Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables to prepare and to share with others, but probably not for the reasons you might think.

Sure asparagus is low in calories, packed with nutrients, and provides a great hangover cure with its good dose of minerals and amino acids to rid the liver of alcohol’s toxins. And, I cannot argue that its load of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants is amazing to diminish bloating, to aid with weight loss and fighting free radicals, to boost immunity, and even to improve mood and increase feelings of arousal. All compelling arguments to eat more asparagus with pretty amazing health benefits… I get it! But the thing I love most about asparagus is its beauty!

I’m all for elegance and class wrapped around health! Strength hidden behind a beautiful package! That’s where it is for me! Asparagus screams of beauty and style while keeping health benefits on the low down. That’s how I like to roll. Strong and beautiful.

That being said, asparagus will always have a place at my dinner table, especially when guests are involved. Somehow, it elevates my dinner to a whole new level, making it appear fancier and more amazing. Who doesn’t need help with that? Suddenly, my average dinner becomes something magically exquisite, and is somehow more impressive that a leafy salad.

And when you have the ability to throw together a gorgeously green asparagus dish that requires minimal preparation or thought with ingredients you already have sitting around, why not include it for festive occasions? Having an easy, “go to” side dish is a pretty amazing thing when entertaining for a crowd so you can focus on the whole meal all while having some fun too. No fuss, no muss. Just yummy and beautiful goodness.

Let’s get cooking!

LEMON ROASTED ASPARAGUS, serves 4

Author: Kristen Tinker, inspired by my sister, Shari Powers

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, larger stalks are ideal
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil (olive works fine too)
  • 1 tbsp juice from fresh lemonĀ (zest it first)
  • 1/2 tsp raw cane sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (more if you like garlic)
  • zest from one lemon
  • 2 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds), roasted and salted….any seed will do!

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to broiler.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Clean asparagus and snap off the ends with your hands (don’t use a knife). By using hands, they will naturally break at the proper place on the stalk.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice (zest it first) and use hands to distribute, adding more oil if needed to moisten.
  5. Broil on top shelf, with the door open for about 4-5 minutes, until they get slightly brown in spots (as if grilled) and softened.
  6. Meanwhile, mix sugar and spices in a very small bowl.
  7. Remove asparagus from oven and toss with sugar and spice mixture until well-incorporated. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  8. Transfer mixture to serving dish and arrange in long stalks. Sprinkle with pepitas and lemon zest, tossing some to the side for garnish.

SERVE WARM! ENJOY!

Please share your creations and tag me @pacerkristen/ #pacerkristen when you do! I might feature your awesomeness in my next weekly Eblast!