I went to a healthy eating seminar at work this week.
It was good, the speaker was well-informed, and I found myself nodding in agreement with practically everything she said (the Meghan bobble head doll will be going on sale soon): read your labels, ditch the chemicals, get in the kitchen and cook, it’s not as hard as it seems, it’s actually cheaper than fast food, and no time to cook – well, that’s just an excuse.
That last one, about time not being a valid argument for healthy eating, didn’t necessarily sit well with her audience. Granted she was talking to an entire group of women, and I’ll be the first to admit we don’t like someone questioning our reasoning when it comes to time management. Who does she think she is? She doesn’t know me? She doesn’t know where my time goes? She needs to take that back… all of which is said mainly in our minds, with extra firm duck lips and an appropriate amount of head wagging.
It turns out, the speaker was a working wife with a gaggle of kids at home, which means she really does understand the juggling act we face everyday, and in my not so humble opinion, she was also right.
Now I didn’t come here to get on my soap box. Truth be told, I think I temporarily misplaced him, although I have plans to seek him out soon, since it’s been a long time since I participated in a good old-fashioned health rant. Today though, I’d rather share something which did go over well with her audience: food. Once we got to talking about actual meals and how to cook them, the entire room came alive.
So in light of us all being pressed for time, I want to share an easy and simple recipe that’s packed with nutritional goodness, that comes together really quickly, and also happens to be wonderfully tasty.
I used olive oil, a healthy fat, to coat the asparagus and then I covered it in garlicky goodness which titillates the taste buds. Roasting it allows your asparagus to be soft and malleable on the inside, while still retaining some of its rigidness on the outside. In other words, it’s textural perfection.
My intentions for this recipe were to provide a simple side dish to a regular weeknight meal, although now I realize this would also be a great accompaniment to any Easter dinner. Who knows, if you’re hosting any vegans or vegetarians, it might be the star of the show. It’s even considered gluten-free, although I don’t know about whole30 or Paleo because I’ll be damned if I understand what those guys eat.
If you are looking for a simple weeknight meal, this would be great alongside a fried egg, a quinoa salad, roasted vegetables, Parmesan Roasted Sweet Potatoes, a veggie burger, or even a regular burger because asparagus goes with pretty much everything. It’s the ying to your yang and who doesn’t want a little Zen on their plate.
Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Cherry Tomatoes (serves four as a side dish)
- 1 bunch of Asparagus
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and pepper, or even a seasoned salt. Use the good stuff if you’ve got it.
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- as many or as few Cherry Tomatoes as you like, sliced in half.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (I have a convection oven so you may need to up your temperature to 400 degrees or increase your cooking time if you aren’t working with a convection oven).
- Spread asparagus on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, a few cranks of salt and pepper, and your roughly chopped garlic. Mix well until the olive oil lightly coats the asparagus.
- Roast in the oven for 6 minutes. Flip asparagus over and then cook for another 6 minutes. Remove from the oven, give another crank of salt and pepper, and then top with your sliced cherry tomatoes.
Today’s post is being shared with She Eats Fresh Food Wednesdays, Anyonita Nibbles Tasty Tuesday’s, Hun… What’s for Dinner’s Simply Supper Tuesday’s, Buns in my Oven What’s Cookin’ Wednesday and The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday.
Do you try to eat most of your meals at home? If not, what’s your biggest obstacle for doing so? Do you ever roast your asparagus (feel free to share your recipe in the comments below), and if so, what do you pair with it?
Word! Preach it!
I do think it’s a choice of how to spend time–me, I choose not to spend much time cleaning which does provide time for cooking, but cooking makes me happy so it’s not a chore. I also don’t spend time watching TV, shopping, or working out much.
Things that do help on busy days are having food prepped in the fridge/freezer and a family willing to eat leftovers. I can cook on days that I have time, and I can plan to eat leftovers on days that I’m running in the door at 6:15 pm. Oh, and having teens who need to learn Life Skills also helps 😉 .
I first roasted asparagus thanks to Alanna’s tutorial: http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2006/07/roasted-asparagus-with-balsamic.html
Fell in love with the breakfast idea from Aimée: http://www.simplebites.net/breakfast-in-minutes-one-pan-crispy-bacon-and-roasted-asparagus-with-baked-eggs/
And I like my asparagus (in addition to the above) with chicken jelly noodles or with eggs on a pizza.
Have a relaxing weekend–you deserve it.
You’re right. It really is a matter of choice in most cases.
