Thursday, November 26, 2009

Oven-baked Asparagus with Lemongrass

To all my readers,

Happy thanksgiving!!!! Thank you so much for keeping me company for the past couple of months and many more great months ahead. I am having so much fun sharing with you my recipes and healthy eating and living ideas. Keep reading and keep your comments coming!!!

If you are up for a quick idea to add some greens to your dinner table tonight, try this wonderful winter dish. Winter is here and that means asparagus is in season!!! One of my favourite vegetables. Some people don't like it because of it's strong woody flavor but I love it especially when you pair it with a refreshing citrus flavor such as lemon.

Not only is it super delicious, asparagus is one of nature's super food heroes as a source of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, and iron. Asparagus is also packed in the naturally occurring phytochemicals of glutathione, rutin, and folic acid. Asparagus, next to orange juice, is regarded as the second best whole foods source of folic acid. Folic acid is known to lower the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, liver disease, and spina bifida. Other health benefits of asparagus include:

1. Helps to relieve menstrual cramps
2. Increases the success and recovery rate of chemo-therapy
3. Naturally detoxifies the body
4. Helps lower cholesterol significantly and also reduce high blood pressure
5. Helps in production of milk for lactating mothers
6. Slows down the aging process since it has anti-oxidants
7. Prevent the formation of cancerous tumors since it has anti-cancer agents
8. Relieve diarrhea and constipation as it is considered a laxative
9. Strengthen capillaries thus preventing painful varicose veins
10. It is also helpful for your eyes and prevents the formation of cataracts

1. One handful of fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
2. 1 stalk fresh lemongrass, sliced
3. Zest from 1 lemon
4. Salt
5. Pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 350F (191.5C)
2. On a piece of aluminium foil, place asparagus on foil and season with salt, pepper and lemongrass
3. Wrap foil into a packet and bake in oven for 10-15 mins
4. When asparagus is done, open foil packet and sprinkle with lemon zest
5. Ready to serve

Feel free to cut the lemongrass into longer strips if you want to have them remove prior to serving.

For those of you in the US, I know for sure you can get lemongrass in Whole Foods. If you don't have a Whole Foods near your place, substitute it with lemon zest and lemon juice. Just put less of it so that its not too acidic to the palate.

Nutritional value of this recipe
This recipe makes about 1 to 2 servings, depending on whether there are other dinner dishes. The calories count for this recipe is an extremely low 44 yet provides 4.6g of dietary fiber and protein, 30%* of daily required Vitamin A, 23%* of daily required Vitamin C and 26%* of daily required iron. This recipe is also an excellent source of manganese, niacin, phophorus, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin and Vitamin B6. It is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc.

* based on a 2,000 calories per day diet

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