Parmesan Asparagus Risotto

Parmesan Asparagus Risotto


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Parmesan Asparagus Risotto
Nothing says late spring like big bright stalks of asparagus! Grilled, sautéed, ribboned, or, our favorite, in a creamy risotto - this seasonal dreamboat of a veggie takes center stage for a few weeks out of the year and we're here to give it it's leading role! Not only is risotto a classic Italian comfort food, but it also is an excellent costar for our dear asparagus. The smooth buttery and wine flavored rice highlights the best qualities in asparagus - cooked to perfection and still slightly firm (no one likes mushy asparagus) - the two just compliment each other perfectly. Don't take our word for it, test this recipe yourself! You'll be singing praises about this seasonal culinary debut in no time!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
People
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings
People
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. First, to "parboil" is to partially cook vegetables in boiling water. So when you parboil the asparagus, cook them in the boiling water for no more than 2 minutes, then immediately strain and rinse with cold water so they don't continue to cook, and set aside.
  2. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, add broth. Bring to a simmer (just before boiling), then turn heat down to low.
  3. In a separate large sauce pan, heat ghee over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent - 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add rice and stir constantly to ensure all grains are evenly coated in oil, sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add white wine to pan, continue to stir and cook until wine is fully absorbed.
  6. Then begin to add broth, one ladleful at a time. Stir continuously between each ladleful, and only once the broth is mostly absorbed do you add the next bit of broth.
  7. Once you're down to the last couple cups of broth, and the rice is slightly tender and still slightly firm to the bite with a creamy consistency, add the asparagus with the next couple ladlefuls of broth and be sure to reserve 1/2 a cup of broth.
  8. Turn heat down to low and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until broth is mostly absorbed and asparagus is heated through. Then ad remaining ingredients: reserved broth, butter, Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

To convert this into a paleo recipe:

Replace rice with 6 cups of cauliflower rice.

Only use 4 cups of broth, and it can be added at one time - just cook until mostly absorbed and cauliflower is tender and fluffs easily with a fork (since it cooks much faster than real rice, it doesn't require the same cooking method).

Then just replace Parmesan with nutritional yeast, and you're ready to go!

Brown Butter Dipped Lemony Radishes

Brown Butter Dipped Lemony Radishes


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Brown Butter Dipped Lemony Radishes
Spring and summer wouldn't be complete without heaps of radishes!!! And if you've never had radishes with butter - you are cheating yourself of such a perfectly simple and delicious treat! This is a great snack or appetizer or picnic food, and it's SOOO easy! So grab some radishes and let's get started!
Servings
people
Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a small heavy bottom sauce pan over medium high heat, melt butter. Keep over heat until it begins to brown - whisking regularly. Keep a close eye on it because it can go from brown to burnt in a blink of an eye! Takes about 3ish minutes.
  2. Once brown butter is done, immediately transfer to a small bowl to prevent further cooking/burning. Allow to sit and cool slightly for about 5 minutes.
  3. Take radishes and dip them into the brown butter! Allow butter to cool and set on radish and then dip again (we popped them into the fridge between dippings to help cool butter faster). Repeat this process until you have a nice and noticeable butter sheath on your radishes!
  4. After the final dipping, while the butter is still malleable, dust each radishes with a sprinkle of lemon zest and flake sea salt! Allow to set, or cool in the fridge, one last time and then serve!
The “I Don’t Like Cooking” Fix

The “I Don’t Like Cooking” Fix

Over the years, I’ve received a lot of emails from various people in all walks of life who plain and simple just do not like cooking.

Cooking for them is on the same par as toilet cleaning–they’ve said as much.

So they opt to go out to dinner or do take out–healthy and otherwise.

So why write me to tell me this if what they are doing is working for them?

The deal isn’t that it isn’t working for them; it’s just not working WELL for them. They are concerned about the cost and the nutrition aspects of doing this on a regular basis.

The cost is astronomical, both financially and health wise. Most families do not have the financial means to eat out every night, period—whether it is healthy or not.

A recent study revealed that for every dollar spent on food eaten out, only 27 cents worth of food was actually served.