I guess I should just give up cleaning then. Think of the hours I’d recoup. 🙂
Thanks for linking up some more asparagus recipes.
Looks delicious… and so timely too with the appearance of spring asparagus in nearby markets. Roasting is my favorite method of preparing asparagus, yet I never thought to add tomatoes. That addition must add another delicious layer of flavor, not to mention the beautiful color!
Sometimes my desire to add color to a dish ends up in some extra features it wouldn’t have originally included. It always seems to work well though.
Davida @ The Healthy Maven says
For budget purposes I eat most meals at home but I definitely eat out a few times a week. Don’t hate me but I have to agree with the speaker. Easy is ordering in food. Healthy or not, cooking is not the easier option BUT it is the healthier option (most of the time) and sometimes healthy needs to take precedence. Just my thought! Says the girl who ate “Greek Fries” eating out yesterday (aka french fries coated in feta and tzaziki)
I wouldn’t hate on you for having a differing opinion; variety is the spice of life after all. The speaker was actually saying it’s easier to cook at home than eat out because you have to figure out where you’re going first, then drive there, then wait, then figure out what to order off the menu, then wait some more; it was an interesting assessment.
Personally, I love to cook at home, and I also love to take some time off and eat a meal out every so often, like those French fries because they sound phenomenal. They’d also go really well with asparagus. 😉
Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body says
I feel like it has been ages since I have had asparagus. This post is making me crave it like crazy!
I’m glad I’ve spawned an asparagus craving. I’d say my work here is done then. 🙂
I love how simple this is and can’t wait to try it! I’m always looking for something new to do with asparagus. Have a great weekend!!!
Thanks Tammi. I hope you give it a whirl and love it.
Have a great weekend as well.
I could eat roasted asparagus EVERY DAY! I love yours with the garlic too. YUM!
Why thank you. I’ll eat almost anything if you smother it in garlic.
Love asparagus! Looks delish!
Thanks. I’m a huge asparagus lover too.
Great recipe! I just found you through Fiesta Fridays and really love your blog, Meghan. Very inspiring; I’m also into clean eating, most of the time 🙂 I agree with you, I like to cook at home and eat out only when I’m burned out, or on special occasions.
Thanks Apsara. I appreciate the kind words, and I hope to see you back again in the near future.
Love asparagus! We have it often. I tried roasting it a few times without the olive oil (read to do that somewhere) it does roast well, but, I prefer olive oil and the S&P. I’ve never added tomatoes. I’ll try that!
I love eating out once in a while to take a break from cooking. We eat most of our meals at home and sometimes it’s just a chore that has to be done. When I have days off from work I like to cook something new or something that’s a favourite but requires more time.
Enjoy your weekend!
Thanks. I really like cooking at home too when it’s the weekend, and I actually have a good amount of free time. During the week, I’m usually tired so I don’t mind an occasional indulgent meal out.
I can’t imagine roasting asparagus with olive oil. Do you remember the reason for excluding it?
I think it was a Jamie Oliver episode… the asparagus is supposed to have a nuttier flavour. Don’t recall if it did or not. I stick to the olive oil now.
Jamie Oliver is such a hottie I might consider trying this now. Ha!
LOL! I love watching his cooking shows… especially the one when he was traveling through Italy and the one he did cooking in that shed thingy (he can’t fool us… he doesn’t live like that!)
I loved his series here in the states where he tried to fight obesity and tackled out school lunch programs.
Prudy | butter, basil, and breadcrumbs says
So beautiful…so fresh… Wonderful post. I need to be more aware of what I purchase. Thank you for sharing… 🙂
Why thank you. I appreciate the kind words and hopefully I’ll see you again in the near future. 😉
I rarely eat out, mainly because there aren’t many vegan places by me. I’m very sensitive to restaurant meals and usually swell up thanks to all the sodium, it’s not pretty. I usually eat asparagus everyday, but have taken a mini break to broaden my horizons, and to give my gut a break. This recipe is perfect.
I had no idea you ate asparagus almost daily. Wow, that’s a whole lot of stinky pee. I’m thrilled for you.
Asparagus has to be one of the best vegetables ever – although only when in season. Otherwise it has little flavour. We have a good patch of it in the garden, but it will be about a month before we get any. I look forward to following your directions for roasting. For me, eating out is a social thing more than anything. I enjoy cooking and surprising myself – I seldom cook the same thing twice.
Agreed. Vegetables is season are so much more appealing and flavorful. They’re also easier to come by and usually better priced.
