Ahhh! Asparagus!

Last week on my Home Page I noted that I would be posting a recipe on asparagus, one of my favorite spring veggies. Then, yesterday I received my friend Barb Jarmoska’s posting on asparagus on her Freshmail website.* (Isn’t there some saying that great minds think alike??) So I have combined my info with hers (so noted) to produce an “asparagus duet.”

Here is some basic nutritional information from the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board (http://www.asparagus.org/maab/nutrition.html):

1. Low in calories
2. No fat or cholesterol
3. Very low in sodium.
4. A good source of potassium and fiber.                                                              
5. An excellent source of folacin (folic acid)-60% of RDA
6. A significant source of thiamin and vitamin B6.
7. One of the richest sources of rutin (strengthens capillary walls).
8. Contains glutathione, an antioxidant (See Glossary)
Note:
When I lived in C. PA, I occasionally picked asparagus from Tait Farm in spring or early summer.
So easy, as you can see from the photo. And so fresh! While www.about.com/homecooking notes that it
is available all year long now, “crops are harvested from late February to June, with April being the prime month.”

Now that you are armed with this nutritional info, how can you not try these recipes below? Mine is the Seared Asparagus Spears and the other two are from my friend & colleague in health, Barb Jarmoska, owner of Freshlife Foods in Williamsport, PA.*

Seared Asparagus Spears (Over Grains or Pasta)


Asparagus tea towel courtesy of my younger daughter

Utensils: Cutting board and knife, fry pan, (bake pan)
Prep Time for asparagus+: 5 minutes or less
Cooking Time for asparagus: less than 10 minutes
Categories:
Vegan & Gluten-Free

Ingredients

12-14 asparagus spears
olive oil
curry powder (Or other spices of your choice)

Directions (Preheat oven to 350 degrees)

1. Wash asparagus and snap off the tough ends. (Save for soup stock)
2. Slice into thirds on a diagonal.
3. Turn heat under a fry pan. Add a small amount of olive oil. (I used my cast iron pan)
4. Add cut asparagus, sprinkle on curry powder and fry for 2-3 minutes, turning often to sear in the flavor.
5. Place cast iron pan in hot oven and bake for a few minutes. Add to cooked pasta or rice or quinoa, etc.
(Note: If using a regular stainless steel or non-stick pan, place the spears in a lightly oiled baking pan.)

+I will post the grain dish I used in the photo soon. It is a special ayurvedic recipe and needs its own posting.


Asparagus, Asparagus, Asparagus

by Barb Jarmoska

 

(Photo from the Internet)

“It’s always best to eat asparagus fresh-picked, as the flavor dramatically diminishes over time. If you must store asparagus, treat it like you would a bunch of flowers. Trim the ends, place spears in a container with enough water to cover the stem ends, and store standing straight up. Loosely cover the tops with a plastic bag to prevent evaporation, and refrigerate.

Grilling is my absolute favorite way to cook asparagus, and it’s literally done in minutes. The high heat of a grill caramelizes the sugars while allowing the center of the spears to remain crisp and sweet. Be sure to place spears in a baking dish and drizzle with oil first, coating well before placing on the grill.


Oven roasting asparagus is very similar to grilling; the key again is high heat. Preheat the bottom of a broiling pan or heavy baking sheet for about 5 minutes in a 450°F oven on the bottom rack. Toss the asparagus spears with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place them on the hot pan; return to the oven. The asparagus will sizzle and start browning as soon as it hits the surface, and be done in just 2 -3 minutes. For variation, try sprinkling with some lemon zest or a sharp grating cheese before serving.

Want to make a whole meal of your asparagus? Try the 2 great recipes below.”

 

 

*Excerpted with permission from FreshMail, the newsletter of FreshLife Store (www.freshlife.com)

Barb Jarmoska



Asparagus Stir-Fry

2 TBS organic, extra virgin coconut oil
1 medium Vidalia onion – sliced medium/thick
3 medium garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
2 TBS Ginger Zinger syrup (sub about 1 tsp fresh grated ginger)
3 cups fresh asparagus cut in 2-3” lengths
1 medium red bell pepper, cut in thin julienne strips
4 oz extra firm tofu, tempeh or cooked poultry – cut in ½ inch cubes
1 TBS tamari
1 TBS rice vinegar
1 tsp toasted sesame or sunflower seeds
salt and pepper to taste


Add oil to sauté pan and heat. Toss in the next 6 ingredients. Stir over medium heat until veggies are cooked but still crunchy.

Add tamari and vinegar – toss lightly and continue cooking another minute. Transfer to bowls and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy the dish by itself or serve atop leftover rice or pasta.

 

 

Asparagus Soup

3 # asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut in 2” lengths
3 TBL olive oil
2 leeks, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 or 4 redskin potatoes, diced
3 cups spring water
3 TBL Better Than Bullion chicken or vegetable flavor paste
2 TBL tarragon
1 tsp Celtic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch nutmeg


Sauté leeks and garlic in olive oil in stack pot until soft
Add potatoes – cook until they start to soften
Add asparagus, water and broth paste
Bring to boil – add herbs and seasonings
Reduce heat – simmer 10 min until asparagus is tender but still green
Be careful not to overcook!
Use a sieve to strain out the solids, leaving soup stock in the pot.
Puree veggies in a blender or food processor.
Return to stock and stir well.



FreshMail is published by Freshlife Inc.
2300 East Third Street Williamsport, PA 17701

Ph. 570-322-8280 or Toll Free 1-888-371-LIFE



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