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10 Incredibly Addictive New Ways to Eat Asparagus

10 Incredibly Addictive New Ways to Eat Asparagus

You can roast it, bake it, broil it, eat it in a salad or even in a dessert.  Asparagus is the quintessential spring vegetable.  There are 20 different varieties, but green asparagus is the most common.  It’s full of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and it tastes pretty good too.  Here are ten delicious ways to make this green veggie a staple in your diet.

1. With Sour Cream and Garlic

Cream of Asparagus Soup

    Cream of Asparagus Soup

    This recipe can be either a first course or an entre.  It’s easy, has fewer than ten ingredients and takes less than an hour to prep and cook.

    2. With Parmesan and Olive Oil

    Roasted Asparagus1

      Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

      The Barefoot Contessa can make even the most simple of recipes look elegant and impressive.  You’re basically covering the asparagus with olive oil, a little salt and pepper and parmesan cheese.  You stick it in the oven at 400 degrees for 15–20 minutes and that’s it.  A perfect side that will compliment any dish.

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      3. With Bacon

      asparagus bacon

        Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

        This is a no-brainer.  Seriously, you know that anything with “bacon-wrapped” in the title is going to be delicious and the fact that it’s asparagus means you’re getting some nutrition in there as well.

        4. With Olive Oil and Spices

        roasted asparagus

          Roasted Asparagus

          This is another Barefoot Contessa dish.  All you need is the asparagus, olive oil and a little salt and pepper.  You can even add some slices of fresh garlic if you want a little more flavor.  That’s it.  I’ll make this at least three times a week.  It’s a recipe that never gets old and couldn’t be easier.

          5. With Heavy Cream, Butter and Parmesan

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          fettuccinealfredo2

            Fettuccine Alfredo with Asparagus

            Butter, heavy cream, pasta, parmesan; you blend them all together and get one delicious meal.  Once you throw some cooked asparagus in there, you’ll turn this yummy pasta dish into a meal packed with vitamins A, B, C and K.

            6. With Canola Oil and Dijon Mustard

            vinaigrette

              Asparagus Vinaigrette

              Boiled asparagus is blended with mustard, canola oil, lemon juice, chives and salt and pepper.  You can add it to a salad or even use it as a marinade for steak, chicken and salmon.

              7. With Pine Nuts and Parmesan

              asparagus pesto

                Asparagus Pesto

                You’ll only need about 20 minutes and a food processor to whip this up.  You just combine cooked asparagus with pine nuts, parmesan, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.  You can toss it over pasta or like the vinaigrette, it makes a tasty, light marinade for chicken or fish.  You can even brush it on vegetables to cook on the grill this summer.

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                8. With Sliced Tomatoes and Prosciutto

                asparagus tartine

                  Asparagus-Cheese Tartines

                  This open-faced sandwich combines asparagus, tomatoes and three kinds of gooey, melted cheese over toasted bread.  It’ll take you about a half hour to put everything together and pop it under the broiler.  This is the best kind of recipe; it’s delicious and easy, but it’ll look like you’ve been in the kitchen all day.

                  9. With Green Peas

                  Asparagus_Flan-4

                    Asparagus Flan

                    You’ve heard of rhubarb pie and zucchini bread, so why not a dessert made from asparagus?  You’ll need heavy cream, parmesan cheese, peas, asparagus and a few other ingredients.  You blend them all together in a food processor, pour the mix into ramekins and pop them in the oven.  You’ll end up with a light yet savory dessert.

                    10. With Cilantro and Greek Yogurt

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                    asparagus guacamole

                      Asparagus Guacamole

                      If you want to cut out some calories, you can substitute avocado with asparagus in your guacamole.  This recipe calls for cooked asparagus, lemon juice, Greek yogurt and spices mixed in a food processor.  You then stir in the remaining ingredients and set aside to chill.  You can make this with nachos, or use it as a sandwich spread or just eat it with chips.  It’s a light, healthy, summer snack that’s packed with vitamins and nutrients.

                      Asparagus is loaded with fiber, folate, vitamins A, B, C and K and studies say that it may help protect against and fight certain forms of cancer.  Face it, if more people snacked on asparagus instead of sugary snacks and processed food, this world would be a healthier place.

                      Featured photo credit: madlyinlovewithlife via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

                      There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

                      One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

                      In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

                      Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

                      1. Cat Camel Stretch

                      Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

                      Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

                      Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

                      Here’s a video to guide you through:

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                      2. Go for a Walk or a Run

                      This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

                      Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

                      The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

                      Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

                      Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

                      3. Jumping Jacks

                      Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

                      Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

                      4. Abductor Side Lifts

                      Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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                      Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

                      5. Balancing Table Pose

                      This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

                      Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

                      ablab

                        6. Leg Squats

                        Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

                        Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

                        The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

                        7. Push Ups

                        You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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                        An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

                        Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

                        8. Bicycle Crunches

                        There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

                        Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

                        9. Lunges

                        Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

                        Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

                        This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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                        10. Bicep Curls

                        You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

                        Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

                        Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

                        Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

                        Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

                        These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

                        You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

                        Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

                        More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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