The Low Carb Luxury Newsletter: 
Volume III / Number 08: April 26, 2002: Page 4
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      Cooking TLC with Karen Rysavy
Asparagus Season is Upon Us!

ASPARAGUS Did you know...

Asparagus is one of the most nutritionally balanced vegetables in existence, providing a wealth of folic acid, potassium, and fiber? Not to mention Vitamin A, folacin, thiamin, vitamin B6, rutin, a drug which strengthens capillary walls, and glutathione, one of the most potent anticarcinogens and antioxidants found within the body? It even has protein!

Asparagus is always best fresh, and although available at other times of year, our two old friends, "Supply and Demand" insure that prices are lowest in the spring. Be sure to take advantage of local seasonal sales when you can.

Asparagus may be sliced in half to one inch lengths for stir-frying, or it may be roasted, grilled, boiled, baked, or steamed either whole or in lengths. Asparagus should be bright green and firm after cooking, not soft or limp.

Asparagus pairs nicely with fish, another food that I try to eat because "it's good for me". If you are a little "iffy" on the taste of asparagus, but are sold on the nutrition benefits, these recipes may help you learn to like this powerhouse of nutrition. If you already like it, good for you - Eat up!

According to the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board, 5 average-sized spears of asparagus weigh 93 grams and contain 20 calories, 0 g fat, 5 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 2 g protein. One pound of fresh asparagus will typically yield about 2 dozen spears.

Roasted Spring Asparagus

  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus (450 gm)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (30 ml)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
ASPARAGUS Wash, dry, and trim the cut ends of the asparagus spears. Roll each spear in olive oil; then grill or place under broiler, turning occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.

Remove to a serving platter, squeeze fresh lime juice over top, and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper.

NUTRITIONAL INFO: 4 servings: 90 calories; 7 g fat (0 sat); 6 g carbohydrate (2 g fiber); 2 g protein, each.

Quick Asparagus Chowder

  • 8 oz. (225 gm) cleaned "white" fish , (cod, sole, orange roughy, haddock, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (120 ml by volume)
  • 2 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced (about 1/2 cup or 56 gm)
  • 8 oz. fresh asparagus, in 1-inch pieces (about 1 cup, 225 gm)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (5 ml)
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (60 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh minced thyme (or 1/2 the amount. dried)
  • 2 tsp. (10 ml) fresh minced parsley (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken broth (360 ml)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash hot pepper sauce
  • 2 cups half and half cream (480 ml)
  • 2 Tablespoons dry white wine (30 ml, optional but recommended)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Swiss, Parmesan or Romano cheese (2 oz. or 56 gm)
Quick Asparagus Chowder Sauté onion, mushrooms, asparagus, and garlic in large sauté pan in butter until vegetables are crisp-tender (approximately 5-8 minutes, depending on size). Meanwhile, chop fish into bite-size pieces and set aside.

Add parsley, thyme, broth, and cream to vegetable mixture. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce. Cook over medium heat for five to ten minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened to your liking; add fish.

Simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes more or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when speared with fork. Add cheese and continue to cook and stir until smooth.

NUTRITION INFO 4 servings: 400 calories; 30 g fat (18 g sat); 9 g carbohydrate
(1 g fiber); 21 g protein, each.

Asparagus Hot Pot

Asparagus Hot Pot
  • 2 lbs. cooked, deboned chicken (or any other meat;
    this is a great recipe for using up leftovers - 900 gm)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (240 ml)
  • 1-1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar (360 ml)
  • 2 oz. toasted, slivered almonds (56gm)
  • 2 lbs. fresh or frozen asparagus (900 gm)
Chop fresh asparagus spears into one inch lengths and submerge in boiling water for three minutes (blanch); and drain. Arrange half of the asparagus and meat in a large greased casserole dish or 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with half of the cheese; drizzle half of the cream over that; sprinkle half of the toasted almonds over the other layers. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.

Bake at 375°F for 30-45 minutes, until bubbly and golden on top.

