Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Roasted Asparagus On Romaine Topped With Corn, Radishes, Avocado & Sunflower Seeds

Roasted asparagus topped with chopped veggies and seeds.

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Asparagus for Lunch?
Doug and I ate an entire bunch of asparagus yesterday for lunch. Once those tender roasted spears came out of the oven, we decided to make a meal out of them. Besides, you can't just let these jewels sit around since they are more perishable than most other vegetables.

Feed your Microbes Too!
I'm sure you all know how very important microbes are for our health. Well these little guys have to eat too. They depend on "prebiotics" which are supplied by the compound "inulin." This carbohydrate makes it all the way through to our large intestine where it becomes an important food source for our intestinal bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. Asparagus is a very good source of inulin. 

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Roasted Asparagus Salad
Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free
[makes 4 servings]

1 pound asparagus, washed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 ear of corn, cleaned, kernels removed
4 small radishes, diced
1 green onion, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 lemon
1 head Romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds (or hemp seeds)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Trim off the bottoms of the asparagus with a knife or bend the bottoms until they snap off. Place in a large, shallow baking pan and arrange in a single layer. 

Drizzle the olive oil over the asparagus and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. If you have a Silpat sheet, you can reduce the olive oil to 2 teaspoons. Shake the pan back and forth until the spears are well coated.

Place the pan in the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through, until the asparagus spears are lightly browned and fork-tender but still crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Place the corn kernels, radishes, green onion, and avocado in a small bowl. Toss with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. 

To build the salad, place the chopped Romaine lettuce on a platter or divide among four individual plates. (Doug and I divided it onto two big plates and made an entire meal out of it.)

Place the warm asparagus on top of the lettuce and then top the asparagus with the corn mixture. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve immediately.

Per serving: 168 calories, 10 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 249 mg omega-3 and 2,006 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 6 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 8 g dietary fiber, 20 mg sodium (plus salt to taste).

For a better omega-3 to omega-6 balance, use hemp seeds instead of sunflower seeds.

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