Let vegetables be the main event on your lunch and dinner plate, because they're naturally rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants. Asparagus is rich in Vitamins A and C (antioxidants) and folate, a B vitamin important for women of child-bearing age to prevent neural tube defects in babies. You can steam veggies without fat, but oven-roasted vegetables cook and taste better with a little added fat. More important, fat (olive oil) is necessary for absorbing certain nutrients, like the Vitamin A in asparagus.
Makes 4 servings
1½ pounds fresh asparagus spears
1½ tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons salt-free lemon pepper seasoning
1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
2. Clean asparagus and break off tough ends. Arrange spears in a single layer on a large 10 x 15 x 1-inch baking pan.
3. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning.
4. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Nutrition information (per serving)
4 g protein
4 g carbohydrates
5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
0 mg cholesterol
5 mg sodium
32 mg calcium
1 mg iron
1030 IU vitamin A
15 mg vitamin C
3 g fiber
Kim Galeaz is an Indianapolis-based registered dietitian and owner of Galeaz Food & Nutrition Communications. As a freelance culinary-nutrition consultant, she has worked with many companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, The Kroger Company and Weider Publications, to help position and promote smart and healthy food, beverage and lifestyle choices.