Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Lemony asparagus noodles with roasted veggies

I just received the results of a comprehensive parasitology test that I had and found out I have a bacterial infection. It could be a major player in many of the digestive problems I've had. I'm not sure if I should be happy or not that I have citrobacter braakii. But if it means getting rid of it will improve the quality of my life, I guess I'm happy. I have to reserve a bit of skepticism because I have been down this path many times where something seems to be the remedy for my problems. I'll post updates on my progress after I start my antibiotics.

In the meantime, I'm thinking it's time to make something with some of that great fresh asparagus that available this time of year. I just had a flashback remembering when my kids and I used to hunt along the ditch banks and country roads near our home for wild asparagus. It was incredible while it lasted. These days, most of it is gone because of housing developments and road improvements. I'll always cherish the memory of the three of us swinging out bags of asparagus as we headed to the kitchen to trim and wash it for dinner.

Lemony Asparagus Noodles with Roasted Veggies and Lemon-Pepper Chicken or Fish

Ingredients for 4 servings:

1 pound fresh, trimmed asparagus

1/2 large caulifower, trimmed and cut into pieces

1 large broccoli head, trimmed and cut into pieces

lemon juice

4 T. olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1/4 cup sorghum flour or other gluten-free flour such as brown rice or amaranth

1 pkg. quinoa pasta noodles

Optional: fresh basil or mint

Optional: rice or soy parmessan cheese


Wash and trim all veggies. Cut cauliflower and broccoli into small pieces. Cut off tips of asparagus leaving with 4-5 inches of stem. Cut rest of stems into one-inch pieces. Place cauliflower, broccoli and long asparagus tips into large bowl. Toss with 2 T. of olive oil and salt and pepper. Pour out onto a shallow roasting pan or baking sheet, sprayed with pan spray. Set the oven on 400 degrees and roast the veggies until tender (about 30 minutes but keep an eye on them).

Boil chopped asparagus stems in a medium pot of boiling water with salt. Cook for about 9 minutes or until tender. Save the asparagus water and transfer asparagus stem pieces to a food processor. Puree the asparagus stems with lemon juice, 2 T. olive oil , 3/4 cup asparagus cooking water, and salt and pepper to taste, until smooth. Remove to a pan to keep warm on the stove.

Try adding some fresh herbs, such as basil or mint, to the asparagus sauce.

Cook the pasta according to directions. Cook the lemon-pepper chicken or fish filets. I used sole filets and chicken to please the variety of preferences in my household. Season the meat with salt and pepper and roll in seasoned flour in a pie plate. Brown both sides of the meat in an oven-safe skillet with a little olive oil. Leave the meat in the pan and place in the oven to keep warm until ready to serve.

To serve, place some noodles on plates, top with some roasted veggies, then some sauce and garnish with additional veggies. Sprinkle on the optional soy parmessan cheese. Place a piece of lemon-pepper fish or chicken on each plate. Enjoy this delicious taste of spring.

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