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Asparagus, Basil, & Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon

Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014 in One Dish Two Ways

Asparagus. Basil. Cream cheese. I call this the ABC tart! Not really, because I just thought of it. But I should, because it’s totally fitting – this asparagus cream cheese tart is definitely as easy as ABC, 123.

Asparagus Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon | Kitchen Treaty

You mix together a simple cream cheese base, and spread it on a golden-brown puff pastry crust. Then you top it with lightly blanched asparagus and touch of salt. And then you bake it for a few minutes. And that’s it! Unless you want to add bacon, in which case, crumble some cooked bacon on top, and then that’s it.

Either way, it’s heaven on a tart. Super duper easy heaven on a tart.

Asparagus Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon | Kitchen Treaty

I love this tart for Easter, because not only does it work for any meal from breakfast to brunch to lunch to snack to supper, but the simple preparation helps free you up for family fun time. Like hiding plastic Easter eggs – and finding one or two from last year while you’re at it. Or picking strands of green plastic grass out of the dog’s hair. Or … well, you know what I’m getting at.

Our family actually keeps Easter pretty exciting. My parents devise a grand adult Easter egg hunt, and each year tops the last. This year’s competition includes an egg roll event and archery. Archery! I’m not even kidding! I so totally can’t wait. We’re dorks.

I’m thinking this asparagus tart will be my contribution to the family meal, because then I can spend my time practicing for the big event instead of slaving in the kitchen. And if I told you that I have been seriously considering practicing egg rolling in our driveway in preparation for the big day, I would not be lying.

Howdy, neighbors. Don’t mind me.

Asparagus Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon | Kitchen Treaty

Anyway, a little more about the tart. The crust is made from store-bought puff pastry – easy! The tangy-creamy base, compliments of cream cheese (I go for Neufchâtel to save a bit on fat/calories), amps up the flavor along with a little onion, garlic, and basil stirred in for good measure. And then those glorious, plump, verdant stalks of asparagus, all in a row.

Asparagus Cream Cheese Tart with Optional Bacon | Kitchen Treaty

Simple, easy, good springtime fare. ABC, 123.

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Lemony Egg in a Spinach-Chickpea Nest

Posted on Monday, April 14, 2014 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

This is another one of those sort of on-a-whim recipes that I threw together one morning, and I absolutely loved it.

Breakfast for one: Lemony egg in a spinach-chickpea nest | Kitchen Treaty

I know that a breakfast-for-one recipe doesn’t exactly make perfect sense on a blog that’s all about living together in peace … but sometimes the carnivorous guy and toddler are over there gnawing happily on their bacon, and I feel like I’m missing out on the breakfast action. So then I whip up something special for myself and I feel a little better. So, see?! Even this Lemony Egg in a Spinach-Chickpea Nest helps keep our mixed-diet family happy!

Breakfast for one: Lemony egg in a spinach-chickpea nest | Kitchen Treaty

This simple, satisfying, and protein-rich breakfast isn’t only delicious, it’s super easy, too. Seriously – it takes only about 5 minutes to whip up!

Just saute a little spinach …

Breakfast for one: Lemony egg in a spinach-chickpea nest | Kitchen Treaty

Smash some chickpeas in there along with some lemon zest …

Breakfast for one: Lemony egg in a spinach-chickpea nest | Kitchen Treaty

And make a “nest” …

Breakfast for one: Lemony egg in a spinach-chickpea nest | Kitchen Treaty

… for the egg to cook in.

Breakfast for one: Lemony egg in a spinach-chickpea nest | Kitchen Treaty

Salt, pepper, a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, and breakfast is served.

The egg cooks perfectly, at least to my taste – a bit of buttery yolk oozing out to flavor the “nest” here and there. And the chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) crisp up in wonderful little browned bits. Yum.

Breakfast for one: Lemony egg in a spinach-chickpea nest | Kitchen Treaty

I’ve gotta say, my bacon-obsessed loved ones are totally missing out.

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Kale Caesar Salad with Tofu Croutons & Kalamata Caesar Dressing

Kale Caesar Salad with Tofu Croutons & Kalamata Caesar Dressing

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2014 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

I pride myself on creating vegetarian recipes that even hardcore carnivores will love. This kale Caesar salad, well … it’s a bit of an exception. It really doesn’t even try. The thing is, I personally think it’s really kind of incredible, so the meat-eaters that turn their nose up at this one are, in my opinion, totally missing out.

Well, hey! More for us.

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Peanut Butter Protein Power Smoothie

Peanut Butter Protein Power Smoothie

Posted on Monday, April 7, 2014 in Beverages

Yep, more protein! In last Wednesday’s post, I talked about my recent decision to start including extra protein wherever I can think to add it. So, naturally, more of the recipes I share here are going to have more protein in them while I see how this new dietary tweak goes. I hope that’s cool with you!

When I decided to start packing more protein into my recipes, naturally, smoothies were one of the first things to come to mind. I mean, I’m already on a smoothie kick. So: smoothie kick, meet protein kick. And then hello, Peanut Butter Protein Power Smoothie.

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How to Make Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate

How to Make Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee Concentrate

Posted on Friday, April 4, 2014 in Beverages

Ahh. Iced coffee. Deep, rich, cool, and creamy. Even chocolaty. There’s nothing like it. And it’s so easy (and inexpensive!) to make at home. I even created a handy-dandy little infographic to show just HOW easy and inexpensive!

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Red Lentil Marinara Sauce

Red Lentil Marinara Sauce

Posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

It’s the most-asked question for vegetarians: “How do you get enough protein?”

The fact is, it’s easy to get enough protein in your diet – human protein requirements are not as crazy-complicated as many folks believe.

That said, I’ve come to the recent realization that, for me, I need more. It helps me feel satisfied; it keeps me full for longer. And thus, I eat less overall. Which, for a gal who’s always fought her weight, is a pretty big deal.

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This Month’s Bits and Bites: March 2014

Posted on Monday, March 31, 2014 in Bits & Bites

They say March goes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but I uphold that in 2014, it came in like a lion … and out like a lion. I’m not talking about weather, though. I’m talking about speed. Didn’t March just start? Wasn’t March 1, like, two days ago? I’m so confused.

This month was a strange one – from one end of the spectrum to another. It was full of hope (spring! it’s happening!) and hopelessness (the horrific landslide that occurred not far from where we live).

Predictably, before the mudslide, I spent much of the month obsessing over gardening and natural playscapes for our little one. Food-wise, after discovering just how full I remained for hours and hours after this super-simple breakfast, I started working toward incorporating higher-protein ingredients into my recipes. You’ll see some of those soon.

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Cinnamon Dolce Iced Coffee

Cinnamon Dolce Iced Coffee

Posted on Friday, March 28, 2014 in Beverages

I’m proud of myself. In 2014, I’ve really cut down on my Starbucks habit. I drop by maybe once per week, which is a huge improvement over my previously daily habit. Okay, maybe twice per week. Okay, okay – occasionally three times.

But still! I’m doing better.

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Thick & Creamy Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding

Thick & Creamy Chocolate Coconut Chia Pudding

Posted on Monday, March 24, 2014 in Happy Endings

~Ch-ch-ch-chia!~

You know I had to.

Ahem. So! Chia seeds. Surely you’ve heard of these little mini wonders, one of the newer super-power foods that everyone is raving about? They can go into all kinds of things and make them awesome. Including this thick, rich, creamy chocolate coconut pudding.

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