Roasted Asparagus; Salsa Vinaigrette
Olive oil is not a health food, even if it is of the extra virgin variety. There is so much misinformation coming from the mainstream media and government on nutrition that it is no wonder Americans are so confused about what is actually good for them.
Olive oil started growing in popularity back in the 1990’s when the Mediterranean diet started to take hold by way of the media. Unfortunately, we didn’t receive the message to eat tons of vegetables, fruits and beans but rather, olive oil is a health food. Americans started to dredge bread in it; use it for sautéing; pour liberal amounts on pasta and salads. The benefits the Mediterranean diet potentially offered, namely, a diet high in vegetation quickly became overshadowed by one of the most fattening, calorically dense foods on the planet.
The supposed health related benefits from olive oil are derived from studies comparing diets more plentiful in monounsaturated fats and low saturated fat with diets even higher in saturated fat. While the former diet obviously showed superior health benefits to the latter, it did not warrant calling olive oil heart healthy, although some still argue otherwise.
The fact is olive oil is 100% fat. It is 120 calories per tablespoon, packs in more calories per pound than butter (butter: 3,200; oil 4,200) and is extremely low in nutrients (providing only a little vitamin E). In addition, olive oil is a highly processed food, filling your body with empty calories which can add fat to your waistline & heighten your risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and cancer.
Cooking your food in olive oil or using it as the main ingredient in your salad dressing’s will only make your diet less effective and you will not lose weight as easily. Worse yet, you may find you are not even losing weight at all. It is a good idea to learn to substitute vegetable broth, wine, water or fruit juice for oil or at least considerably reduce the quantities called for in recipes.
It is time to get back to the origin of the Mediterranean Diet that afforded the people on the Island of Crete to live virtually free of heart disease…a diet loaded with veggies, fruits and beans.
Try roasting any vegetable without olive oil, you might be surprised by the delicious natural flavors you discover!
Preheat Oven: 400 degrees
1-2 pounds of Asparagus (cut rough stems off)
Sea salt (optional)
Place asparagus on a large baking sheet. Pour enough broth over the spears to coat the bottom of the pan. Roast asparagus for 10-15 minutes. Add optional sea salt and other desired seasoning such as lemon juice, minced garlic or fresh thyme.
This dressing is great over a simple salad of mixed greens, chopped avocado and black beans.
½ cup salsa
¼ cup brown rice vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.