I can’t believe this is my first asparagus recipe. I feel like I eat it often enough for it to have made it into the blog already. I recently read a post on Smithsonian.com that explained why asparagus gives the smell of our urine a bit more punch. It turns out that asparagus contains a chemical called asparagusic acid. (I imagine that the chemical-naming team had a very difficult time coming up with that one). Asparagusic acid itself does not have a potent smell, but when our bodies process this chemical it is broken down into other compounds that contain sulphur. Molecules containing sulphur are notorious for their powerful smells (think about garlic, rotten eggs and the stuff that skunks spray). Those sulphur compounds from the broken down asparagusic acid exit our bodies through urine with a pungent smell. Yay!
Sulphur-smells aside, asparagus is an excellent vegetable to include in your diet. It has a low-glycemic index, chock full of antioxidants and contains high levels of vitamins B1, B2, B9 (folate) and K. Folate is a very important vitamin especially for women who are capable of becoming pregnant as it reduces the risks of neural tube defects and other birth defects.
Try this recipe and let me know what you think. I added tomatoes for color and some additional flavor. You can also consider throwing in some red bell peppers and onions.
Prep Time: 10 minutes . Cook Time: 20-30 minutes . Yield: Serves 6
1.5 Lbs Asparagus
4 Cloves Garlic, minces
1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
8 Oz Baby Portobello Mushrooms, quartered
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Juice from one Lemon
Dash (or two) of Cayenne Pepper
Salt and Black Pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil
3. Add all ingredients to baking sheet and toss so that vegetables are evenly coated with spices and oil. Spread vegetables into a single layer
4. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes until asparagus is soft and to desired texture. Add lemon juice and toss vegetables. Serve warm.
Nutrition per serving (5 Oz): 64 Cals; 9g Carb; 3g Fat; 4g Protein; 3g Dietary Fiber
Nutrition calculated using the MyFitnessPal Recipe Importer