Here are two simple recipes for a vegetable and carbohydrate side dish. All you need to add is a protein source (grilled/baked chicken, salmon and cod are always my go-to proteins), and you have a delicious, healthy home-cooked meal in no time. Potatoes get a bad rep. If you're choosing between sweet and white potatoes, always go for the sweet. It has a lower Glycemic Index, which means a slower spike in blood sugar and slower digestion for longer, more sustained energy levels. But, if you're craving something more savory--fast-food french fries, perhaps--then, preparing these parmesan potato wedges will satisfy your taste buds and is much better for your health. The skin is full of essential minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals, according to a LIVESTRONG article.
Asparagus is a diet staple for the health and fitness guru. This green vege has high levels of the amino acid asparagine, which acts as a natural diuretic and helps the body release excess fluids (bloat) and salts. According to the Eating Well blog, asparagus is a rich source of fiber, folate, vitamin A, C, E and K, and glutathione (breaks down free radicals and carcinogens protecting the body from disease).
20-30 asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed (thicker spears are better for roasting)
5 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt-free seasoning of choice (I use Mrs. Dash Original)
salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: fresh lemon juice, parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread asparagus spears in one layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic, salt, pepper and seasoning on top. Cook for about 15 minutes or until tender and you can pierce easily with a fork. If you want a brown crisp to the ends, broil on high for 1 to 3 minutes at the end. Be careful, though, they can burn easily, so keep an eye on it. Optional: top with fresh squeezed lemon juice and/or grated parmesan cheese before serving.
Parmesan Potato Wedges
4 large baking potatoes, cut in 2'' wedges (slice in half lengthwise and slice each half lengthwise three more times, resulting in 16 wedges from each potato)
2 to 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of the following: garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan and/or Romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (if you're making with the asparagus, you can cook together, assuming you're not using a tiny microwave oven). In a large bowl, toss the potato wedges with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, dried parsley, fresh rosemary, cheese and pepper. Arrange the wedges flat on a sheet tray. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, then flip each wedge to other side and continue cooking for another 20 minutes. When you can pierce with a fork and the edges are browned, they're ready. For that extra crisp, broil on high for the last 2 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle lightly with salt before serving. Enjoy!