by Laura Stepp, MA, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian at LMC
It’s National Nutrition Month! Time To savor the flavor of eating right.All colors of food are important to include in our meals, but since it’s March and I’m part Irish I think we need to explore the world of green foods. Besides the obvious green leafy choices, there are several excellent foods coming into season that will help put new life into our spring meals.
Asparagus and Brussel sprouts “spring” to mind. Both can seem scary due to their natural chemical makeup that can sometime cause them to smell (and sometimes taste), well, not so good. Both vegetables offer a variety of nutrients that are beneficial to our health and both can be used in several ways to increase flavor and variety to our recipes.
Eaten on their own and simply prepared allows asparagus and Brussel sprouts to show off just how good they really can taste. One of my favorite ways to prepare and eat either of these vegetables is to roast them in a 400 degree oven. If you are roasting Brussel sprouts, first cut them in halves or quarters. Drizzle a little olive oil and cracked pepper over the top, and then toss well before spreading on a cookie sheet in a single layer. I roast for 15 mins and check them. Brussel sprouts will need to be tossed and put back in for another 10-15 minutes depending if they were cut in half or quarters.
Oven roasting brings out and enhances the natural nuttiness of the vegetables without the smell that typically turns most people away. In addition to oven roasting, grilling or sautéing (stir-fry) will also enhance the flavor. (Tip: Choose asparagus that is thin, not thick, and trim the hard white ends off before cooking) A squeeze of lemon and some fresh grated parmesan cheese is an excellent way to finish off this simply heart-healthy side.