Asparagus Gratin – Loving Yourself First


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Asparagus gratin-2_low res

Last weekend, I spent some time with an incredibly strong and caring woman. The experience was so emotionally draining that I couldn’t wait to escape her presence.

Sometimes we get so consumed with loving others that we forget to love ourselves. As noble as this behavior may seem, it’s detrimental to all parties involved.

Stephanie (not her real name) has gotten to the point that she’s given so much of herself in an attempt to make those around her happy that she’s exhausted. Her exhaustion, accumulated from a lifetime of giving too much has left her feeling bitter (because she has not dedicated enough time to her own passions, hopes, and dreams).

Her bitterness now borders on depression. A foggy cloud of sadness now accompanies Stephanie’s daily activities and rains down upon those around her.

I’m writing you all today as a word of caution. Don’t get to this stage!

It’s okay to love yourself.

It’s okay to take time to recharge your batteries.

You’ll come back feeling better, happier, better able to love all those around you.

With all this in mind, I’ve decided to start a “Cooking for One”* section of the blog. You may be “Cooking for One” because you’re single and making yourself a better woman, better able to receive love when it arrives.

You may be “Cooking for One”, even if you are in a relationship… even if you have kids. You’ve decided to take a day off for yourself. Alone time. To read a good book, to have a fabulous glass of wine, to curl up under the sheets and watch a movie by yourself… whatever tickles your fancy.

When I’m cooking for myself, I usually want whatever I’m making done in 20 minutes or less. No fuss, no hassle, practically no dishes to wash. I also try an keep it healthy.** (Otherwise I’d just order take out!)

Raw Asparagus_low res

This recipe for asparagus gratin is so easy I have a hard time calling it a recipe. I love to eat it by itself as a main course with a few slices of whole wheat or multigrain bread. If you’re not doing the by myself thing, it’s enough for two as a side dish.

One large bunch of asparagus (about 1lb./450g)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 main course or 2 side dish portions
Total Cook Time: Approx. 15 min.

1.Preheat oven broiler to 425ºF/220ºC. Line a baking sheet with heat resistant parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2. Break off asparagus ends. (Hold each spear at both ends, bend until it breaks. Discard lower part, which is tough – I usually wash, dry, and freeze ends to make vegetable stock later on.)
3. Place asparagus on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with cheese, salt and pepper. Broil for about 8-12 minutes to desired crispiness. Remove from oven. Enjoy!

Asparagus gratin-2_low res

*This name may change in the near or distant future but the idea will stay the same
**My own personal and unscientific definition of the word 😉

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