Asparagus and Bulgur with Balsamic Tomatoes and a Fried Egg

I never tried asparagus growing up because my parents didn’t like it (thanks mom and dad 😉 ). But when I finally tried it I LOVED it. Roast, sautéed, steamed – you name it, I like it. This meal takes almost no time to cook (except for the bulgur, which can be made ahead of time) and is full of flavor. Plus everything tastes better with a fried egg on top (hint: make it over easy so the yolk is runny). Once again use whatever grain you have around. I love bulgur, but quinoa, rice, or whatever you have will work well too!

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Asparagus and Bulgur with Balsamic Tomatoes and a Fried Egg

serves two (large servings)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked bulgur

2 cups cut asparagus

1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

1 tsp minced garlic

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

Prepare bulgur according to directions on package. Set aside. Cut asparagus into one-inch segments and cook in boiling water about 4 minutes. Drain, place in a large bowl, and mix with bulgur.

Halve the cherry tomatoes. Heat a pan to medium heat on the stove with a little olive oil. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Add vinegar and cook 3-4 more minutes. Add salt and pepper and stir into bulgur mixture.

Meanwhile, fry two eggs, making sure to leave the yolks a little runny.

Divide bulgur mixture on to two plates and put the egg on top. Serve warm!

Adapted from: http://www.cookingquinoa.net/asparagus-quinoa-with-balsamic-tomatoes

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Fig Balsamic Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Onions

Have you ever been to an oil and vinegar store? The places that have at least ten varieties of olive oil and just as many types of balsamic vinegar? I went last week and sampled probably everything  (clearly the best part of the store – sampling could be my hobby). My favorite, and the one I went home with, was a fig balsamic. Evidenced by my fig balsamic pizza, I obviously love the combination of figs and balsamic, so the vinegar was a perfect way to add a lot flavor without a lot of effort. I went to Old Town Oil (http://www.oldtownoil.com/) in Evanston and highly recommend it. I’ll definitely be going back to try another type of vinegar!

I decided to use my vinegar on some sweet potatoes and onions. The sweetness of the potato and the vinegar balances well with the onion. Feel free to add some protein to this salad to make it a more filling meal (I cooked up some seitan and added it to my salad) – one that is healthy, easy, quick, and delicious!

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Fig Balsamic Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Onions

Serves One

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

1/2 large red onion

spinach or other salad greens

fig balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Chop up potato and cut onion into rings. Saute in a pan for about 4 minutes. Add about 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, stir potatoes and onions to make sure they are coated with the vinegar and cover with a lid. Cook covered for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more vinegar is necessary. Check to make sure potato is cooked and then serve over spinach (or other salad greens). Have goat cheese in the fridge? Add it on top for extra flavor.

If you aren’t into figs or only have plain balsamic vinegar don’t worry! This dish would be just as good with any balsamic vinegar.

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Shared on Healthy Vegan Fridays!

http://www.carrieonvegan.com/

and http://www.simplelivingeating.com/

Caramelized Fig, Onion, and Goat Cheese Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

Can you tell I’m on a fig kick recently? But honestly if you make anything on this blog make this pizza. I’m tempted to make it for dinner two days in a row it was so good. Don’t be intimidated by the recipe…it’s actually pretty easy. However, give yourself close to an hour from start to finish (less if using a premade crust.)

We decided to try out an oat-based pizza crust for this (recipe below), but a store-bought crust or your favorite recipe will work just as well!

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Caramelized Fig, Onion, and Goat Cheese Pizza with Balsamic Glaze

1 oat-based pizza crust (or any 16oz pizza crust)

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

8 black mission figs

¼ cup brown sugar

1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup baby arugula and spinach (adjust depending on how many greens you like)

¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

¼ cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cup balsamic vinegar + 1 tbsp brown sugar (for the glaze)

Directions:

Prepare pizza crust (following recipe below or directions on pre-made dough)

Preheat oven to 400°F

In a small saucepan, combine the ½ cup balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp brown sugar to make the glaze. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 10 minutes until it reduces to about on half – keep stirring! This will prevent glaze from becoming too caramelized.

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While the glaze is reducing, slice a red onion into rings, and cook on high heat, allowing onion to begin to caramelize. This will take some time, so as the onion cooks start on the figs.

Slice the figs into thirds and dip slice into ¼ cup of brown sugar, making sure they are coated well. Arrange the figs on a large hot skillet (spray with a little cooking spray first), and cook at medium heat for about 3 minutes, until they start to caramelize. Turn them over and add 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp lemon juice. Cook another 3-4 minutes and set aside.

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Sprinkle feta cheese on pizza crust, and top with spinach/arugula, caramelized figs, onions, and goat cheese on the top. Bake for about 8 minutes until the cheese melt. Take out of the oven, drizzle with the balsamic glaze, and serve!

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Oat-based Pizza Crust:

Ingredients:

1 cup quick oats

4 egg whites (or 2 whole eggs)

2 tbsp garlic

½ cup water

Directions:

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and mix till combined. Place half of the mixture on a skillet on medium heat, cook about 3 minutes each side. Repeat with other half of mixture. Place both pizza crusts on baking sheet until ready to top.

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Pizza Recipe adapted from: http://mayihavethatrecipe.com/2012/07/19/caramelized-figs-goats-cheese-pizza-with-balsamic-glaze/

Crust Recipe adapted from:  http://fitfoodiele.com/2012/10/21/mmmm-crusty/

Happy Labor Day (Grilled Figs)

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Labor Day is a bittersweet holiday – sad because it marks the end of another summer, exciting considering the start of a new season. Plus it’s a great day to get together and grill some awesome food.

Here’s a simple but drool-inducing recipe.

Ingredients

Fresh figs, goat cheese, and honey

Directions:

Heat up grill and place halved figs on grill (no oil needed). After about ten minutes flip and grill ten more minutes (depending on heat of grill). Take off and with a dollop of goat cheese and a drizzle of honey.

Serve as an appetizer but make sure to make extras – it’s hard to eat just one 🙂

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