Roasted Asparagus Squares with Walnut Crust *Gluten Free
Other than blooming daffodils and early morning runs in lighter clothing, nothing screams springtime like homegrown asparagus. This pencil shaped veggie is another green you should be adding to your grocery cart or picking up at farmers’ markets. Asparagus is low in calories, only 20 calories per eight spears, contains vitamin C and Vitamin A. It is also an excellent source of folate. Folate or folic acid, is one of 8 B vitamins. All B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy. As runners, folate is crucial when our energy may be low due to a hectic training schedule.
The following recipe makes for a delicious brunch after a long Sunday run, or a weeknight supper when served with mixed greens. It is loaded with protein from both plant and animal sources (to help build and repair muscles) and has extra veggies for nutrients and fiber to fuel you and your family well. From my Happy Healthy Kitchen to Yours, ENJOY!
1 cup (250 mL) each; walnut halves and brown rice flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut oil or cold cubed butter
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme leaves
½ tsp (2 mL) each; salt and pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) water
½ lb. (250 g) asparagus spears, about 15 (white ends removed) and chopped in 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1 cup (250 mL) each; chopped red pepper and chopped carrot
2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil
½ tsp (2 mL) minced fresh garlic
½ tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon zest
¼ tsp (1 mL) each; salt, ground nutmeg and hot sauce
½ cup (125 mL) chopped green onion
1/3 cup (75 mL) crumbled goat cheese
Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Place ingredients for base in food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until mixture resembles a fine meal. Press into the bottom of a parchment paper lined 9 inch (2.5 L) square baking pan. Bake in center of pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes or until edges are slightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack while preparing filling.
Turn oven heat up to 425 F (220 C). Toss vegetables with oil and garlic. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes stirring once during baking. Remove from oven and set aside while preparing egg mixture. Place eggs, zest, salt, nutmeg and hot sauce in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and pulse until very well combined. Place roasted vegetables, green onion and goat cheese evenly on top of baked crust and pour egg mixture on top. Carefully place pan in center of oven and bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until just set. Remove from oven and cool slightly on wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Cut into 9 squares.
Charmaine Broughton-Dunn is a trained chef, cooking instructor, and food writer for a number of national publications. She is an avid runner (completing dozens of marathons and triathlons) and is a very proud ambassador of Mizuno Running. Charmaine has appeared on City Line, Toronto’s Breakfast Television and is a regular guest on Rogers Daytime sharing her love of food and cooking.
Most importantly; Charmaine is the mother of two active boys, Tyler & Colgan. Charmaine understands the importance of preparing healthy wholesome dishes all while keeping budget and time in mind. Follow Charmaine on twitter @runnercharb www.charmainebroughton.com