Edamame + Asparagus + Minty Citrusy Goodness

I tried a new combo of an old standby earlier this week–chicken and veggies.  It’s a common food theme at our house.  This try was Cooking Light’s Chicken Scaloppine with Sugar Snap Pea, Asparagus, and Lemon Salad

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photo by Becky Luigart-Stayner

Pretty, right?  Well, the chicken was good with a nice broth and wine sauce that made things a tiny bit different from the traditional salt/pepper combo.  It wasn’t earth-shattering though.  Just a good piece of chicken.

The veggies, however, were great.  Even if I didn’t have the right veggies.  Still great.  I used frozen edamame beans that I let sit out a bit to thaw and chopped asparagus as recommended in the original recipe.  Green beans (frozen or fresh) would work as a substitute for the snap peas, too.  We just didn’t have any of those.  So my version looked a bit more like this:

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photo from nomadwithcookies.com

At least pre-sauce, it looked exactly like that.  And the recipe went a bit like this:

Edamame with Asparagus and Minty Citrusy Goodness

Ingredients

  • 3 cups julienne-cut trimmed sugar snap peas (about 1 pound) or whole edamame beans or any kind of green beans
  • 2 cups (1-inch sliced) asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preparation

  1. Steam edamame and asparagus, covered, 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Rinse pea mixture with cold water; drain.
  2. Combine salt, mint, oil, rind, and juice, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle oil mixture over pea mixture; toss gently to coat.

Look at that, done in two steps!  The dressing is just enough to make you notice that these are more than simple steamed veggies.  It isn’t overpowering at all, which citrus and mint can be if left to their own devices.  It’s just fresh and a little bit fun, which is my favorite combo for summer food.  (Well, except for fattening and carb-filled, which is really my favorite food combo.  Mac and cheese with a good hot dog, anyone?)

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Focus on Vitameatavegamins

I almost always start my recipe search for the week with the meat for each meal.  It’s usually a good technique, because you can do approximately 50 trillion things with chicken.  Not all of them go with green beans.  And honestly, I would rather be hemmed in by a delicious pecan-crusted piece of chicken than a steamed green bean.

The sad part of the story is that I often shaft veggies in the grand scheme of things.  I go with the “steam some frozen green beans” option super regularly, which is why it was my example.  While that’s tasty and healthy enough for me, it usually leaves my plate a bit lacking on the veggie front.  Not many people go back for extras on the steamed formerly-frozen veggies. 

I decided to try something different this week.  We aren’t going vegetarian.  Nope.  I don’t even know if that would fly for one day in our house.  But I did start with the veggies this week when I was looking for recipes.  If those recipes also had meat, great.  If not, I figured I’m a big girl, and I can fix that. 

To kick things off, I tried a very pretty dish last night: Summer Vegetable Tian.  I hadn’t ever heard of “tian” before, but the internet tells me it’s a thing.  Specifically, it’s a French thing that sounds like it’s been around for a very long time.  This is what it looked like before I put it in the oven:

ImageNice, right?  There are sauteed onions on the bottom of the dish, and there is cheese waiting in the wings for the next step in the process.  Oh, and the awkward-colored slices in the mix are potato.  Not sure why it looks green, but it was a perfectly normal potato. 

This is what it looked like after the cheese was added and baked to bubbliness:

ImageIt was tasty, and it complemented the simple chicken I made quite nicely.  We didn’t even go overboard with the cheese, so I think this maintained its health factor really well.  Just one word to the wise–I didn’t wait for the potatoes to be totally cooked to softness.  They were about 80% “done” with the time suggested in the recipe.  I actually liked them that way though.  The not quite done potato added a different texture from the perfectly cooked squash, and I figure if I had cooked the potatoes perfectly, the squash would be dead.  So take your pick–dead squash with soft potatoes or perfect squash with slightly undercooked potatoes.  Giada says that if you slice your squash more thickly than your potatoes, they will all cook in the same time.  That’s worth a try next time.  I just like the look of thinly sliced everything, so there you go.  Slicing explained more than you could possibly desire.  Bon appetit!