Sometimes I feel like butter is a dairy staple we take for granted. Butter makes sauces creamier, baked goods taste richer and it can elevate a recipe. But it never really takes centre stage. Just like side dishes. But Gay Lea butter can make almost anything better. It can improve a simple fresh vegetable like sautéed asparagus or add a twist to a new variation on traditional scalloped potatoes.
This week was a brutally busy one with both girls in a martial arts tournament working as score-keepers and competing too. and it seemed like meals – good fresh home cooked meals were getting neglected for days. In the spring I enjoy seeing fresh asparagus in the grocery stores and markets where I shop locally. Ontario asparagus makes me happy and the entire family loves it. We cook it as often as possible and I had some in the fridge. In the spring I buy asparagus at least once a week.
Anyways, on the weekend, I was puttering around attempting to make some gorgeous gluten free recipes with butter and while the buttery tart filling turned out magnificently, the gluten free crust was not right. So I ended up a bit disappointed with that attempt to change my traditional butter tarts and make them gluten free. In fact the filling was so good I ate some with a spoon. But the crust was not right for the watery filling at all. Such is blogging. Some days it’s magic and the words flow too. Other days NOT SO MUCH.
So I switched gears entirely and made dinner – breaded chicken legs, you can use regular bread crumbs or gluten free bread crumbs for that. So simple and tasty. Typically I coat the chicken legs in yogurt first and then roll them in bread crumbs. I like making things like this at home because I can control the ingredients and I know my chicken is not salty. But I digress. What I was really interested in was the side dishes. It’s easy to get all caught up in your protein and forget that sometimes sides are beautiful in their own right.
Asparagus is one vegetable we all love. Every spring I get excited when I spy it in the grocery store. Fresh and affordable and local – that’s the way I like it. The greener the better and the tips should never be mushy. Anyways, I happened to have some on hand this week and I figured I’d challenge myself to take some traditional side dishes and switch them up.
So I made gluten free sides – fresh sautéed spring asparagus featuring Gay Lea salted butter. And scalloped potatoes, which are a big tradition here. My Mom always made scalloped potatoes several times a year and my grandma made them too. For some reason they are always a hit. I like to give them my own spin. Over the years I have modified those many different ways – cheesy, non cheesy, sometimes dairy free, sometimes gluten free and occasionally even onion free too. But I finally have the winning recipe that I like and it also features Gay Lea salted butter, which made them richer and creamier.
My diet has always been different than that of my Mom and my Grandmother. Now I also watch salt and cook at home to limit sodium intake. I try to cook and bake gluten free as often as possible. A gluten free diet makes me feel better physically. I am certainly not criticizing how they cooked or ate, but I am saying I know what works for me and what my family likes.
Sautéed asparagus and scalloped potatoes are easy enough to make. And this version of my asparagus is very flavourful. We grill asparagus in the summer on the barbecue and we often use olive oil to sauté it too. But this time I changed it up with Gay Lea Butter and onion. That combination was sensational. I think I will keep it and use onion and butter routinely. There was even a bit left for lunch the next day and the taste held true even reheated.
- ½ an onion diced
- 1 teaspoon of garlic diced
- 1 bunch of asparagus stalks and tips in tact
- 3 teaspoons of Gay Lea salted butter
- Heat the frying pan to medium.
- Add the three teaspoons of Gay Lea salted butter
- Trim asparagus to size (cut about 1 - 1½ inch off the ends)
- Add onion to butter melting in the pan.
- Stir, and add the garlic.
- Spread out the asparagus and cook about 20 minutes
- Stir several times.
My scalloped potatoes recipe is simple too.
Peel 5 large potatoes and slice thinly.
Dice the other half of the onion you peeled for the asparagus.
Add One teaspoonful of garlic
One tablespoon of parsley
1 cup of water and 1/2 cup of milk
2 teaspoons of Gay Lea salted butter
Put the oven on to 350 degrees and mix everything together in the casserole dish or baking pan.
Bake for about 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees
Scoop and serve.
The Gay Lea butter adds a creaminess to the potatoes and keeps them from sticking to the dish as well. The parsley adds a hit of colour. The onion and garlic make them your own.
Gay Lea Products Make Everything Tastier
This year I am a Gay Lea ambassador and so you will be seeing recipes monthly created with Gay Lea ingredients. I am a fan of Gay Lea products because they are Canadian. Gay Lea is a dairy products cooperative that started in 1958 and is owned by dairy farmers. Their products are born on the farm and that’s what sets them apart.
We use Gay Lea salted butter in a lot of meals and also for baked goods. Gay Lea Salted Butter is pure and preservative free. It has only two ingredients and it is only available in Ontario. There are numerous varieties of this Gay Lea butter. There is an unsalted version and we love the spreadable too.
What’s your favourite side dish?
I created this post as a paid ambassador with Gay Lea Foods and PTPA for 2017. My opinion is all my own and it is truthful. I only work with brands I love and use.
Gay lea might be a cooperative steeped in tradition, but they are also embracing their own new style too. Did you know for instance that Gay Lea has a Youtube channel? They do. Learn more about that when you enter to win this iPad Mini 2 giveaway! Good Luck!