There’s something about asparagus that makes a meal feel special. Maybe it’s because it’s such a classic side at fancy steakhouses, or maybe it’s just the intricate look of the tips of each spear. No matter the reason, a side of asparagus can turn a simple dinner into an occasion. We’ve compiled six diet-friendly asparagus recipes so that you can make any plate extra special (and healthy)!
This fancy green veggie isn’t a splurge for your weight loss plan. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, ten asparagus spears have just 40 calories and almost as much protein as an egg. Don’t wait for a special occasion and pile some asparagus onto your plate. With these tasty asparagus recipes, you’ll never run out of ideas featuring these super spears.
Here are six fresh recipes featuring asparagus:
Calories per serving: 228
On Nutrisystem, counts as: 1 SmartCarb, 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra
With asparagus, avocado and a poached egg, this toast feels like fancy breakfast fare from a high-end buffet. But don’t be fooled! It’s a cinch to make for an at-home weekend brunch that you and your family will love. Pop your bread in the toaster while grilling asparagus in a pan for about four minutes. Meanwhile, poach an egg in water for that runny yolk that coats all the other ingredients with deliciousness. Mash some avocado on the toast and pile on the veggies and egg. You’ve got a decadent breakfast worthy of a chef’s table, all for 228 calories.
Calories per serving: 138
On Nutrisystem, counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra
Caprese salad is already a colorful way to add a side that’s bursting with flavor and creaminess. Give it a little more oomph: Add in some two-inch pieces of lightly boiled asparagus for an extra kick of green that makes this side even more substantial. Ready in just minutes, this side is a fast, fresh way to add some veggies to every meal. At just 138 tiny calories per serving, it’s as friendly for your weight loss plan as it is for your taste buds.
Calories per serving: 151
On Nutrisystem, counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1/2 Vegetable and 2 Extras
When you’re losing weight, salads are a no-brainer. They’re low in calories, high in fiber and full of nutrition that your body needs to stay energized and healthy. However, they can also get boring. Here’s one solution: Swap out the lettuce for another unlimited green—asparagus! This salad uses grilled asparagus in place of romaine and adds in everything else you love about Caesar salad. Parmesan cheese, croutons and an easy-to-make, creamy Caesar dressing that features protein from nonfat Greek yogurt. It’s a fun, filling way to change up your salad game and still stay on plan.
Calories per serving: 274
On Nutrisystem, counts as: 1 PowerFuel, 1 SmartCarb, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra
Talk about feeling fancy! This fresh, flavorful plate would fit in perfectly at a five-star lunch. You can whip it up in less than 10 minutes and almost completely in a single pan. After heating some oil with lemon zest and lemon juice, you’ll sauté bite-sized asparagus pieces for just two minutes. Add shrimp and garlic to the pan and cook for five more minutes before blending in cooked bowtie pasta, Parmesan cheese and some chopped basil for even more fresh flavor.
Calories per serving: 340
On Nutrisystem, counts as: 1 SmartCarb, 2 PowerFuels, 1 Vegetable and 1 Extra
Having guests for dinner? Impress them with this pistachio-crusted salmon. Just don’t tell them how easy it was to make this fancy restaurant-worthy dish. With a “glue” of Dijon mustard and lemon juice, the pieces of pistachio stick easily to the salmon. After about 20 minutes in the oven, the fish is crusted and ready to be plated. Served with sides of sautéed asparagus and brown rice, you’ve got a restaurant-quality meal that feels like a splurge. At just 340 calories, this meal will keep you on plan and even leaves room for dessert.
On Nutrisystem, counts as: 1 Vegetable
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a dinner party to enjoy the flavor of asparagus. You don’t even have to cook a whole meal! By simply roasting asparagus spears, you can create a simple side that pairs perfectly with any Nutrisystem dinner entree. Watch this short video to see how you can add asparagus spears to your regular veggie rotation and get in some of your daily vegetable servings.