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Thursday, November 17, 2011

**Healthy asparagus**

  • After a long day of work, this is what I am having tonight - Healthy Asparagus!

A lot of people like to steam or boil asparagus while I only like to stir fry them.  I know there are so many products out there where you can buy to boil asparagus in your pots.  To me, the key to cook fresh and nutritious vegetable is to make sure you DON'T over cook them.  When you over cook your vegetable, all the fiber, nutrition and taste are gone. Especially, when you boil them in hot water. The vegetable, such as asparagus just turns into vegetable soup. Unless you drink the juice, you are not going to get any benefit out of any boiled  vegetables.
Here is a quick and simple way to cook asparagus which tastes excellent!

What you will need are:
A bunch of Asparagus
2 tsp of Olive Oil
A little bit of ginger
2 tbsp of Low sodium vegetable broth
A little bit of salt, pepper to taste
1 tbsp of Beringer red wine

  • First wash the asparagus and drain the water out.
  • Then cut the end (the hard part off) and toss them in the trash.  Cut the rest of the asparagus into 1 inch long pieces and leave them on the cutting board.  Try to group the ends together on one end of your cutting board and group the spears part to the other side.
  • Heat olive oil in pan with high heat.
  • Prepare your ginger by grinding it on a grater. 
I just got this Ginger Grater at Crate and Barrel today! Great price! It is on sale for $1.95

  • When the oil is hot, put ginger in and stir fry until fragrant.
  • Then add only the bottom pieces of the asparagus (not the spears) and start stir frying them in the pan.  If you are following my instruction so far, it should be easy to pour the bottom pieces into the pan. 
  • Add 2 tbsp of vegetable broth and cook the bottom part of the asparagus for 5 minutes.
  • After that, add the spears, salt, pepper and Beringer red wine and stir fry everything together.
  • When the spears start getting soft, you asparagus is done.

Since I use high heat to stir fry the asparagus, I always watch to make sure they are not over cooked or burnt.  Hope my instruction is not too complicated.  I think you can get a better picture after you check out my pictures below!

Throw the bottom root part in the trash.
Leave the bottom parts on one end of the cutting board and the spears on the other end.

Put pan on high heat, add Olive Oil. After Olive Oil is heated up, add  ginger. 
Pour the bottom parts in the pan and leave the spears on the cutting board.
Add Vegetable broth
Cook the bottom parts for 5 minutes or till soft.

Add everything else in the pan and stir fry till fragrant and soft.

Here are some facts about Asparagus:

  • The larger the diameter, the better the quality!

  • Asparagus is a nutrient-dense food which in high in Folic Acid and is a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin.

  • Asparagus has No Fat, contains No Cholesterol and is low in Sodium.

  • The name asparagus comes from the Greek language meaning "Sprout" or "Shoot" and it is a member of the Lily family. 

  • 1/2 cup of asparagus has about 19.8 calories. 

  • The shoots have good levels of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber helps control constipation conditions, decrease bad, "LDL" cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines, and regulates blood sugar levels. In addition, high fiber diet helps prevent colon-rectal cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption.

  • Its shoots are also good source of vitamin K; provides about 35% of DRI. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

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