Beauty Food Close-Up– Asparagus

asparagusAsparagus is  an aristocratic vegetable that has been around since Plato first  put on his toga.   In addition to  a delicious part of a meal, asparagus  has been used  for its  medicinal purposes including   relief of a toothache and infection.  A member of the lily family,  aparagus  is  especially  plentiful in the spring, making it part of  the traditional Easter  AND Passover dinner.   Now with advanced growing techniques and worldwide transport of  food, aparagus is available  year  round.

Asparagus Health Profile

Despite its elitist  aura, asparagus  is a nutritional workhorse.  It is  rich in  numerous vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and folacin.  In fact,  just 4 oz of asparagus has more than 60% of the RDA for vitamin C– important to know since vitamin C is the nutrient most closely linked  to smoother, firmer  skin. A big serving ( 8 plump spears) clocks in at just 20 calories.

Aparagus is terribly versatile    and can be steamed, stir-fried, boiled, roasted and zapped in a microwave.   Once cooked,  asparagus can be topped with lemon ( juice or zest), chopped eggs, breads brinbs or grated cheese.  Cold asparagus can be  doused with vinergrette or tossed into a salad.

I’m always looking for vegetarian entress and one of my favorites asparagus  recipes  is when its stir fried, tosed into pasta and topped with goat cheese.  I call it–

Wrinkle Buster Pasta (  adapted from 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking)

Ingredients:  4 oz  pasta, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 1/2 lb aparagus cut into 1/2 inch pices; 2 tablespoons  goat cheese; 1/2 cup parmasan cheese

Directions:  Boil pasta in salted water until done.  Drain pasta, saving 1/2 cup of pasta water.  While pasta is  cooking, heat olive oil in a pan and saute onion until softened.  Add asparagus  pieces and stir fry for 5 minutes or until done.  Stir pasta into  saute pan and toss with leftover pasta water. Crumble in goat cheese, stir and top with parmasan cheese.




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