I’m very impressed you grow your own. Kudos to you.
Tara @ Rovin' Rambler says
I cook pretty much all of my meals, save for a meal or two on the weekends. While I don’t have experience as a working mom trying to cook for my family, I will say that my own mom was a superstar in that respect. She made us a (delicious!) home-cooked meal every single night, which we ate together as a family. I’m sure she was often tired and didn’t feel like cooking, but she always was committed to giving us healthy, homemade meals.
That’s fantastic, and I bet it has made for some rather fabulous memories. My mother often cooked all our meals as well and I’m always impressed she was able to do so as often as she did.
Amanda @ .running with spoons. says
I seriously laughed out loud at your comment about Paleo and Whole30. Sometimes I wonder if I can classify one of my recipes as either, but then I realize I honestly have no idea what’s allowed and what isn’t. Heck, sometimes vegan and gluten-free happens and I don’t even realize it. Too many rules.
I eat most of my meals at home, but I’m not gonna lie — some of those meals end up being a bowl of cereal, and Amy helps me out more often than I care to admit 😉
Too many rules is right. I thought about googling Paleo and Whole30 and trying to figure them out, and then I figured I couldn’t be bothered. I like to think about it all as food. Simple, straight up food without some crazy label.
I’ve had a bowl or two of cereal myself. Or a fried egg with toast. Or sometimes just muffins. #noshameinourgames
Arman @ thebigmansworld says
Glad to see those thousands of bunches of asparagus (I wonder if they plural…asparagi?) have been put to good use! And also that is so fortunate your work had such an event! I tend to eat home because everything is so damn expensive here…and I sacrifice it for gelato, cheese and the odd weekend brunch. And coffee. Ohh coffee.
Don’t make asparagus the way I did. Which was pretty much exactly as you did minus the tomatoes and accidentally burnt to barbie hair status.
My work is actually incredible for hosting different kind of wellness seminars. They really go all out. We even have free Chobani every other week.
Barbie hair burnt…now that is bad.
saucy gander says
I looked reading this post and all these ideas/questions. I work and try to cook dinner each evening. It didn’t always happen and we have our takeout nights, but it helps to get into the right habit. This asparagus recipe looks fabulous!! 😀
Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Oh god u r so funny. U r making me laugh out loud, and I’m at the office… Working… Not supposed to be reading my emails jajajaja. Love, love, love asparagus and I’m def one that tries to eat EVERYTHING at home. Lately people tell me aboud food joints and I have no idea what they are talking about. It’s like I’m from another planet jajaja
Success! Making you laugh out loud. My missing is accomplished!!
We eat almost every meal at home. Dining out is usually once a month (and often a disappointment when compared to home cooking). We utilize our freezer a lot to save on time.
I usually saute my asparagus, add a touch of balsamic and serve it with anything; but lately it has been finding its way into the weekly frittata (repeat meals also simplify home cooking. It is great to have a stock of dishes you can make without consulting a recipe).
I bet the balsamic would be a great touch. I’ll have to try that next time.
I need to get back on the frittata train, especially since I don’t have any more quiche crusts stashed away in the freezer.
Sarah Pie says
Things like this make me think your job really is fantastic! I love asparagus almost as much as I love things roasted in olive oil so you can bet I’ll be adding tomatoes to the combo the next chance I get.
I’m all for cooking at home, for me it’s safer, cheaper, and usually tastier. It’s going to be key for me this year as I work to stick to a budget and also enjoy the CSA I just signed up for!
My job has some very cool perks, and I love they are so into health and wellness.
You signed up for a CSA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’m so excited for you, and I hope I had something to do with that.
Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says
I eat so many of my meals at home that sometimes I miss going out to eat! Is it just me or is it hard to “justify” going out or ordering in when it’s just you at home? Plus, I always think that with the time it would take to go out or to wait for delivery, I could just throw something together in 15 minutes or less. Though I will say I’m only just now getting back to eating WHOLE foods and less of the processed stuff after many months of going a bit overboard. It’s amazing how much “lighter” you feel when eating fresh vegetables, fruits, and recipes with simple ingredients. 🙂
I agree going out to eat for me is like a special treat. I’ rather get dressed up nice, plan for it and really enjoy the evening than grab something quick on the go (aside from a random Chipotle run) because usually I can make something quicker and easier for a fraction of the cost at home. When all else fails, there’s always a grilled cheese.
Whole foods really do make a huge difference in your physical and emotional well being. It’s kind of why I love them so. Plus, they’re so purdy.