I love asparagus.
Asparagus is best known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It’s also rich in a wide variety of antioxidant nutrients including:
- Vitamin C: helps the body absorb iron
- Vitamin A: helps maintain eye health
- Potassium: helps to maintain healthy blood pressure
- Vitamin K: important for bone health
Additionally, asparagus is a good source of vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Collectively, these anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients are closely linked to a reduced risk of chronic health problems like heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
It supplies plenty of fiber (3 grams per cup) and contains a significant amount of inulin—a prebiotic that provides beneficial gut bacteria. Beneficial bacteria are associated with better absorption of nutrients and improved immune system function.
It’s also rich in B-vitamins, which play a key role in carbohydrate metabolism and the management of blood sugar levels.
Purchase asparagus that’s firm and crisp not dried out or shriveled. Wrap the tips in a damp paper towel and store in the refrigerator when you get home and use it within two days of purchasing, if possible.
The best way to prepare asparagus and preserves its nutrients is to steam or saute the stalks for 5 to 10 minutes. When finished, it can stand alone as a side dish or be tossed with pasta, added to salads, cooked into omelets or incorporated into a stir-fry.
So where did I leave off with regard to Memorial Day Weekend? I think I had Saturday covered, so now we are on to Sunday.
Sunday started with flyball practice. The pups were exhausted because it got so warm so quickly. Then we drove to Clayton to meet a waffle food truck. You heard me right. A food truck that makes DELICIOUS waffles. Both savory and sweet. The truck was supposed to get there at 1pm. Well, we are driving down the highway at 1:30pm, and look what we see in front of us:
Yes! The waffle truck! It had blown a tire and so was driving uber slow!! It was obviously late, so we just hung out at the brewery for awhile. But we did have some extremely delicious waffles eventually.
(Those were split between the three of us–just FYI.)
We went straight from Clayton to Lake Wheeler where we rented a kayak and a canoe! It was the absolutely perfect day to be on the lake. I kid you not. Just gorgeous. Cheryl did have some incidents with snakes (that’s because she wanted to paddle super close to the shore), but other than that it was a really relaxing time.
Following our upper body workout, we had some puppy play time! We visited Amanda’s litter of Border Whippets! Such cuties at 7 weeks and balls of energy!! Such a difference from when I saw them at 4.5 weeks! Then the three of us and Amanda went to Leesville Tap Room for dinner. Yum. Sweet potato tater tots = sooo yummy. And my sandwich was great, too! Amanda, you should definitely invite me next time you go. 😉 I like getting to know of several restaurants in the area!
After dinner, we played mini golf!! I hadn’t played in ages! So much fun! And we all equally stunk at the game. Haha. I think we should have re-match! (Cheryl has all of the pictures from mini golf, so I’ll have to post those after she gets them to me!)
Ummm…can you tell we had an amazingly fun weekend??? 🙂
Quote of the Day:
“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder
Getting back to asparagus, I made this Asparagus and Mushroom Tart about two weeks ago. It was good but not over the top special. But I will eat pretty much anything that involves asparagus!
Asparagus and Mushroom Tart
- 1 17.3-ounce package frozen puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 12 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
- 1 pound slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
- 1/2 cup (packed) coarsely grated Gruyère cheese (about 2 ounces)
- Fresh thyme sprigs (for garnish)
– Roll out each pastry sheet on work surface to 10-inch square. Cut each into 4 squares. Using small knife, score 1/2-inch border (do not cut through pastry) around inside edges of each square. Arrange squares on 2 rimmed baking sheets.
– Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sauté until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to large bowl; cool 15 minutes. Add asparagus, chopped thyme, lemon peel, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to mushrooms.
– Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Mound filling atop pastry squares, leaving 1/2-inch plain border.
– Bake tarts 12 minutes. Reverse sheets. Continue to bake tarts until crusts are puffed and golden. Transfer to plates; garnish with thyme sprigs.
Adapted from Bon Apetit