I mentioned that we have a new home in Washington. What I didn’t mention is where we live. In my parent’s basement.
I know. For any self-respecting adult, married, with four children, this would be a point of shame. But we are choosing to live with my parents. We figure our kids need to have as much exposure to extended family while they can before we join the ranks of military life.
My parents house is a kid’s paradise. No, it’s not jam packed full of toys. But it does have a pool & hot tub, trampoline, large fenced back yard, & is right next to a park. They also have a large driveway that we can fence off & the kids ride bikes. We didn’t bring any toys with us other than legos & books, but the kids haven’t noticed the lack at all.
Living with my mom is interesting. She is always making things. Not like craft things. Oh no, that is not my mother. She is so not the crafty type. She’s the fix-it & build-it type. Funny, I didn’t get any of those genes. I can hammer a nail in the wall to hang up a photo frame, but please, don’t ask me to cut wood or be precise. That’s not my thing. But it is for my mom.
Today, for example, she decided we needed a few benches for the kitchen table instead of chairs, so of course, she did the obvious, and made them herself.
Another perk to living with my mother is her cooking. She & my dad are mostly vegan & she throws together some remarkable delicious, fresh vegan dishes. She never uses recipes. Even when she makes my favorite gluten-free brownies. Her style is shoot-from-the-hip & see what turns out. I guess you could say I did inherit a bit of that.
Last night my mom made an asparagus-stir-fry, sweet potato “chips,” & shredded cabbage slaw for dinner. I mixed them all together & made this:
And for dessert, what else? Strawberries.
I’m not complaining.
A warm summer salad perfect for the month of May & June when asparagus is in season.
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 lb. asparagus (about 15 medium spears)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 5-7 mushroooms, washed & sliced
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 TBS. organic no-salt seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. mild chili powder
- 1/4 head green cabbage
- 1/4 head red cabbage
For the sweet potatoes:
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Peel & thinly slice sweet potatoes into rounds.
- Bake the sweets on a non-stick cookie sheet for 10 minutes.
- Flip rounds over & cook for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked & slightly crispy. I like 'em slightly crispy, but cook longer if you want yours real crispy-like.
For the salad:
- Get your onions & red pepper ready for cooking.
- Wash the asparagus, then snap off the ends (the tough white part). Chop those beauties into 1 inch pieces.
- Heat a non-stick wok or cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. I like both my wok & my skillet, & either works here. Woks are essential for stir-fries & since this isn't a traditional stirfry, you a cast iron skillet will do. You don't need to add oil, because cast iron is naturally non-stick (if it's well seasoned) & if you have non-stick wok, you're also covered. That said, have a little cup of water nearby & add small amounts as needed if you find the onion sticking. Be sure not to drench though--you're not boiling, you're sauteing.
- Saute onions for 2-3 minutes, then add the asparagus, peppers, & shrooms. This is where it gets fun. Use a wooden spatula if possible, just works better with sauteing. Continue to stir the veggies for an additional 3-5 minutes. Asparagus is tricky. You don't want to under cook, but you definitely don't want to over cook. Who wants to eat mushy asparagus? Not me, & I'm pretty sure you don't either. So eyeball it, & taste the asparagus as you go along. If you do this, you'll know when it's done. You might notice the veggies are sticking to the pan. Super easy to fix--just add a tablespoon of water at a time.
- Now's time to add some flavor. Add salt, garlic powder, & chili powder.
- Make sure there's enough water in the pan to prevent sticking or burning & cover the pan with a lid. You're going to let that sit for another 2-3 minutes on medium/high heat.
- In the meantime, thinly shred the cabbage.
- Check on your veggies & take a test bite. If it's cooked but not crunchy, yet firm, you're done cooking, so remove from heat & allow to cool (about 15 minutes) or you can serve hot.
- Add shredded cabbage & sweet potatoes. You can layer or toss. Really it's up to you. Either way, now you've got a colorful, nutrient-dense seasonal warm salad to enjoy.
- And for the record, as with most things, I doused this baby in lots of Tapatio hot sauce.
Per Serving: 6 g protein, 30 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 210 mg sodium.