Asparagus is not just healthy: it’s also prized by chefs for its complex flavor and versatility. For women trying to eat better, asparagus is a great vegetable to enjoy. A healthy diet matters much more than the number on the scale, but for those trying to lose weight, asparagus has just 3 calories per spear.
More importantly, asparagus contains vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and fiber. Whether you’re curvy or thin, remember that true health comes from exercise and eating nutritious foods like asparagus. Here are five unique recipes to try:
The crisp, grassy taste of asparagus isn’t overpowering in a fluffy frittata, an Italian dish similar to a crustless quiche. To start, chop some asparagus into 1-2 inch long pieces and sauté. In a well-greased oven-safe fry pan, add 8 lightly beaten eggs.
After the eggs have cooked for about 5-7 minutes, add the asparagus and anything else you like. Leeks and a little ham or Swiss cheese are excellent additions. Place the pan in the oven at 350 degrees and cook until the eggs are hard- about 16-18 minutes. Serve for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three!
Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Crudité
Baked salmon and asparagus is common, but a unique take is pairing them in a crudité. “Crudité” means “raw” in French and refers to an appetizer of uncooked vegetables. Many chefs stretch the literal meaning of crudité to include proteins and “light” methods of cooking.
Regardless, a crudité is always served cold. To prepare asparagus crudité, get a pot of boiling, salted water and a bowl of ice water ready. Cook the asparagus in the boiling water for one minute and transfer to the ice water. While the asparagus cools, blend a cup of blanched spinach and greek yogurt with lemon juice and salt in a food processor to make a healthy version of “mayonnaise verte.”
Spread the sauce on crostini and top with the cooled asparagus and smoked salmon for an easy gourmet dish. You can reheat the leftovers to enjoy even more satisfying lean meals.
Grilled Asparagus with Fresh Mozzarella
If you’re craving some protein but don’t want meat, grilled asparagus with mozzarella makes a delicious and filling dinner. After blanching the asparagus, coat the stalks in olive oil and place on a grill pan over medium-high heat. Turn the asparagus to keep it from burning.
Remove from the heat and top the grilled asparagus with a slice of fresh, cool mozzarella. Chef Anne Quatrano at Food and Wine adds a chervil dressing to this recipe. However, the asparagus and mozzarella will also go well with the slight tangy sweetness of a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.
This bright asparagus pesto is perfect with pasta of any kind. Store-bought sauces are loaded with sugar. A cup of asparagus, on the other hand, contains only 2.3 grams of sugar. To make your pesto, take one bunch of asparagus. Cut off the tough ends and half lengthwise.
Cook in boiling water until soft. In a food processor, combine the cooked asparagus, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 cups of spinach, 1 cup of pine nuts, 1/4 cup olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. Serve over your favorite pasta.
Asparagus and Walnut Tart
If you’re in the mood for something a little indulgent, heat the oven to 400 degrees and throw together an asparagus and walnut tart. Some recipes use puff pastry as the base, but whole-wheat pizza dough is a healthy alternative.
To begin, mix 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese with minced garlic, a pinch of red pepper, and enough milk to make it spread easily. Layer the flattened dough with the cheese mixture, asparagus, and walnuts.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until cooked through (longer if using puff pastry). Finally, top the tart with sea salt and parmesan flakes.