the slices are covered. If they are not, make more of the vinegar and water mixture.

In the morning, remove the slices and pat them with a cloth until they are just barely damp. Toss the slices in the olive oil and sea salt, and then place them on the dehydrator racks.

Dehydrate the zucchini slices until they are crispy, and enjoy as a snack. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use an oven on its lowest setting.

If you like chips that are more salty than sour, reduce the vinegar to 1/3 of a cup and add 2/3 of a cup of water instead. Experiment with flavoured vinegars as well – balsamic vinegar is a good one to begin with.

If you grow zucchini, you likely have more than one small zucchini to use. Scale the recipe up if you need to.

Cabbage Pakoras Recipe

Cabbage Pakoras Recipe

The ingredient list for this Cabbage pakoras recipe may not be immediately familiar to you, but they are all readily available these days. You may not use very much ajwain, but it is one of the essential flavours here. When it’s called for, it’s worth having on hand. Try these savoury snacks with tamarind chutney or even ketchup!

½ medium onion, thinly sliced
375 mL (1½ cups) red or green cabbage, shredded
250 mL (1 cup) besan (aka gram flour or chickpea flour)
30 mL (2 Tbsp) rice flour
15 mL (1 Tbsp) coriander powder
5 mL (1 tsp) cumin powder
10 mL (2 tsp) chile powder (or 1 serrano chile, finely chopped)
1.2 mL (¼ tsp turmeric powder
10 mL (2 tsp) chaat masala
5 mL (1 tsp) salt – or to taste
5 mL (1 tsp) ajwain seeds (aka ajma or omum)
Oil for frying

Heat two inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pot over medium. Mix all the dry ingredients, and then toss the onion and cabbage until they are entirely coated. Then add a bit of water at a time, and stir with a fork. You want to create a paste out of the dry ingredients that is thick and clings to the vegetables. Don’t add so much water that it is a runny batter.

When the oil is hot (you can test with some of the paste – it should bubble and rise to the surface right away), carefully drop tablespoon-sized quantities of the cabbage mixture in, and fry until golden brown. You will want to turn them several times so they fry evenly. Lift them out and drain on kitchen towel.

Hummus with Beets

Hummus with Beets

We like to make a batch of this recipe every time we make regular hummus, tabouli, and other Mediterranean salads. This colourful Hummas and beets recipe adds colour and playful flavour offering a nice contrast to the meal.

540 mL can of chickpeas
3 cloves garlic, peeled
3 beets, peeled, diced, and cooked
62.5 mL (¼ cup) beet juice
60 mL (1 Tbsp) tahini
10 mL (2 tsp) sea salt
juice of 2 lemons
extra virgin olive oil

Drain and rinse the chickpeas, discarding the canning fluid. Peel and dice the beets to 1cm (½”) cubes. Put them in a saucepan and just cover with water. Bring to a boil, cover, lower to a simmer, and cook until they are very tender – about 25 minutes. The beets need to be bordering on mushy. Set aside some of the cooking water (beet juice). Allow beets to cool.

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor, reserving half the salt and half the lemon juice. Process until smooth, and taste – adjust with more salt and lemon juice if necessary. If the beets were still warm, refrigerate the hummus until cool. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Bittersweet Winter Veggie Wrap

SandwichWrapRecipe

The end of winter is bittersweet. It spells the end of cold, crisp days, but it’s also the beginning of gardening season, and what could be better than that? This Bittersweet winter wrap uses some of the storage vegetables from last fall and adds some fresh, spicy and slightly bitter mustard greens to the mix. It’s the perfect quick and easy lunch wrap, and it’s colourful too!

Ingredients:

  • 125 mL (½ cup) grated red cabbage
  • 125 mL (½ cup) grated carrot
  • 125 mL (½ cup) mustard green microgreens
  • 125 mL (½ cup) grated mozzarella cheese
  • Any other veggies you have on hand
  • Wrap
  • Salad dressing of your choice

Looking for an easy winter lunchtime wrap? Get grating and get growing! Cabbage and carrots are good winter storage vegetables that are plentiful at this time of the year.

For each wrap, grate half a cup of mozzarella, half a cup of red cabbage, and half a cup of carrot. These vegetables are easy to store. Prepare enough grated cabbage and carrot to add colour to a several days’ worth of winter lunches.

Now, harvest your microgreens. A week or more before you create your wrap, plant mustard seeds under lights or in a very sunny window. These will grow into little sprouts on a long stem. When the leaves emerge, they are ready to be clipped with scissors and harvested. Clip them carefully to ensure that you keep all of the soil on the roots and not in your salad.

Place your wrap on a plate and toss your cabbage, carrot, cheese, and microgreens together. Add a sweet, savory, or creamy salad dressing of your choice, wrap, and serve! The sweet carrots are a lovely complement to the spicy, slightly bitter mustard microgreens, just right for a winter’s day.