Each week, I try to make at least one new recipe, usually with seasonal veggies and as colorful as I can. (I take “eat the rainbow” quite literally.) Although I thought I had recently been pretty varied in my recipe creations, it turns out quite a few of them have been featuring one special spring ingredient – asparagus. Although asparagus has an unfortunate “odoriferous” reputation 😉 it is without a doubt, one of the most delicious and versatile veggies, particularly during Seattle spring season.
Beyond the tasty crunch that asparagus adds to dishes, it is full of wonderful nutrients, including, but not limited to, vitamin K, B vitamins, folic acid, antioxidants, and a special compound called glutathione, a detoxifying compound. Apparently, eating asparagus at dinner can even help prevent a hangover! Others claim it is an aphrodisiac. Clearly there is good reason to eat plenty of these yummy green spears. Which leads me to a few of the ways I’ve been enjoying my asparagus lately. These are just some ideas, not complete recipes, so feel free to leave me a comment or send me a message if you’d like more details about one of the dishes! And as always, let these be inspiration for your own creations!
“Macro Bowl” – Typically, macro bowls are made from a combination of grains, beans, fermented veggies, greens, and sprouts. They are quite trendy right now in the plant-based world. This plate doesn’t quite fit the bill, but comes pretty close and is one of the freshest tasting meals I’ve made. I combined steamed asparagus with microgreens, pickled ginger carrots, avocado, sprouted mung beans, and kale. I then made a lemon tahini dressing to drizzle over all the ingredients – yum! Tip: you can find sprouted beans, grains, nuts, and seeds at Whole Foods or your local health food store, and they are extra nutritious and easier to digest, as well as uniquely delicious. I have yet to sprout myself, but on my list of things to do!
Grilled Salmon and Asparagus – This is a weeknight favorite for me and my boyfriend. He has perfected the grilled salmon – always using Tom Douglas’ amazing Rub with Love Salmon Rub. Grilling asparagus on the side is my favorite combo, along with brown rice topped with soy sauce and edamame. When it’s sunny grill-friendly weather, this is a super easy and a wonderful, well-rounded meal!
Grilled Veggie Salad – This fresh roasted veggie salad is inspired by a recipe from my favorite new cookbook, The Plant Powered Way, by Rich Roll and his wife, Julie Piatt. It is perfect for a potluck or to take for work or school lunches! To prepare veggies for the grill, chop bell pepper, red onion, and zucchini into large pieces and skewer it. Place corn and asparagus separately on the grill, and cook all veggies just to slightly blacken but leave crunchy. Chop the veggies into smaller pieces and then toss with a fresh basil lemon dijon dressing and add chopped romaine just before serving!
Springtime Pasta – I have made numerous versions of this one, and it always involves asparagus, basil, and my favorite hippie dust aka nutritional yeast. I start with Ancient Harvest quinoa pasta, then sauté a mix of veggies such as asparagus and peas, and then finally with basil, fresh lemon juice, olive oil, and hippie dust. It is so simple yet satisfying, and is especially great when you don’t want a trip out to the grocery store because you can use what you already have in the fridge!
Hope one of these inspires your next homemade spring dinner! Enjoy 🙂