Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sesame Asparagus and Green Beans

I am not a tech-head, that’s a prelude to explaining my delight at finding an entire website dedicated to asparagus. (I can just imagine my sister’s face now – that same expression she had when I asked her what Pinterest was. Anyway she was the one who bought the asparagus and left me to find out a way to cook it). So here’s a dish that turned out surprisingly well on the first try. I’ve given the adapted version. The original recipe is called Sesame Asparagus’ and can be found at

What I used:
½  tablespoon olive oil and ½ tablespoon sesame oil
1 ½ cups sliced asparagus
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ small red onion, chopped, more or less a tablespoon
½ cup green beans, frozen
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼-½ teaspoon salt or to taste

What I did:
1. Heated oils in pan (used a mix of oils instead of sesame oil alone as the latter heats too quickly). When hot, added ginger, garlic and red onion. Fried for a few seconds, before adding asparagus, green beans (still frozen) and sesame seeds. Stir fried until beans lost their frozen texture. Then added red pepper; cooked for a few more minutes before adding soy sauce and salt. Stirred through until well-coated and it’s done.

Carrot Soup with Yoghurt and Rosemary

Having a week off in winter is perfect weather to stay indoors, pop Vitamin D pills and trawl the internet for recipes. (Yes, I’m living the high life…). This carrot soup came from a site dedicated to carrots and was promoted as healthy, despite having heavy cream and butter. As I didn’t think half a kilo of carrots was enough to counteract all that fat, here’s my attempt to make this ‘Creamy Carrot Soup’ a bit more ‘healthy’. Also the original recipe had ginger, but I prefer garlic with rosemary so made that substitution as well. If you’d like to see the original version, go to

What I used:
1 large onion, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g carrots, sliced
1 large potato, peeled and chopped
2 cups stock
2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1 cup yoghurt mixed with 1 cup milk (used full fat - still lighter than heavy cream!)
½ - ¾ tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
½  tsp salt
¼  tsp fresh ground black pepper

What I did:
Heated oil, added onions and fried until golden brown. Next added carrots, potatoes, chopped rosemary and garlic. Stir-fried for a few minutes, then added stock. Covered and cooked until vegetables are tender, about half an hour.
Turned off heat; added yoghurt, milk, salt and pepper. The yoghurt curdled (aargh!) but pureeing the mixture solved the problem (phew!) and the soup was creamy, ‘healthy’ and yum-licious.