One of my favorite nights during summer months is Sunday. While many people would choose a different day, as Sunday is the end of the weekend, beginning of a new work week, etc., I picked that day because our friends get together for a BBQ, every Sunday from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend.
In addition to great conversations and beautiful weather that we get to enjoy on a beautiful downtown balcony (thanks Marty!) the food we make is simply good food. It’s a sort of pot luck theme and most of our friends bring something delicious they made with farmers market vegetables, or dessert from a local patisserie or a great bottle of wine.
Brad, my boyfriend, is in charge of the grill. And I, being someone who cooks professionally, am in charge of some pretty important details like the meat marinade, vegetable prep and marinade, and typically some appetizers. Now, little do many of these friends know, but all the food I make is much healthier than they are accustomed to. But I have to brag a bit because during every BBQ the inevitable shout of “Kendra, this dip is amazing! What’s in it?” or “the vegetables are so good tonight!” comes along.
The thing I love the most about these BBQs is that I get to introduce food to people who may have never had something like Greek yogurt before, let alone made into a caramelized french onion dip. Or I get to show people that you can put the asparagus right on the grill, no need to wrap them in foil or roast them in the oven!
This brings me to my the topic of vegetables on the grill. Delicious! If have hesitated in the past to put your veggies right on those searing hot grates, prepare yourself for a whole new world of flavor this summer. Vegetables, unlike animal proteins, can char without the concern of carcinogens forming on the charred surface. And because you can get those vegetables nice and dark they develop such amazing flavor that is unattainable with any other cooking method. And one of my favorite vegetables on the grill is Asparagus.
Now, I am sure many of you are groaning because of the inevitable thought, “asparagus makes my pee smell.” Ha! Yes, this is true. But let me at least enlighten you with the reasoning behind this and then we will continue on to how delicious and healthy it is for you. The reason you have such vibrantly scented bathroom trips after you eat asparagus is due to an amino acid that gets excreted called asparagine. So, whether you feel better or not about it, whatever, but at least you have some random fact that might get you kudos for blurting out at your next bbq.
In addition to being delish, asparagus has some very good nutrient content. For one cup of asparagus you get about 25 calories, half of those coming from protein. Asparagus is also a good source of beta carotene, vit C and A, vit. B6, potassium, phosphorus, iron, riboflavin and thiamine. So eat those asparagus spears and make your body happy (just don’t forget to spray the air freshner after you use the restroom, ha!)!
· 1 lb. asparagus, washed and ends trimmed about 1”
· 1 T. olive oil
· fresh squeezed juice from ½ medium lemon
· fresh sea salt and cracked pepper (about 1 t. each)
Place asparagus in baggie or bowl and toss with olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Mix so the stalks are all coated then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until tops are beginning to char and asparagus are tender, about 7-8 minutes. Enjoy!