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Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Feasting and an Easy Snack Recipe

We spent a pleasant Easter Sunday afternoon with my husband’s family.  His mom was recently widowed, so it’s her first big holiday alone.  I’m lucky to have such nice in-laws – not a mean one in the bunch.  After lunch we settled in the living room to chat.  But when James and his brother launched into a long conversation about cars, my mind drifted and, eventually, so did my body – back to the kitchen. 

I overate in a big way yesterday.  Mashed potatoes, ham, brisket, seven-layer salad with guacamole, cheese-and-broccoli casserole, key lime pie, cupcakes with jelly bean "eggs" on top.  (I didn't eat any cupckaes, but made up for it with three slices of key lime pie.)  My contribution was deviled eggs and fresh asparagus.  I wasn’t sure James’ family would be keen on asparagus, so I thought about making some Hollandaise sauce to go with it.  Anything tastes good with a dollop or two of Hollandaise sauce.  So I got online to look up recipes.  They all looked pretty simple and called for only a few ingredients, all of which I actually had on hand.  Then I looked at the nutritional information.  I was aghast.  Each serving was loaded with 465 calories!  I didn’t think it was possible to cram that many calories into a couple of tablespoons. 
Besides the fat content, another problem arose with the Hollandaise sauce idea.  The recipe cautioned that it is actually quite tricky to make.  All kinds of culinary calamities can occur.  If you cook it too fast, the eggs scramble and the milk curdles; if you cook it too slowly, it separates (whatever that means).  So I decided not to do Hollandaise sauce.  It turned out his family loves asparagus, so there was no need to disguise it.
I bought three bunches of fresh asparagus, and only used two for the Easter feast.  I also brought home some leftover asparagus.  So now I’ll be on the internet for more asparagus recipes.  How about asparagus quiche, asparagus omelets, or asparagus soup?  It all sounds good. 
While I’m on the topic of cooking, I discovered a delicious recipe for a snack that is chock-full of protein.  And it includes chocolate.
It meets just about all my criteria for a perfect recipe: 
·        few ingredients--two, to be exact;
·        no actual cooking involved
·        tasty
·        nutritious
·        fast and easy to make
·        stores well (except so far there’s never been anything left to store)

Here it is:
Chocolate-Peanut Butter Balls, a healthy snack (really!)

1 tablespoon (more or less) peanut butter or almond butter
1 scoop (more or less) chocolate  flavored protein powder (comes with scoop)

Mix together and form a ball.  Done. 

Ingredients for chocolate-peanut butter balls.
You can put it in the fridge to form a firmer ball, if desired, but I don’t see the point.  About the protein powder, I use Cyto-Gainer Lean Muscle Maximizer, chocolate malt flavor, only because we already had it on hand.  James makes shakes out of it after he works out at the gym.  We have the giant economy canister, but it is sold in smaller sizes.  You can find it at health food stores and at the bigger grocery stores.  I’ve seen it in our new HEB Plus.  And there are other brands. 

This is great for those mid-afternoon or mid-morning hunger attacks.  It sounds fattening, but it’s really not as long as you don’t make one the size of a golf ball.
Do you have any good quick-and-easy snack recipes?  What about suggestions for my leftover asparagus? 


  1. Mom recently told me you had a blog and so I've been catching up!

    You probably don't have any leftover asparagas not but I have 2 asparagas recipes for you....
    Light and Crispy Asparagas Quiche
    1lb asparagas, ends snapped off and discarded, stalks cut into 1" lengths
    4-5 green onions, trimmed and sliced thin (about 1/2 cup)
    1 T olive oil
    salt and pepper
    1 sheet (half a 17.3 oz box) puff pastry, thawed
    3 large eggs
    3/4 c evaporated m ilk
    1/2 c sour cream
    1/2 tsp dried tarragon
    1 1/2 c grated swiss cheese

    Heat oven to 400. Toss asparagas and green onions with olive oil and s&p.
    Roll pastry on lightly floured surface and fit into a 9x13 pan making sure the pastry is not stretched. Evenly distribute asparagas mixture over pastry. Bake on lowest oven rack until golden brown 12-15 minutes. Reduce temp to 300 and remove pastry from oven.
    Whisk eggs, milk, sour cream, tarragon and 1/4 tsp each s&p. Pour egg mixture evenly over crust and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until filling is set 20-25 minutes. Turn on broiler; broil until cheese bubbles, about 2 minutes. Let the quiche rest a few minutes, then cut and serve. Serves 8.

    Roasted Asparagas
    Trim asparagas as desired. Place in a ziploc bag with olive oil, garlic salt and pepper. Marinate for 30 minutes or so. Take out of bag and place on baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes at 400 turning once. Delish! We eat it regularly!!

  2. Thanks for the recipes! I love asparagus. I think I'll try the roasted asparagus, and maybe even the first recipe when I feel more ambitious.