Sometimes a busy day doesn't hold much room for creativity. So you have to find unique ways to exercise your right brain. Just a small experiment or miniscule project each day helps battle the numbness of routine. Something as simple as adding a new spice to something plain, like a vegetable, can be enough to brighten up a quick dinner. It only takes 15 more seconds to add some flavor, so why not play?
One night this week, I made a hands-off, oven-only dinner, so that I could manage baby and other tasks while cooking. I decided to make it more interesting by spicing up some asparagus. It came out pretty good, giving it a little kick in contrast to the rest of my bland-ish dinner. I'd definitely do it again, as it may even convert my asparagus-hating husband to give it another try.
Lemon-Chili Asparagus Spears
1 bunch of asparagus spears, trimmed
pepper (I used white pepper for more spice)
red pepper flakes
Heat oven to 425F.
Trim asparagus and arrange on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and juice from 1/2 the lemon. Sprinkle as lightly, or as heavily, as you like with salt, pepper, red pepper and cayenne. Toss together. Top with thinly sliced lemon.
Bake 15-20 minutes until tender.