What does that tell you about the economics of eating out? Is going out to dinner every night a worthy investment of your family’s dollars?

Lest you think I’m dumping on restaurants, let me assure you I am not. I love going out to dinner! I’m always on the prowl for a new restaurant and new dining experience.

But the day to day of feeding a family is expensive. Very few can afford to feed everyone well (as in healthy, fresh food) if they go out all the time.

And while I do love to cook for the most part, there are days when it frankly is a chore–I’m only human. I have other things I’d rather be doing and a bunch of people (my family, friends, employees, etc.) who want or need my attention.

But I have great news for those who panic at the idea of cooking a big family meal. Most of it can be done on the grill (and these days, outdoor grills with their propane tanks make it seasonless!) then all you really have to add is a big salad and presto, you’ve got dinner! Here is a recent grilled meal I recently made and it took me all of fifteen minutes to prepare. 🙂

Marinated Grilled Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

Brown Rice (if you’re paleo or low carb, make cauli-rice)

Grilled Zucchini and Yellow Squash

Big Green Salad

Take a big gallon-sized zipper topped plastic bag and fill it with raw chicken (I like to add extra so I can get some leftovers for lunch the next day). Next, add half a bottle of coconut aminos (or soy sauce) and about 1/2 a cup olive oil or avocado oil. Squeeze a whole lemon in there, add 1 teaspoon each garlic powder, thyme and oregano. Now add 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Mush the bag around so chicken is coated. You’ll want that to marinate for a few hours or overnight even. Cook your brown rice now—it will take the longest to cook or make some cauli-rice (or both if you’ve got different eating styles at your house).

Prepare your zucchini by slicing into rounds; same with the yellow squash. Throw these cut squashes into a big bowl and toss with a little olive oil (you don’t want it dripping in oil), salt and pepper and some fresh garlic pressed right into the squash (I use 2 cloves, but I love garlic and it keeps the vampires away). You can either sauté this in a pan on the stovetop or sauté it on the grill if you have a pan with holes in it. It’s awesome cooked this way and grilling  pans with holes in them can be found anywhere—even the drugstore.

Fire up the barbecue and after it is preheated (make sure it’s clean, too!), add the chicken and watch it as you cook it, adjusting the heat as need be. If you’re cooking your veggies on the grill too, you will want to start them at the same time. Otherwise, cook them on the stovetop after your chicken is cooked (keep the chicken warm by wrapping the platter in foil and keeping it in a cold oven just long enough till the squash is cooked).

Set your table, get your salad together (I use already prepared salad bags from the grocery store, add some pine nuts, chopped whatever veggies I have on hand and my own vinaigrette, tossed altogether, yum!).

That’s it! You can serve your chicken on individual plates or serve everything family style—big platters in the middle of the table.

Then pass the food around, join hands and say a prayer of thanksgiving for all this wonderful food (and your family sitting ‘round the table) and above all else, relish this time.

One day they will be grown and gone and you’ll remember these days with fondness.

Getting dinner on the table doesn’t have to be stressful, and Dinner Answers can be the key to your success. Learn more here.

Never Let Your Kids Do These 3 Things in the Kitchen

Never Let Your Kids Do These 3 Things in the Kitchen

One of my favorite pastimes is cooking with my children. Do you have kids? If you do, I want to heavily recommend that you teach them the joys of the kitchen while they’re still young and look up at you like a superhero that has all the answers. Teaching your children how to cook is more than a rite of passage; it’s just plain fun. To me, the kitchen is like a magical land that can create a special type of community and intimacy with the simple act of making a meal.

There are some little things you should look out for when you start to integrate your children into the cooking world: the basic do’s and don’ts.

DO assign simple tasks. When starting out, show them how to wash veggies, how to stir sauces to not let the sides burn, how to scramble eggs, etc.

DON’T let your child use a knife and cutting board without supervision and being taught proper technique.

DO give them a bit more responsibility as they show they understand. Show them basic vegetable cutting, but once you pass that knife from your hand to theirs, watch them like a hawk. (younger ones can use pumpkin carving knives safely, so save yours!)

