Asparagus, Jicama and Yams

As part of my recent efforts at detox, I'm lightening up dinners at home this week.

Tonight, I cooked mostly from Neal Barnard's book Get Healthy, Go Vegan. It's a great collection of low-fat recipes...I'm working my way through slowly. For the main course, we had the creamy asparagus soup...

 Let me just pause here to say...I don't care who you are or what you normally eat-- you need to make this soup. It is AMAZING.

Key flavors here are asparagus (shocking), lemon and thyme. It adds up to excellent spring goodness. I've included the recipe below.

Along with the soup I made the Black Bean, Jicama and Cucumber salad. It is surprising that red onion is not mentioned in the name of this recipe, because there's a lot of it in this salad. Basically these ingredients are chopped up with a little fresh mint, seasoned, and soaked in some rice vinegar. The vinegar does a decent job of quieting the onion (recipe calls for a whole red onion, sliced), but next time I'll only use half so that the other ingredients stand out more. In any case, it was a refreshing accompaniment.

left overs
To offer some further substance to the meal, I roasted some sweet potato spears with a smidgen of sunflower oil (1t) and the amazing Hickory Crisp seasoning from the Alden Mill House.

On a personal note, it's been an interesting two days. I've cut out nearly everything made of flour, and I find myself having these headaches in the afternoon that are very intense. I've heard that this can happen with detoxing, but I've never experienced it...even when I first cut out meat and dairy. Or...maybe I just have a headache. Who knows...

Since the semester is over and I have a little more time on my hands, I've also discovered a couple interesting blogs in the last two days. Here are a couple if you're interested: Manifest Vegan and Vegan Dad.

And...since I know all of you will make this, here's the recipe for Creamy Asparagus Soup, straight from Barnard's book (above). Check it out!

more please!
3 cups sliced asparagus (1 inch pieces or so-- about 1#)
2 cups vegetable broth (use 1 1/2 c. for a thicker soup)
3/4 t. chopped fresh time
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 T whole wheat pastry flour
2 c. plain soy milk (I used "original light")
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 t. salt (you may want less-- it was fairly salty)
1/4 t. grated lemon zest
1/2 T. lemon juice
freshly ground pepper to taste
hot sauce to taste (optional)

Combine asparagus, broth, 1/2 t. thyme, bay leaf, and garlic in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Place the asparagus mixture in a blender, cover, and puree until smooth (careful to vent the blender chamber or it might burst!).

Place the flour in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gradually add the soy milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Add the pureed asparagus mixture and nutmeg and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Add the remaining 1/4 t. thyme, lemon zest and lemon juice, salt, and stir. Season with pepper and hot sauce to taste and serve.

(from Neal Barnard's Get Healthy, Go Vegan!)


  1. I am a sucker for asparagus and will definitely be adding this to some meals this summer. What do you think about grilling the asparagus for an extra little flavor, or would it not matter with the thyme, garlic, and lemon?

  2. Grilling would be great for some char...I'd try it! Sounds delish...