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Spring Vegetables

 

Spring vegetable season is upon us.  Yipppppeeee!!!!!!  

I love fresh vegetables. Asparagus is available all year round these days. But the best asparagus is usually available in the spring when it is at its peak. I was in the grocery store the other day and the asparagus looked wonderful. So I bought some.

I am not a vegetarian. But I do have a couple of  just vegetable only recipes that I dearly love. One of my avorites uses fresh asparagus.  It is a Martha Stewart recipe from her magazine Everyday Food – Sautéed Scallions, Mushrooms, and Asparagus. I serve it with plain rice.

It is super simple and is not too very expensive; especially when asparagus is plentiful like it is now. I picked up a pound for $1.27, a real deal.

Did you know that asparagus is a member of the lily family?  Me either, until I looked it up for this post.

Asparagus is rich in protein but low in both calories and carbohydrates. If you want to know all of the nutritional and health benefits, and there are many, click the link in this paragraph.

Photo from Wikipedia

Asparagus was cultivated by the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans for its food and medicinal properties. Also according to Wikipedia, “There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s third century AD De re coquinaria, Book III.” WOW!!! [print_this]

 
Featured Recipe:  Sautéed Scallions, Mushrooms, and Asparagus
This is what you will need for 3 people:

1 pound fresh shitake mushrooms*

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 pound asparagus

2 bunches green onions*

S&P to taste

1 teaspoon white wine vinegar

You will also need:

¾ cup rice

1 teaspoon butter

*NOTES on ingredients:  1. To cut down the cost I only used ½ pound of shitake mushrooms.  2. I only use 1 (or less) bunch of green onions because I think the star of this recipe should be the asparagus and the mushrooms, not the onions. First time I made this recipe there were so many onions they over powered the recipe and the delicate taste of both the asparagus and mushrooms. So I cut back. In this recipe I used four onions. 3. The rice is my idea. Martha’s recipe did not suggest serving this with rice. But it is a very nice addition. It makes the dish extremely filling.

 

Here is what you do:

Start making the rice according to package directions.

With a brush or lightly damp paper towel clean the mushrooms, remove the stems, and slice.

Add the vegetable oil to a non-stick skillet and when it is hot add the mushrooms tossing often until they are browned. This will take about ten minutes.

Clean the asparagus well and slice on the diagonal.

 

Martha cooks the asparagus in boiling water for 3 minutes and puts them in ice water.  Personal note: I, on the other hand, steam them in the microwave for about 3 minutes. When they are done I put them in a colander and run them under very cold tap water to stop the cooking. The asparagus is not over cooked and stays just as crisp and for me, but  is easier and quicker to do.

 

 

Asparagus in my microwaveable steamer ready to go into the microwave.

Clean and cut the green onions on the diagonal.

When the mushrooms are nicely browned add the asparagus and the green onions.

Add some salt and pepper.

Cook tossing until the green onions start to wilt about 2-3 minutes. (Personal Note: I often find it necessary to add just a tiny bit of oil at this step in the recipe.)

By now your rice should be done. Place some on each plate and add some of the asparagus mixture.

 

 

Martha  says this recipe is only 111 calories, 4 grams of fat, 6.9 grams of protein, 16.6 grams of carbs, and 6.3 grams of fiber. Pretty healthy recipe for something that tastes so good.

 

Costs

Asparagus                      $1.27

Mushrooms                    $2.99

Green onions                 $0.32

White wine vinegar         $0.04

Rice                              $0.30

1 tsp. butter                  $0.15

Total copst for 3 people: $4.80
Cost per person: $1.60
Bon Appetite.
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