DON’T let your child remove anything from the oven. But explain how it’s done as you do it; this way, when it’s time, they’ll be ready.

DO explain how when you’re using a pot or pan that you need to turn the handle to the side so it’s not sticking out so no one can run into it or accidentally knock it over.

DON’T allow them to handle meat until they’ve had a couple seasoned years under your training, but explain the safety issues and demonstrate thorough hand washing after you touch it.

ALWAYS let them sneak tastes of their labor in the kitchen. One of my favorite things about cooking is that I get to taste along the way, and I can guarantee that it’ll be a favorite among your children as well.

Well folks, there you have it! Show your children what a kitchen is and how to use it. My daughter is a college graduate now and she tells me all the time how surprised she is that hardly anyone her age knows how to cook. Regardless, your children are going to love learning this new skill! For them, it’s like finally getting to know the secret behind a magic trick. Have FUN!!

Don’t Be Intimidated!

Don’t Be Intimidated!

There is a true intimidation factor in cooking for some people—I get the emails from them so I know this is true. For me, having grown up in a home with parents who cooked, rarely eating out, I learned how to navigate my way in a kitchen early on.

It was (being honest here) a bit of surprise when I first started my website back in 2001 to learn that not everyone knew how to chop an onion. The cooking terms that I learned before I got my first Girl Scout badge (The Cooking badge naturally—I’ve got it taped to my bookcase, LOL!), have fallen by the wayside. Terms like dice, mince and julienne have turned into much simpler terms like chop, chop fine and chop into matchstick-sized pieces. But who cares, right? The deal is to get the cooking DONE, not worry about semantics.

Check out this testimonial we received from Heather:

Dear Leanne,

Okay, I finally decided to try your system.

Well, first I get the menu – looks good, but I’m worried, because spaghetti and sauce is about the most I do. Then I see the grocery list – there are things on there that I’ve never ever bought before!

I go to the grocery store with your list in hand. For a family of 6 my average grocery bill was always over $120/week. With Leanne’s list – I spent $67.52.

Now, I decide to prepare the meal. First thing that I discover, a fancy sounding name doesn’t mean hours of cooking. Second thing, it really only takes about 1/2 hour to cook the whole thing! Finally, I find out that my kids eat things that don’t include mounds of sugar.

Thank you for helping me save money and my family’s health!!

Heather

Me again—the trick is, as Heather wrote, was not to be intimidated! She took a tool (the menu) and dove in and did the work. She discovered that doing so saved her a ton of money, her sanity, and made her feel like a hero in her own home! Isn’t that what we all want?

Don’t be intimidated by cooking! I’ve said in a million times, this is not brain surgery and it is something everyone can do, I promise! If you need help, I’ve got it for you in every way imaginable from free daily newsletters, to recipes and tips, grocery lists, freezer cooking, you name it. Don’t lose hope and think you can’t do this thing called cooking. YES, you can!!

Ready to try Dinner Answers like Heather did?  We’ve got it right here for you.

Spring Herb Salmon with Roasted Cabbage and Dijon Reduction

Spring Herb Salmon with Roasted Cabbage and Dijon Reduction


Print Recipe
Spring Herb Salmon with Roasted Cabbage and Dijon Reduction
A delicious flavorful recipe that's not only easy, but sure to impress! Full of seasonal taste explosions, and salmon chalk full of good fats!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Paleo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 380 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, arrange cabbage medallions, drizzle with melted ghee, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Place in oven and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until tender and lightly charred.
  3. Season salmon filets with salt, pepper, thyme, and rosemary. Melt remaining ghee in a large skillet, over medium high heat. Add salmon filets, skin side down. Then add 1/2 cup of the broth, and cover.
  4. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes covered, or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
  5. Remove salmon from skillet and set aside.
  6. Add remaining broth, butter, and wine to skillet with cooking juices. Heat over high heat until mixture boils, then whisk in dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until mixture reduces by 1/2.
  7. Serve salmon on top of cabbage with a generous helping of dijon sauce, and enjoy!