Hello everyone, this is Charles your favorite Army Veteran Food Service Specialist with another great recipe in our Mood Food Category to help those that need a boost of cheer for the Holidays.
One of my favorite vegetable to eat and one of the easiest to cook with especially if you are in a hurry is Asparagus. It is very versatile, easy to work with, delicious, great for the mind and body, and will boost your mood. How you ask is it so good for you and boost mood and energy? This vegetable is one of the top plant-based sources of tryptophan, which serves as a basis for the creation of serotonin—one of the brain’s primary mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Asparagus also boasts high levels of folate, a nutrient that may fight depression (research shows that up to 50 percent of people with depression suffer from low folate levels).
One of the best ways to cook your Asparagus to get the most nutritional benefits out of this great vegetable is to grill them with olive oil. Now you can actually accomplish this in a few different ways by using your grill, in your oven, or even in a regular pan on the oven top. I suggest olive oil only in case you do not care to use animal fat, which I prefer to cook with, but anything is better than vegetable oil…but that is a story for another time.
Most people say to boil your asparagus before you grill them…..why? Just take your potato peeler and lightly go over the asparagus to help remove some of the outer skin and those large leave looking things to make it tenderer. Also the bottoms are usually stiffer than the rest of the stalk, so cut off the bottom where it will start to bend easier. Boiling will take away from the nutritional factor, so I rather not go that route, but that is up to you.
Let’s get to the recipe, I am getting hungry already. So after you have cleaned and cut the bottoms off your asparagus you want to pat them dry and lay them out on a sheet pan or in a cook pan to give them a good dose of oil to cover the entire stalk and to ensure the spices stick to the stalk and that the stalk does not stick to the pan.
1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1. Place on grill. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus if you have not done so already.
2. Place asparagus in a shallow dish; add oil and 1/4 tsp. salt, and toss well to coat. Grill asparagus 2 minutes on each side or until crisp-tender.
3. Add pepper and remaining salt. Squeeze juice from lemon over asparagus; sprinkle with cheese.
Asparagus is a great side dish and will accompany just about any meal. I hope you enjoyed this recipe and stay tuned for more great recipes coming soon.