Firstly, I hope everyone is having a joyous and warm Pascha. My prayers and love are with all of you. Sometimes, it feels as if we never would have got to this day with the Winter days that never want to let up including a stormy and chilly Pascha this year that felt like Winter again. Winter makes us crave comfort foods like the creamy, savory consistency of overcooked lentils in soup or chili with cheese or grilled cheese and tomato soup.And when you’re in the coal region, that’s a lot of pieorgies, ham and kilbo and boilo. Comfort foods often aren’t healthy because we all have become a little lazy and careless. We just want to eat and snack to our hearts content.
Pascha should have been different but the weather this year felt a lot like Winter again.
That’s good in a sense because there’s usually a lot of food. My mom and dad are of Eastern European descent and make a Polish, Slovak and Russian feast of borscht, ham, kilbo, potato salad and hrutka. Preparing the feast is one of the best ways I’ve got to connect with my mom and dad as such joy was taken in the cooking process like mom passing down her hrutka recipe to me and how my dad used to make wine in Poland. After fasting, there’s hardly any substitutions and vegan-izing anything (unless you have a medical condition) is unheard of.
I am a little different. As a pescetarian of four years, I am open to plant based cooking and believe that food can either heal or hurt us. As much as I enjoyed talking with my mom over making the easter cheese, my inner health nut cringed after I just witnessed how many eggs I used to make just that one recipe. There’s got to be a way. That’s why my basket was and will always be a little different – the alternative basket, if you will. Call me weird and maybe there is something to say about our changing taste palettes after a diet switch but come Spring, I anticipate the farmers markets with such glee and want to reach out for a few vegetables too to provide a fine balancing act.
What better for a spring vegetable than fresh asparagus? Asparagus is everywhere but I feel that it tastes a little different each time and very few know exactly how to perfect it – kind of like avocado toast or the right wine to pair with dinner. Asparagus is rich in both fiber and tryptophan and makes a fine side dish to most forms of protein. You can pan fry it but I prefer the taste of roasted asparagus anyday. It’s also so easy and quick.
perfect roasted asparagus
one stalk of asparagus
5 tablespoons of organic, grassfed butter
2tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of fresh lemon juice
pink sea salt, liberal use
black pepper, 1 tsp
Preheat oven to 350. Wash your asparagus. Line on a large roasting pan side by side. Sprinkle liberally with pink sea salt and pepper. Add butter, olive oil and lemon juice. Roast for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve immediately.