So what does a perfectionist nutritionist serve for dinner? 😉 I sat and pondered my perfect dinner for awhile and then I realized that I had just served it the other night. This arugula and asparagus salad from The Longevity Kitchen is a very simple, yet delicious side dish & salad all in one. I make it quite often and it’s perfect for summer. I was eager to try Gwyneth Paltrow’s millet falafel recipe from her cookbook, It’s All Good, and this seemed like the perfect accompaniement.
What’s not to love about a meal that is full of veggies and superfoods and can please everyone at my dinner table? When I dream of my perfect evening, it’s sitting at a table with my fiance, my kids, enjoying a long dinner that I can feel really good about. I loved watching the people I love gobble up delicious, nutritious and love-filled foods. Of course, it’s even better if the presentation is amazing, too!
Here’s to perfect meals with perfect people- enjoy them both!
Roasted Asparagus Salad
1/3 cup hazelnuts
2 bunches asparagus (about 2 lbs, tough ends snapped off and discarded)
2 T plus 2 tsp extra olive oil
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups loosely packed arugula
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and put them in the oven for 5-7 minutes as it preheats until aromatic and lightly browned. Transfer to a plate.
Put asparagus on the same baking sheet and toss with 2 tsp. olive oil and generously sprinkle with salt. Bake for 8 minutes until just tender.
Put lemon juice, 2 T of olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and a few grinds of fresh black pepper and mix well with a whisk. Put arugula in a bowl and drizzle with half of the dressing and toss until coated. Mound the arugula on plates or platter and arrange asparagus on top. Sprinkle with hazelnuts and drizzle with remaining dressing if needed.
Millet Falafel with Avocado + Tomato Relish
Yields 12 falafel patties
1/2 cup raw millet, rinsed
coarse sea salt
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, crushed with a potato masher
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parlsey
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1 ripe avocado, diced
2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 T extra virgin olive oil
Combine millet with 1 1/2 cups water and a big pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and cook until the millet is very soft and all the liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Combine all the relish ingredients in a bowl and season with salt to taste. Set aside.
Stir the chickpeas, scallions and parsley into the cooked millet. Using a microplane grater, zest the lemon and stir the zest into the millet mixture along with 2 T of olive oil. Using a potato masher, crush the mixture until it holds together a bit.
Set a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with a slick of olive oil. Drop large tablespoons of the millet mixture into the pan with a bit of space between each spoonful. Press the spoonfuls down with the back of a spatula to form a thick pancake (don’t stress about the shape). Cook until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes per side. Set the cooked falafel on the prepared baking sheet and put them in the warm oven while you cook the rest of the millet mixture, adding more olive oil into the skillet if neccessary.
Cut your zested lemon into wedges, squeeze a bit of juice over each falafel and sprinkle each with a tiny pinch of coarse salt. Serve immediately, with a spoonful of relish on top.