SPEARHEADING SIMPLE DISHES FOR SPRING
I’m always in search of seasonal combinations for simple dishes. This week I stumbled upon a bunch of beautiful spears of asparagus to experiment and do just that! Typically the peak season for asparagus runs from April to May, however, the first crops of the year are ready as early as Feb in California. For the Midwest and Eastern part of the United States, this season can extend all the way though July. A great time to access the most nutrition while getting the best value for your dollar.
Asparagus is chock-full of many known health benefits – one of which is it’s rich concentration of folate – a B vitamin essential for proper cellular division and DNA synthesis as well as an essential nutrient for a healthy cardiovascular system. A folate-rich vegetable like asparagus also helps in fetal development and and nerve tissue health (along with other folate-rich greens vegetables too). Asparagus is also a great source of vitamin K, which helps the body absorb calcium, thus promoting proper bone formation and repair.
Next, I added a very easily digestible form of protein that is almost fully utilized by the body, the deliciously simple and nutritionally balanced egg. I personally prefer pasture raised, organic eggs that can typically be found at your local farmers market or health food store. Pasture raised hens are actually raised on a pasture instead of being kept in a confined space and fed grains. This method is the most traditional when raising hens and other poultry and produces the most nutritious and delicious egg due the outdoor access to the critters in their natural habitat.
Finally, I added a generous portion of avocado for extra nutritional benefits. Why? The researchers at Ohio State University found that adding avocado or avocado oil to salad enhanced the absorption of fat-soluble carotenoids compared to an avocado-free salad. So go ahead, whip up this simple dish, share with those you love and soak up lots of health-promoting compounds. I hope you enjoy! xo
Asparagus and Avocado Salad
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 4 teaspoons lemon juice
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- sea salt and pepper
- avocado slices
- 4 eggs
STEP 1: Using a vegetable peeler, gently shave asparagus spears lengthwise into ribbons. Set aside in medium bowl. Next, in a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
STEP 2: Fill a large saucepan with 3 to 4 inches of water. Gently crack an egg and lightly tip the shell into the simmering water (being careful not to burn yourself). Keep the water at a light simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Repeat this process each egg. Next, combine the dressing with asparagus, toss and divide among plates. With a deep slotted spoon, remove eggs from water and place atop asparagus salad. Slice an avocado, sprinkle with salt, and pepper. Serve immediately.
Four in ten people notice that their urine has a strong sulfer odor after eating asparagus. A variety of chemicals - many that fall within the thiol chemical family - are responsible for the "asparagus smell." Different people form different amounts of these compounds after eating asparagus. These compounds have no adverse effects on the body. Sited by whfoods.org.