The Food of the Kings is Now Readily Available to Us Regular Folks!

Spring has arrived, and with the season comes a new crop of fresh produce. In-season vegetables and fruits usually reap the most nutritional value, and asparagus is one of the most delicious and nutrition-packed vegetables of this time of year.

Dubbed the “food of kings” by Louis XIV of France, asparagus are low in fat and high in folic acid, a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamins A, B6, and C. These tender stalks are at their peak from March through June but can be purchased year-round. When shopping for asparagus, look for sturdy spears with tight heads; the cut ends should not look dried out, wrinkled or woody. Fresh asparagus should snap when bent. Buy the freshest you can find and plan to use it within a day or two.

Delicious roasted, grilled, or lightly sautéed in olive oil, these seasonal spears make a tasty addition to any meal. The following is a healthy recipe for Creamy Asparagus Pasta. Lemon zest ties all the flavors together in this light and creamy dish.

Makes: 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 8 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add asparagus and continue cooking until the pasta and Norasit's Gallery (NorGal)asparagus are just tender, 3 minutes more. Drain and return to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk milk, mustard, flour, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant and lightly browned, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly, and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tarragon, lemon zest and juice.
  3. Stir the sauce into the pasta-asparagus mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sauce is thick, creamy and coats the pasta, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan. Divide the pasta among 4 bowls and top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.


Per serving: 359 calories; 10 g fat (4 g sat, 4 g mono); 18 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrates; 18 g protein;7 g fiber; 602 mg sodium; 467 mg potassium.

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If you live in the Las Vegas area and are considering bariatric surgery, schedule an appointment with Dr. Heidi Ryan. She and her team of experts can help find the right treatment for you.

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