NUTRITION INFO 8 servings, 435 calories; 26 g fat (12 sat); 8 g carbohydrate (2 g fiber); 44 g protein

Lemon-Sesame Asparagus

  • 1 lb. fresh asparagus (450 gm)
  • 2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar (30 ml)
  • 1 Tablespoon water (15 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (5 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted (10 ml)
Lemon-Sesame Asparagus Wash, dry, and trim the cut ends of the asparagus spears. Steam or boil until tender- crisp; set aside to keep warm.

Combine vinegar and next 3 ingredients; pour over asparagus; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

NUTRITION INFO: 4 servings: 43 calories; 2 g fat (0 sat); 6 g carbohydrate (2 g fiber); 2 g protein, each.

Asparagus Refrigerator Pickles

  • 3 pounds fresh asparagus (1350 gm)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups water (960 ml)
  • 2 cups white vinegar (480 ml)
  • 3 Tablespoons coarse pickling salt (45 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon pickling spice (5 ml)
Asparagus Boil brine for 15 minutes; strain and set aside.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes; remove from pan and immediately plunge into ice water, to halt the cooking process.

Pack asparagus, standing up, into 2 quart size glass jars and add 3 cloves of whole, peeled garlic to each jar. Fill jars with warm, strained brine to within 1/2 inch of top of jar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 weeks before eating.

NUTRITION INFO: Around 72 pickles, approximately 5 calories; 0 g fat; 1g carbohydrate, per pickle.

Elegant Shellfish Appetizer Souffles

  • 1 pound fresh baby asparagus (450 gm)
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 additional egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (2 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (1 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (5 ml)
  • 6 ounces cooked, diced or shredded shellfish (170 gm, about 1 cup lobster, scallop, crab, etc. Canned lump crab is very easy and tasty.)
Elegant Shellfish Appetizer Souffles Remove, chop roughly, and reserve the tips of the asparagus spears. Cut the spears into small pieces and puree until smooth in either blender or food processor.

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Lightly butter six small ramekins. Add egg yolks and pepper to mixing bowl or food processor and beat until thick and lemon colored.

In separate, clean bowl, beat egg whites on low until foamy. Increase speed; add salt and lemon juice and continue beating at high speed until the egg whites are firm but not dry. Fold in the asparagus puree, chopped tips, and the diced, cooked shellfish. Divide evenly among prepared dishes and bake until the tops are firm and lightly browned, 10-12 minutes.

NUTRITION INFO: 4 servings: 85 calories; 3 g fat (0 sat); 4 g carbohydrate (1 g fiber); 11 g protein, each.

If you like these recipes, you’ll LOVE my cookbook, Cooking TLC! Order your autographed copy direct from to receive FREE Priority Shipping!

            NEW and EXCITING products from The Low Carb Chef!

Thank you for your excellent response on the new Low Carb Chef "Aunt Paula's" cookie mix, The Chef bread machine mix and buttermilk pancake mix! Keep checking back for an announcement of more from The Chef and his "Aunt Paula's" line! As always, if you are not completely satisfied with anything from The Low Carb Chef's kitchen, your purchase price will be gladly refunded!

The Low Carb Chef
In the event you missed it in the last newsletter, The Low Carb Chef proudly introduced his "Aunt Paula’s" line of Chewy Chocolate Chip w/Walnut Cookie Mix and her Chewy Peanut Butter Cookie Mix! There is no better cookie mix on the low carb market! Each LARGE cookie has less than 1 gram of effective carbohydrate and each bag of mix makes 24 LARGE cookies. You will not be able to tell the difference between the taste of these cookies and the ones you find in the "fresh baked" section of the convenience stores! We have received another shipment of the mixes and should be in good supply for the forseeable future. See the Low Carb Luxury review of these terrific cookies!

To thank you for your business, on checkout, use the coupon code of "Lora" (without the quotation marks) for 10% off on your next order!

As always, we have a wide variety of other products available at, where we bring the low carb store, right to your door!

                                              Brett and Wanda
              Designed with the practical low carb dieter in mind!

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