It can be difficult for me to understand when someone says that they don’t like vegetables. But then I hear about the overcooked, mushy asparagus they associate with vegetable time, and I can understand their distaste.
To remedy this, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. First, pick up some fresh asparagus at your local farmer’s market or supermarket. It’s the prime season now.
The next is to make a delicious vegan and vegetarian dish that deserves its place as the main — no meat here. (It can also serve as a top-notch side dish.) This baked asparagus dish served in a portobello mushroom with arugula, quinoa and red onion will delight any diner.
Best Way to Cook Asparagus?
There are various ways you can cook asparagus, like sautéing in a pan or boiling. But I find those can be difficult for asparagus lovers-in-training. Sautéing can take longer than expected or leave asparagus too crunchy for the taste of some, while boiling or even steaming always runs the risk of overcooking, plus an ice bath is required afterwards to keep the vegetable from cooking even after it’s been removed from the pot.
For most dishes, my preferred way of cooking asparagus is to bake it. Not only is this easy, but the cleanup is minimal, and we could all use less dishes to wash after dinner. Because none of the flavor is lost to water, roasting also ensures you get an intense asparagus flavor.
When you eat asparagus, though, you get more than just a great-tasting vegetable. Asparagus nutrition is pretty impressive: about five spears have no fat and only 20 calories, but they’re packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which help prevent disease.
One serving of asparagus has nearly double your daily allowance of vitamin K, which helps blood clot properly and increases bone strength, and a ton of vitamin C.
Asparagus also helps feed good bacteria in our digestive tract, which allows for better nutrient absorption and a lower risk of allergies. Women who are pregnant should also chow down on asparagus; it’s loaded with folate, which helps promote a healthy pregnancy. In fact, folate is one of the main ingredients in pre-natal vitamins.
And finally, if you find things aren’t moving through your body as quickly as you’d like, adding asparagus can help. It’s chock-full of fiber, which helps food move more quickly and easily through the gut.
How to Bake Asparagus
Now that I’ve sold you on it, let’s make this baked asparagus! We’ll start by preheating the oven and whisking together the dressing ingredients. I love using coconut aminos as a soy-free alternative to soy sauce. This dressing is super simple to make; try it on your favorite salad! Add salt and pepper to taste here.
Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the asparagus on it. Drizzle the spears with avocado oil, then add the salt, pepper and onions, mixing it all up until well combined. If you haven’t tried avocado oil, I highly recommend it. It’s full of nutritious benefits and is great for when you’re cooking at a high temperature and extra virgin olive oil won’t do.
Next, place the portobello mushrooms on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Portobellos are nice and hearty, and are an excellent way to get a meat-like texture in vegetarian meals.
Place both of the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes.
When the ‘shrooms and asparagus are done, place the mushrooms face up on a plate. Fill them with the arugula, quinoa, asparagus and onions.
Because we’ve added protein-rich quinoa, this baked asparagus is super hearty. The arugula also adds a nice bite to the flavor.
Drizzle each mushroom and topping with the dressing and serve your baked asparagus.Print
Forget the mushy asparagus you may have eaten in the past. This baked asparagus dish served in a portobello mushroom with arugula, quinoa and red onion will delight any diner.
- ½ red onion, sliced lengthwise
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 bunch asparagus
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4–6 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
- 2 cup arugula
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked (¼ cup uncooked)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- First cook the quinoa, in a small pot on the stovetop. Follow package instructions but usually this takes around 15 minutes once it boils.
- In a medium bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together and adjust if necessary.
- Place the asparagus on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Add avocado oil, salt, pepper and onions, tossing until mixture is well combined.
- On a separate baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the mushrooms face down.
- Add both baking sheets to the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes.
- Place mushrooms face up on plate and add arugula, quinoa, asparagus and onions.
- Drizzle with dressing and serve.
For some extra flavor, add some soft goat cheese to each serving. You can make this the main dish or also use as a side dish.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 15 min
- Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 serving (263g)
- Calories: 168
- Sugar: 5.8g
- Sodium: 204mg
- Fat: 8.3g
- Saturated Fat: 1.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 6.7g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 19.7g
- Fiber: 4.8g
- Protein: 6.5g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: baked asparagus recipe