side dish, Side Dishes, vegetables

$3 and 40 Minute Baked Asparagus

Tender. Crispy. Delicious. Homemade. Asparagus? Yes, asparagus. Time to move that meat to the side of the plate and explore some new flavors! Especially since you’re rarely paying more than $2.50 for a pound!

This recipe can be modified for other vegetables such as carrots, green beans, broccoli, etc. Asparagus is used as an example. Slight tweaks may be needed depending on the vegetable you choose however the underlining recipe remains constant – coat with oil/spices, bake, flip over and bake a little longer. As always, feel free to modify and explore!

Ingredients (2-4 Servings):

  • 1 lb of asparagus
  • Kosher salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Any other spices you like! Paprika? Thyme? Sage? Trying them out!
  • Avocado oil
  • Redwine Vinegar? (If interested use a 2:1, oil:vinegar ratio)

Tools:

  • Baking sheet lined with aluminum foil
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Rinse asparagus, chop or snap off about 2 inches off the bottom and place on baking sheet.
  3. Drizzle some avocado oil on top of the brush and lightly coat the asparagus with avocado oil. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.
  4. Put asparagus in the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 minutes, flip over the asparagus, and reset the timer for 12 minutes.
  6. Transfer to a plate and enjoy!

Total time = 40 minutes (8 minutes of prep time, 32 minutes cook time)

Tips:

Step 2 – This is done to separate the vegetable from the root. To do this you have two options. Cut or snap. I opt to practice my knife skills and cut:

Cut – Asparagus often comes wrapped in 2 rubber bands, 1 at the top and bottom. Before rinsing and cutting, remove the bottom rubber band. Rinse and chop off the bottom 2″ or so. Leaving the top rubber band on will allow you to cut all the stalks at once and save a minute or two.

Snap: A couple asparagus at a time, bend the stalks and they will break where the root ends and the vegetable begins.

Step 3 – Also, oil first, salt second. The salt won’t stick to the asparagus without oil and even with oil the bond is not great. Once the oil and salt are applied, roll the asparagus stalks around with your hands to ensure everything is properly coated.

You also have the option to pour oil over them and then roll them around on the aluminum foil to coat. This method uses more oil than brushing.

Step 5 – Flipping over the asparagus can be a pain. I’ve tried using a fork or a spatula without much success. I usually end up only partially flipping most stalks and creating holes in the aluminum foil which means more clean up. The method that works best for me is to roll them over with my hands. “Ouch” you’re probably thinking, but it’s actually effective and not painful. Remove the asparagus from the oven – use a hot pad for this please! Then wet your hand with cold water and start rolling over each individual stock. You’ll need to wet your hand every 10 or so stalks since the asparagus is hot. The entire process takes about a minute and ends with all the asparagus being flipped to your liking and no holes in the foil!

Cost:

  • 1 lb rack of asparagus ~ $2.50
  • Avocado oil ~ $0.25
  • Spices ~ negligible

Cost per 1lb of homemade asparagus ~ $2.75

Who knew you could make a lb of delicious vegetables for a couple bucks?? Not me. Combine these with your 1/3 lb of salmon and you’ve got yourself a 5-star meal!

Conclusion

It’s a fact. Baked asparagus is delicious. It’s time to cut down on some of that meat and fuel up on some veggies. Make sure to play around with different spices and sauces. Find what you like and add green to any plate!

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!

Salmon & Asparagus

 

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