Growing up in rural England, the advent of the asparagus season from the local farms always meant something extra special: summer and those lazy carefree days were just around the corner. Lightly steamed and dipped in butter, we worshipped this fragrant vegetable even though as children we were only allowed one or two spears at a time. Perhaps that experience made me consider it one of life’s true delicacies. Now, asparagus is everywhere. Loaded with vitamins A,C,E and K, folic acid and iron it can be considered one of the super vegetables. The tastiest asparagus I ever ate in the U.S. was from the Lancaster Central Market from the Amish farmers and I hope to make a return trip there this year and roast it on the grill with my family. In Brooklyn, I just bought a delicious bunch from our food coop for $1.50. I think I’ll make it my mission to eat a bunch a day from now on throughout the spring. As they say in merry old England, it would be rude not to.
Did you know that quinoa is one of the highest protein sources available?
Cultivated by the ancient Incas, this is a true super grain and great for wellness warriors! It’s also full of fiber which is perfect for your digestion, making you feel full and helping with weight-loss. Make a batch and keep it in the fridge during the week. Mix with salad ingredients for lunch or chicken or fish and vegetables for dinner to make a super healthy meal.
Here is one of my favorite quinoa recipes to get you started. Bon appetit!
Breakfast Quinoa with Pear and Walnuts
- 1 cup dry white or red quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups water (or dairy or nut milk)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Raw honey or maple syrup to taste
- Toppings: 1 chopped pear, chopped raw walnuts
- Optional toppings: Blueberries, ginger
Combine quinoa, water (or milk), cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa is cooked an you can fluff it with a fork. Serve in a bowl with chopped pear blueberries, a little raw honey, and enjoy.
I don’t think I even tried kale until about two years ago. Put off by the mass of dark green curly leaves, I had no clue what it tasted like or how to prepare it. It certainly looked healthy but I told myself it was some kind of hippy vegetable and instead stuck with my very safe broccoli and spinach. Kale is now an über-trendy vegetable gracing restaurant menus and farmers’ markets all over the land. Everyone loves kale – right? Well, it’s certainly ticks all the right nutritional boxes: antioxidants, iron, vitamins A, C, K, calcium and more. The problem is, how to cook it? Raw, fried, boiled or baked?