Friday, April 2, 2010

Dreamy Creamy Delicious Asparagus

There is something so magically sensual about Asparagus--those gorgeously green stalks that are in season right now!
Uncooked, fresh Asparagus stand tough and firm; yet, when cooked, these tender stalks become creamy and luscious satisfying the senses with their beautiful green color, succulent nutty flavor, buttery aroma, and intricate fleshy texture. A nutritious source of fiber and vegetable protein, Asparagus are also low in calories and carbohydrates (low sugar content), low in cholesterol, sodium, and fat. Loaded with Vitamins, Minerals, healthy Fatty Acids, and phytonutrients, Asparagus are considered excellent choices for reaching optimal health and wellness.
Vegetables which are high in Folic Acid are essential for women at child-bearing age because Folate reduces the risk of birth defects especially defects in fetal brain development within the first few weeks of conception. Folate is also essential for proper cardiovascular function. High levels of carotene and Vitamin C make Asparagus an effective anti-carcinogen. Asparagus (and many other vegetables) are immunogenic, anti-carcinogenic, help eliminate toxins through the liver, and help improve Prostate health. Yes, Gentlemen, these vegetables will help prevent Prostate Cancer!
Asparagus are a natural diuretic and help regulate water retention. Green foods that contain inulin also benefit our digestive system by promoting good bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Preparation: Purchase from your farmer's market or grocery store and try to use them within a few days. Store in the refrigerator with ends wrapped in damp paper towel and not exposed to light. When ready to prepare, rinse them well and snap off the fibrous ends before cooking. My dad always told me to save these for making a vegetable soup or broth.
Recipe ideas:
1. Asian
Sauté in canola oil and Earth Balance Vegan butter with some minced garlic. Cook covered for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and add tamari or soy sauce and allow to brown for a few more minutes. Serve these with brown rice or asian noodles and stir fry veggies with Tofu or Seitan.
2. Italian
Add steamed Asparagus to pasta dishes like spaghetti or fettucine with marinara sauce. Experiment with herbs like Rosemary, Thyme, or Basil.
Make your own Pizzas using Asparagus as a topping.
3. Salads
Make a tempeh (tuna-style) salad using Vegenaise instead of Mayo. Add all the veggies you love, chop up some sauteéd Asparagus and mix it up with pasta or potatoes. The possibilities are endless.
Make a fresh Spring Mix and Spinach salad with cooked Asparagus on top. Add Chickpeas for extra protein, olives, red cabbage, carrots, and your favorite dressing.
4. Dips
Make a Spinach & Asparagus dip instead of Spinach Artichoke!
I use the recipe from the amazing Veganomicon ultimate Vegan Cookbook.
There are so many other ways to enjoy Asparagus. Get creative and have an adventure in the kitchen, it's fun and nutritious!
Buen Provecho!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Real Men take on Veganism!

VEGAN ( ˈvē-gən ) = a vegetarian who consumes only plant foods, and avoids all animal products or by-products and leather, wool, fur.

Just read an interesting article in the Boston Globe! Last week, Globe correspondent Kathleen Pierce wrote about a growing trend in lifestyle changes among men looking to shed pounds and improve their overall wellness in Men leave their own mark on veganism. These men come from all walks of life; some overweight or obese, some athletes, and some environmentalist animal lovers-- but all looking to live longer, healthier lives!

Movers and Shakers among "Hegans" include Tobey Macquire, Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Moby, firefighter Rip Esselstyn, Tony Gonzalez, Alec Baldwin, Paul McCartney and of course Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo DaVinci, Buddha, Jesus, Thomas Edison were vegetarians! Go Veg!

Interesting Reads:
The Engine 2 Diet -- by Rip Esselstyn
Tony Gonzalez - Veganism in the NFL
Moby - on being Vegan
Thom Yorke - Radiohead


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