I like nearly any and every food, but Lucas is a bit picky when it comes to veggies. Green beans, broccoli, simple salads, and asparagus are some of the few veggies he enjoys, so we have them a lot. With asparagus season in full force here in Tennessee, I've been making my Garlicky Roasted Asparagus pretty regularly, and I’m not mad about it! Not only is it super simple and flavorful, but it pairs well with nearly any protein and starch/grain and is a tasty way get in some "color" at meal time.
Add Asparagus to Your Diet this Spring
Asparagus season is short here in Tennessee. According to the Seasonal Food Guide, asparagus season starts in April and ends in May, so I'm embracing this lovely green vegetable full force and keeping this Garlicky Roasted Asparagus on the meal plan for as long as I can!
I like to eat foods when they are in season for a few reasons. First, seasonal produce is usually cheaper; second, it tastes best when it's in season; and third, it is most nutrient dense at peak season. So adding asparagus to your regular meal routine this spring is a great way to get in some good nutrition with killer flavor and get the biggest bang for your buck!
Lean More About Seasonal Produce
If you're interested in learning more about foods that are in season in your area, check out the Seasonal Food Guide. For a more general guideline of what's in season throughout the year, check out this list from USDA.
Speaking of "good nutrition," asparagus is a non-starchy vegetable rich in folate, vitamins A, C, E, and K; and chromium. This green, stalky vegetable also contains prebiotics which help to promote gut health as well as antioxidants which help to protect your cells and prevent some chronic disease. Add this nutrient dense Garlicky Roasted Asparagus recipe to your spring meal plan to try something tasty and new while nourishing your body.
Blueprint for Building a Balanced Plate
When it comes to building a balanced plate, you want to focus on variety - most importantly variety in color and food group, but also flavor and texture - to fuel and nourish your body well and promote satiety. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I find that the best way to build a balanced plate is to follow this simple blueprint:
Aim to fill half of your plate with colorful non-starchy vegetables and/or fruits.
Aim to fill a fourth of your plate with lean protein.
Aim to fill a fourth of your plate with starchy vegetables or grains.
Aim to include 1-2 tbsp. healthy fats.
Real Life Balanced Plate
Here's a real life example of a balanced dinner plate that I made recently:
Aim For Balance, Not Perfection
All of these food groups, non-starchy vegetables and fruits (that includes lovely spring asparagus!), lean protein, starchy vegetables and grains, and healthy fats, play important rolls in the body. It’s okay if some of your meals don’t perfectly follow this blueprint, but aiming to incorporate a balance of each of these food groups into most of your meals is a great way to nourish your body well, promote your health, and leave you feeling fueled and satisfied.
Now let's make some colorful Garlicky Roasted Asparagus!
What’s in This Recipe?
Asparagus – rich in folate and vitamins A, K, E, and C, contains prebiotics and antioxidants
Olive oil – contains heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs)
Seasonings – garlic and herb seasoning or garlic powder or fresh minced garlic, salt, and pepper
Notes: This recipe is naturally gluten free and vegan. It also pairs well with nearly any protein and starchy/grain!
Garlicky Roasted Asparagus
Prep time: 5 minutes Bake time: 15-20 minutes Total time: 20-25 minutes Servings: 3-4 servings
1 bunch of asparagus, washed and trimmed
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. garlic and herb seasoning (I like this one) or garlic powder or 1-2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400oF, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the asparagus to lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and add seasonings. Toss to coat.
Roast for 15-20 minutes.
Serve immediately alongside a lean protein and starch/grain for a balanced meal.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.