Friday, March 23, 2012

Roasted Asparagus Recipe

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A quick and easy way to prepare asparagus as a side dish, the trick for tender roasted spears is to use the thicker ones.  You can substitute balsamic vinegar for the lemon juice and use freshly grated Parmesan cheese as a garnish.
Check it out!  For those who live in or near Woodland,  the Food Bank's Quick and Fresh Market, on the corner of Fortna and Harter, has Durst organic, first of the season asparagus on special this week only for $2.99/lb. The price will go up a bit next week but still be very reasonable for organic. 
Cleo, Food Bank volunteer




  • 1 lb asparagus spears (thick spears are best for roasting)
  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper
  • Lemon juice


1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse clean the asparagus. Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard.

2 Lay the asparagus spears out in a single layer in a baking dish or a foil-covered roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the spears, roll the asparagus back and forth until they are all covered with a thin layer of olive oil. (Alternatively you can put the asparagus and oil in a plastic bag, and rub the bag so that the oil gets evenly distributed.) Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub over the asparagus so that they are evenly distributed.

3 Place pan in oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice before serving.

Yield: Serves 4.

Recipe source 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Delicious Big Bowl - Quinoa Recipe

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I came across this recipe on a 'recipe journal' a few years ago when I was trying to find a quinoa recipe to use what I had on hand.  It is very versatile--add or subtract ingredients as you like.
For those who have not used quinoa, the grains need to be rinsed to remove a bitter coating.  I put them in a large strainer and run cold water over them for a minute or two.
 Cleo, Food Bank volunteer

2 cups white quinoa, rinsed well
4 scant cups water
1 teaspoon salt
a few splashes of extra virgin olive oil
3 - 4 medium/large potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large yellow onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup toasted nuts (walnuts, pine nuts, etc)
1-2 cups lightly cooked asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch segments
another splash or two of good olive oil or citrus dressing


Bring the quinoa, water and salt to a boil in a large thick-bottomed pot. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa opens up revealing a little spiral and is soft and pleasant to chew. If there is any remaining liquid at this point, drain it off and set the quinoa aside.
Warm a splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the potatoes and a couple pinches of salt. Toss to coat the potatoes and cover for a few minutes to allow the insides of the potatoes to sweat and cook. Uncover, toss again, then cook a few minutes longer (uncovered) until the potatoes start to get some color. Continue tossing every few minutes to get more color and crispness. When they are cooked through and pleasantly crunchy, season to taste with salt and scoop out onto a plate. Set aside.
In the same skillet (no need to clean) warm another splash of oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes or until they soften up a bit.
Toss the quinoa with a splash of olive oil . Serve each bowl of quinoa topped with potatoes, onions, nuts and asparagus. Alternately, you can toss everything together in one big bowl and serve it up family-style.
Serves 4 - 6.

Recipe source 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

March's Volunteer of the Month: Terryl Lee

This month, we are pleased to announce that Terryl Lee, or "Lee", is Volunteer of the Month! A committed volunteer since January 2012, Lee has donated nearly 140 hours of time. A resident of West Sacramento, he first heard about the Food Bank of Yolo County from Senator John Burton. Lee decided to volunteer as a way to keep his truck driving and maintenance skills up to date and because he knew there was a need for extra help.

Thank you, Lee, for all of your hard work!

Are you interested in becoming a volunteer? Please our website to learn more:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Asparagus and Avocado Wraps

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The Vernal Equinox is upon us, the weather is warming up and it is the beginning of asparagus season.  I posted this recipe last May and these wraps are good enough to repeat it.  When cut in half they can be appetizers or  lunch, although half of one was not nearly enough for me
You might want to try substituting quinoa for the rice as a variation.
Cleo, Food Bank volunteer


24 spears asparagus
1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups cooked cold long-grain white rice
3 tbsp plain nonfat yogurt
3 (10-inches in diameter) whole wheat tortillas
1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tbsp chopped red onion


In a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, bring 2 inches water to a boil. Place the asparagus in a steamer basket, cover, and steam until just tender, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus and immediately rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly. In a small bowl, mash the avocado, lime juice, and garlic into a coarse puree. In another small bowl, stir together the rice and yogurt to mix well. Heat a large dry frying pan (not one with a nonstick surface) over medium heat. One at a time, heat the tortillas in the hot pan until softened, approximately 20 seconds per side. Lay the tortillas flat on a clean work surface. Spread the avocado mixture equally among the tortillas. Top each with an equal amount of the rice mixture, asparagus, cilantro, and onion. Fold in both sides and the bottom of each tortilla up over the filling; then roll to close. If made in advance, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Return to room temperature before serving. To serve, cut each wrap in half crosswise.

Recipe source