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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetable’

Asparagus Salad

When we moved into our home some fifteen years ago, my interest leaned more toward flower gardens than growing vegetables. I planted one clump of asparagus. The tender spears that emerged produced feathery plumes when left uncut—just enough to mix into floral arrangements.

It wasn’t as though we don’t enjoy this vegetable. A few favorite recipes include asparagus. I wasn’t optimistic my clump would produce enough to eat.

Asparagus tends to be more expensive than most vegetables, but you can take advantage of lower prices in early summer when production is at its peak. The delectable low-sodium spears contain no fat and make a great addition to meals.  Nutrient-laden asparagus abounds in vitamins A, C, thiamin, folic acid, and B6. It has about twenty calories per serving and adds substantial fiber to the diet.

This year my small clump produced an abundance of spears. I harvested asparagus for freezing and tried new dishes. I discovered how great asparagus is in salads. For a tasty side dish, add the salad below to your menus. To jazz it up to a full vegetarian meal, add a hard-cooked egg, black beans, walnuts, strawberries or Mandarin oranges, and feta cheese. For meat-lovers, crumble crisp-cooked turkey bacon on top. Drizzle lightly with your favorite dressing. Tasty and healthy.

Asparagus Salad (for each serving)

5                      asparagus spears

2                      cups baby spring mix greens

2                      2″-3″ strips pimiento

Rinse asparagus and place in a microwaveable dish. Cover with plastic wrap. Punch two small holes into wrap to allow steam to escape. If microwave has varied settings for vegetables, set for frozen vegetable. If not, cook until spears are bright green and still crisp. Rinse greens and place on individual serving dishes. Place spears across top. Lay strips of pimiento over asparagus. Serve with low-calorie balsamic vinaigrette.

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Welcome to a new year. If you made resolutions, have you managed to keep them thus far? Many, once again, have resolved to lose weight. Numerous others want to live a healthier lifestyle. Problems with resolutions occur when we slip one time and decide we can’t stick to promises we made to ourselves. One mistake shouldn’t shatter our personal goals for the entire year.

Food Insight, the newsletter of the International Food Information Council Foundation, made holiday suggestions in their December 2010 issue that can help weight conscious people throughout the year. Highlights included the following:

  • Choose at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables. These foods help give satiety and keep calorie intake lower. They also contain fiber plus major sources of vitamins and minerals.
  • For those who imbibe in alcohol, choose lower-calorie options.
  • Focus on portion size. Many exaggerate the amount of a portion. Consider the following  as one serving: meat the size of a deck of card; cooked fruits and vegetables, one-half cup; fresh fruits and vegetables, one cup; and bread the equivalent of one slice. A serving of milk equals one (eight-ounce) cup or one ounce of cheese. 
  • When eating from a buffet, view the entire selections before making choices. To sample a number of items, take no more than two tablespoons of each prepared food.
  • Choose sensible portions of desserts and savor each bite.
  • Keep moving. Whether or not you take part in a regular exercise program, increase daily activities by moving more and sitting less. Take advantage of using stairs instead of elevators or parking farther from your destination. Every calorie burned counts.

These small steps along with other simple calorie-saving measures will help keep you fit and healthy throughout the year. Enjoy your dining experiences without nagging thoughts of continuous calorie-counting.  

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