Asparagus is one of my favorite superfoods. A superfood is simply a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
I remember my first time trying asparagus. I was eating dinner at my father’s house, who is a pretty good cook. And he made asparagus with mushrooms and vermouth. It was so tasty that I ate a really healthy portion. My son and I were on our way home from dinner and smelled this God awful smell in the car. I rolled the windows down, looked at him sideways thinking he was just getting that pre-teen smell, but later realized it was ME.
Asparagus contains a sulphurous compound called mercaptan (which is also found in rotten eggs, onions and garlic). When your digestive system breaks it down, by-products are released that cause the smell. It is often most noticeable in the smell of your urine. But I had so much asparagus, I could smell it coming though my pores! Oddly enough, not everyone suffers this effect; it is said that your genetic makeup may determine whether you will have the odor — or whether you can smell it. So I ended up flushing my system with lots of water but it still took a day or so to completely rid myself of the putrid smell.
Now I still enjoy asparagus but eat it in smaller portions. Ha! Everything in moderation, right? I made this simple, tasty asparagus dish alongside a citrus chicken breast for dinner this weekend.
Sauteed Asparagus and Mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus (approx 1 pound), ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ small red onion, peeled and sliced
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, sliced thinly
salt and pepper to taste
Cut about 2 inches from the stem and slice each asparagus spear into pieces, leaving tips intact.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, add olive oil. Add garlic and cook, stirring regularly, for about 30 seconds.
Add red onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring regularly, for about 3 minutes. Add asparagus and continue to cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes. You still want it to have some crunch. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot.