It was really nice seeing my parents this weekend in Houston, I had felt a little homesick since finding out that my mother has decided to retire and will move back to China in the next couple of years. Though it is hard to imagine life without my mother right next to me, we all have to grow up sometime...right? I had quite the adverse reaction when I first heard the news, which she conveniently told me during my lunch break at work of all places (that's how my mom rolls, abruptly).
With tears (and snot, lots of it) streaming down my face, my bosses thought something horrible had happened. Which at the time, it really did feel terrible. I seldom cry in front of anyone, but because the news was completely unforeseen, I felt as if someone punched me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me. I know it sounds cliche, but my mother is one of my very best friends. I love her to pieces, even when she has her what I'd like to call her "crazy asian mom moments", it is so hard to imagine life without her being right beside me. She has always been my rock and the older I become, the more I come to understand (and appreciate) the difficulties of being a good mother.
But I understand this is something she has to do and I completely respect her decision. Sooner or later this was going to happen and maybe this reality check was exactly what I needed to push me to work harder than ever before. I appreciate both of my parents for moving to the United States to provide me with a better future and can't even begin to wrap my brain around the numerous sacrifices they must have made to ensure that their child will have a better life and future than they did.
Though I have picked a career route that my parents may not deem to be "practical" the more I come to think about it, the happier I am with my decision. I couldn't possibly imagine myself doing anything else. Food has always been my passion, for many reasons which I will save for another time. I had a friend ask me this weekend "So what is the purpose of your blog? What do you think will come from it?" The reason why I spend so much time on each post is because I know my efforts will be appreciated, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. My purpose is to solely provide a place for everyone to enjoy, whether you use my recipes is not my main concern, but the fact that this place provides you a momentary (and hopefully visually appealing) break from this busy hectic schedule we call life.
I've always appreciated the importance of art and music for this very reason -- it is able to provide us with a form of escape even on our crappiest days. Whether its blasting your favorite love song that tugs at your heart strings or looking at an awe inspiring painting that brings you to a different world, ultimately it provides us with happiness that otherwise would be lost. So to my dear readers, I thank you guys for reading/looking at my blog, you all are the inspiration for why I started to write this blog and you guys continue to be my drive to keep this bad boy going. I think happiness is best enjoyed when it is shared, don't you? :)
I would also like to thank Eggland's Best for providing the eggs for this dish. When I went home this weekend, I found out my mother uses your eggs as well! Anyways, even before I volunteered to be a tastemaker for their product, I have always bought their eggs. Their eggs are not only lower in cholesterol than your average egg but somehow they magically pack all of these healthy vitamins along with it too! Because they feed their hens with all natural and all vegetarian feed and they never use antibiotics or hormones, this ensures that the quality of the egg is always fantastic. So thank you Eggland's Best for providing me with a carton of your awesome and delicious eggs!
For this salad, I decided to roast some vegetables and topped it off with a fried egg and freshly shaved Parmasean. I always fry my egg over easy, but it is important that you always use fresh eggs if you are going to cook them this way. I really love the way the runny yolk pairs with the cheese and field greens and nothing beats the flavor of a roasted red bell pepper.
To roast a red bell pepper it is quite easy. You can either broil all four sides in your oven or blacken them on a skillet as I have shown above. Once you've browned all four sides, place it in a bowl and cover with saran wrap. This will help you remove the outer skin of the pepper easiest. Once the pepper cools, simply peel off the outer skin and discard the stem and seeds.
Ingredients for Roasted Vegetable Salad with Fried Egg and Shaved Parmesan:
- 1 Portobello Mushroom, stem removed
- 1/2 lb Asparagus, ends trimmed off (about 1")
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, roasted (see instructions above) and cut into strips
- 1 Tomato, thinly sliced
- 1 cup Mixed Field Greens
- 1 cup Arugula
- 1/2 cup Spinach
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence, or Basil (dried)
- 1 teaspoon oil or cooking spray
- 2 Eggs
- Parmesan cheese, shaved for garnish
- salt pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400F.
In a large baking sheet coat the asparagus with the 2 tablespoons of oil along with the garlic and dried herbs. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until tender.
Heat an iron skillet on medium high heat and spray with cooking spray. Sear the portobello mushroom, about 3 min on each side and place in the oven with the asparagus until tender.
Meanwhile, mix your greens in a large bowl with salt and pepper and place the tomato slices on each plate. Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat with 1 teaspoon of oil or cooking spray. Cooking one egg at a time, crack an egg onto the pan once heated. Cook until the whites are almost solidified, about 3-4 minutes, and carefully flip the egg over using either a spatula or the magic flick of the wrist (I do not recommend using magic if you have no tried it before) and finish cooking on the other side, about 1 minute. Repeat with other egg.
Take your roasted vegetables from the oven and cut the asparagus 3 ways and thinly slice the portobellos and bell pepper. Place vegetables over the greens and top with the fried egg. Garnish with the shaved Parmesan, placing as much as you prefer. Serve immediately.
Price of Items:
- 1 Portobello Mushroom - $1.50
- 1/2 lb Asparagus - $ 1.50
- 1 Red Bell Pepper - $1.00
- 1 Tomato - $0.33
- 3 cup Mixed Greens - $1.10
- 2 Eggs - $0.67
- Parmesan cheese - $0.50
Cost Per Serving: $3.30