Last week, we celebrated the start of spring with some tasty recipes using this season's best produce. Now we're focusing on one spring veggie that's at its peak right now: asparagus.
What's great about this versatile vegetable is that it can be sautéd, boiled, or just enjoyed raw. It mixes well in pastas, salads and stir-fries, which are some of the dishes we chose for you this week.
One cup of cooked asparagus contains only 40 calories – even more of a reason to use it to bulk up your meals! Consuming one cup will provide you with more than 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, which plays a key role in regulating the clotting of blood and preventing excessive bleeding.
Try cooking these flavorful meals that feature asparagus below. All are less than 400 calories!
Monday: Lemony asparagus pasta
This pasta dish uses whole wheat penne and has a rich-tasting, but low-fat sauce that combines mustard with lemon and Parmesan cheese. It only takes 35 minutes to make!
Per serving: 396 calories 12g fat, 54g carbohydrates, 21g protein, 6g fiber
Tuesday: Sautéd asparagus and shrimp with gremolata
This simple, low-carb meal is made with asparagus, shrimp and a few spices. A fresh lemon-herb topping provides this light dish with some zesty flavor.
Per serving: 240 calories 7.6g fat, 5.2g carbohydrates, 36.1g protein, 1.6g fiber
Wednesday: Asparagus and salmon spring rolls
These low-calorie spring rolls are filled with salmon, asparagus, and fresh herbs. Although this finger food may look difficult to make, the recipe is actually very simple! The dipping sauce is prepared with soy sauce, orange juice, lemon juice, mirin, and crushed red pepper.
Per serving: 102 calories 3g fat, 13g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 2g fiber
Thursday: Quinoa salad with asparagus, dates, and oranges
This vegetarian dish is full of protein-packed quinoa, pecans, dates, oranges, and a half-pound of asparagus. Make a homemade dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mint, and salt and pepper.
Per serving: 164 calories 6.3g fat, 24.7g carbohydrates, 4.3g protein, 3.4g fiber
Friday: Chicken and asparagus lemon stir-fry
Throw a few ingredients together for the simple, but tasty stir-fry that has more than 40 grams of protein! The recipe calls for reduced-sodium soy sauce, lemon juice and garlic for seasoning.
Per serving: 268 calories 7g fat, 10g carbohydrates, 41g protein, 3g fiber