Friday, June 3, 2011

For Real?

Just a quick follow-up to my last post. My brother, his family and my mom came over for the Memorial Day weekend and we had a great dinner. Threw some steaks on the grill for the carnivores, some salmon burgers for my mom and me the pescavores along w/ some asparagus and potatoes.

I was testing the waters with the whole raw asparagus thing to the family and my mom then threw out eating raw asparagus would cause kidney failure. Not sure where my mom got her medical degree or whether she was moonlighting at med school when we were kids but she is getting crazier than ever.

And Gabe wonders why I'm as crazy as I am.

Love you, mom!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Raw Asparagus Herbed Quinoa Salad

My mom is a great lady. She's one of those sweet, caring (sometimes overbearing) Chinese ladies that likes to shop and go have weekend dim sum. Being an only daughter, she always had advice for me - whether I wanted it or not. My mom always means well but her well-meaning advice comes off sometimes misguided and often in the form of crazy Chinese superstitions and old wives' tales. Some of her gems of advice I endured as a confused child (which has definitely bled into adulthood):

  • Don't go to bed w/ wet hair

  • Don't drink anything cold when Aunt Flow is in town

  • Don't wipe your face w/ a kitchen towel

  • Don't sleep w/ anywhere where there's a draft blowing air directly on you

  • Don't sweep your front door during Chinese New Year

  • Don't laugh too hard before sleeping

  • Don't look out the window after dark

  • Don't eat meat on your bday

  • Don't let men eat leftover eggs (Gabe had a field day w/ this one)

I always ask her for a justification behind the crazy Chinese advice and she always just pacifies me by telling me she doesn't know and she heard it from her mom or grandmother. She also told me not to eat raw veggies and actually entertained me by providing a rather ominous consequence that it could make you grow unwanted facial hair . What sort of crazy person tells all this insane advice to a child?

For the aforementioned reasons, I never really grew up eating any kind of raw veggies. I have however, seen a slew of raw asparagus recipes (including this one - delish!) and all I have to say is, I'm a FAN. Bring on the facial hair.

Raw Asparagus Herbed Quinoa Salad

1-1/3 c. quinoa (cook according to package instructions)
8-10 stalks asparagus (about 1/2 inch diameter if possible)
2 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1 meyer lemon (about 1/4 to 1/3 c. juice, you'd be surprised how much the quinoa absorbs)
2 tbsp. EVOO
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to package instructions (I always use my rice cooker and cook it w/ the same 1:1 ratio) - don't forget to add a dash of salt to the stuff before you hit the button. Wash and thinly slice the asparagus on the bias.

After the quinoa is finished cooking, add the chopped herbs to let them mellow slightly (unless you like the punch of fresh fresh herbs). After the mix comes to room temp, add the rest of the ingredients, toss and serve immediately. If making ahead, leave the almonds out until just before service so they don't get soggy.

I've been out of commission w/ the blog for several months! It's sad. I wish I had more time to do it and promised I would after getting acclimated w/ the new job. We'll see how consistent I can be. Thanks for stopping by!