Saturday, May 31, 2014

Leader Enterprise - May 28, 2014 - Asparagus

Let me begin by thanking each of you who have had a part in encouraging or praying for our family as we grieve the sudden loss of our oldest grandchild, Ashtyn Baker. It's a stark reminder that life is short, and to love the people in your life because we never know when God is going to want them back. God's grace is sufficient and amazing. We covet your continued prayers as we struggle to find our 'new normal'.

Just as spring is a time of new beginnings, asparagus is one of those springtime veggies that I love to experiment with. 

After reading this nutritional info at Eating Well (eatingwell.com) I decided it was worth sharing with my readers. Looks like eating asparagus will help keep us looking younger and is full of good-for-you protection against such things as cancer!

Just as a spear is used as a weapon, asparagus’s javelin-shaped form could be viewed as symbolic for its age-and disease-fighting abilities. Asparagus is packed with health benefits:


1- It’s loaded with nutrients: Asparagus is a very good source of fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K, as well as chromium, a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells.


2- This plant — along with avocado, kale and Brussels sprouts — is a particularly rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals. This is why eating asparagus may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer, such as bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung cancers.

3- Asparagus is packed with antioxidants, ranking among the top fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals. This, according to preliminary research, may help slow the aging process. 

4-Another anti-aging property of this delicious spring veggie is that it may help our brains fight cognitive decline. Like leafy greens, asparagus delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12 — found in fish, poultry, meat and dairy— to help prevent cognitive impairment. In a study from Tufts University, older adults with healthy levels of folate and B12 performed better on a test of response speed and mental flexibility. (If you’re 50-plus, be sure you’re getting enough B12: your ability to absorb it decreases with age.)

ROASTED ASPARAGUS 
Preheat oven to 450°F. Trim tough ends from asparagus (if you bend the ends, they break off where they should); place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 tsp.(garlic) salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper; toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast, turning once halfway through, until the asparagus begins to soften and brown, 12 - 14 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.

ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE

1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
4 Tb. butter or margarine,melted
2- (15 ozs)cans asparagus spears, drained
(or 2 - 3 c. fresh cooked asparagus)
1- (8 ozs) can sliced water chestnuts, optional
2 - 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 c. evaporated or 2% milk
1- (10.75 ozs) can cream of mushroom soup

Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9" x 9" baking dish. In small bowl, mix cracker crumbs with butter; place half in bottom of dish. Layer asparagus, water chestnuts and chopped eggs on top of crumbs. In small bowl, mix milk and soup; pour over top. Sprinkle with remaining cracker crumbs on top. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbly. May sprinkle asparagus with shredded cheese before topping with crumbs prior to baking if desired. 

I recently tried this wonderful coleslaw. Great for summertime picnics and potlucks.

(A blog follower recently told me this was the BEST coleslaw she's ever had!=)

COPYCAT KFC COLESLAW



1- (1 lb.) package pre-shredded coleslaw mix with cabbage and carrots 
2 TB. minced onion
1/3 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. mayo
1/4 c. buttermilk
1-1/2 TBS. white vinegar
2-1/2 TB. lemon juice
Dried Parsley Flakes 

Place coleslaw mix in a large bowl. Add onions. Mix well. (Place mix in a food processor and pulse to shred a little finer if you desire the same texture as KFC serves.)

In a medium bowl combine buttermilk, milk, mayo, sugar, salt, pepper, vinegar, and lemon juice. Whisk well. Pour over cabbage mix. Stir well. Sprinkle with dried parsley. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving.





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