Caramelized onion, asparagus and chicken saute

Alright, I’m gonna come clean on something that has bothered me for years. Ready?!? The phrase, “quick and easy” meals. Now of course I’ve certainly fallen prey to naming a few of my recipes some combination of this forbidden phrase but it was because I knew you’d like it, and I really wanted you to make the recipe.

My issue with “quick and easy” recipes is not that they are time savers or simple to prepare. That’s all great. The problem is they perpetuate this idea that we’re always running out of time and that we must cut corners around meals to be as efficient as possible with the dwindling minutes in our day. Cooking has become another thing you have to race through, get done and hammer out, letting all possibility of connection and savoring fly out the window.

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I believe cooking, like eating and breathing, is a sacred act that requires sacred space and time. When you chop, dice, stir or saute, you have the option to engage all your senses and allow the motions to become a sensual meditation for yourself.

Cooking is self-care of the highest order and to blaze through it, giving it zero reverence, is to miss out on the joy at your finger tips.

That said, you’ll find most of my recipes are quick and easy. I don’t make homemade pasta or 15 ingredient, multi-step sauces because that’s just not my style. My dishes are like me, straight-forward with a spoonful of sass. And I take my time with them.

Yes, I could pound them out in a quick 25 mins and sometimes I do. And most of the time, I want to cherish the experience. Over the years, cooking has gone from a way to control what goes into my mouth and “be healthy” to a welcome respite, something I look forward to. Like every other busy human, I often rush through my day and really don’t like the tight, anxious feeling it fuels in my body. Cooking calms me. It’s not a thing I HAVE TO DO at the end of my day but rather, like a warm bath, a way to come back home in myself.

The below recipe is a new favorite. I’m currently eating it about 3x a week. It’s absolutely a “what’s in the fridge” kinda dish. If you’ve got nicoise olives lying around, throw them in. Proscuitto?  Hells yeah. Spring peas? Yes, please. This is not a recipe set in stone, so give yourself some sacred space, slow down and see what cooking creativity comes up.

Enjoy.

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Caramelized onion, asparagus and chicken saute

Serves 1

½ small onion, sliced into ½ moons

a spoonful of extra virgin coconut oil

4 jarred sundried tomatoes, squeezed of excess oil

12 thin asparagus stalks, trimmed about 1 ½ inch from the base, then cut into 1 inch pieces

½ cup precooked chicken, pulled apart into bite-sized pieces

Squeeze of lemon

Handful of parsley

6-8 red butter lettuce or green leaf lettuce leaves, washed, dried and plated

In a saute pan, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a touch of salt and cook until translucent and a little browned, stirring a few times. Add the tomatoes and asparagus and cook through until the asparagus is bright green. Add the chicken and the lemon, stir and cook until the chicken is heated through. Add another touch of salt and pepper to taste and top with parsley.

Spoon the saute onto the lettuce leaves and eat as salad roll ups. If you prefer you can also tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces and eat it as a warm salad. Either way, it’s really good.

Generaljamie