Loving the BITE: Asparagus, Snow Pea, Chicken Stir Fry

07
Jul
2011

Asparagus is one of those foods that you absolutely know must be extra-healthy for you just by looking at it.  It looks like it’s ready to defend itself.  And guess what?  When you eat it, it will add to your defenses.  And, it just might make you a better cyclist this week.

How?  Keep reading while enjoying our delicious recipe of the week:

Easy Asparagus, Snow Pea & Chicken (or other protein source) Stir-Fry


Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. organic chicken thighs or other protein source (shrimp, turkey breast, firm tofu, etc)
  • 16 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 cup fresh snow peas, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1.5 Tbsp teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos or reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon water

Directions:

  • In a large skillet, stir-fry chicken on medium-high heat in 1 Tbsp peanut oil until browned AND cooked through. Set aside.  Add asparagus, snow peas, 1 Tbsp peanut oil, and butter.  Stir-fry for ~4-5 minutes. Add ginger and garlic powder; stir-fry 2 minutes longer.
  • Combine liquid aminos (or soy sauce)  and water; stir into skillet. Add back chicken.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 4 servings.

Comments:

How can asparagus make a difference in your cycling this week?

First, like most vegetables, it has major anti-inflammatory & anti-oxidant benefits (noticing a pattern?):

If fact, it has a unique combination of anti-inflammatory nutrients including saponins like asparanin A, sarsasapogenin, protodioscin, and diosgenin. These anti-inflammatory components reduce risk of many diseases, including brain and nervous system conditions, and promote overall health.

Alongside the anti-inflammatories, asparagus is full of anti-oxidants.  Vitamin C, beta-carotene, vitamin E,  zinc, manganese, and selenium to name a few. It also contains my all-time favorite antioxidant: glutathione (read all about it @ http://lovingthebike.com/nutrition-tips/nutrition-tip-february-5-2011).

And what do many type of cancers have in common?  Well, many things, but one is an increased risk with chronic, excessive inflammation and chronic oxidative stress.  Enter anti-inflammatory factors and antioxidants, such as those from asparagus.

More asparagus = more antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients = healthier, younger cells w/ reduced risk of disease = faster, healthy recovery = stronger cycling.  Solid Cyclist/Dietitian math.

Next, it aids digestion…Keep your gut healthy and it will keep you healthy:

Not many foods contain inulin (specific soluble fiber).  Asparagus happens to be a good source of it.   We’ve talked a good deal about probiotics (healthy bacteria that live and grow in your gut), but little about prebiotics.  Prebiotics are simply probiotic food – they allow the probiotics to stay healthy and proliferate.  One of their favorite foods is inulin.

More asparagus = more inulin = more probiotics = more healthy digestion and better immune function = more antioxidant absorption = more healthy days for cycling.   More solid math.

Keeps your heart healthy and blood sugars in check:

As we discussed above, it provides anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits.  This is always good for your heart, hormones and blood sugar.  Then, it has an amazing B-vitamin content – it’s an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B6.  It contains choline, biotin, and pantothenic acid.   These vitamins are important for heart health, metabolism of sugar, and energy production.

More asparagus = healthy cells & more energy = faster, better, cycling.

Bonus Recipe:

If you’re feeling brave, save yourself the trouble of cooking it and try this asparagus “shot” instead:

Asparagus Health Shot:

  • 5 stalks of fresh asparagus, top 4″ inches of each
  • 1/2 chopped carrot
  • 3-4 Strawberries (or ¼ up any time berries)
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • Raw honey to taste (up to 2 Tbsp)

Blend it and blend it and blend it until smooth – drink it like a shot.

Whether in a shot or stir-fry, asparagus this week = stronger cycling, faster cycling, and more of it.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

 

Enjoy Your Ride

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040301851 Amanda Gale Kotyk

    Mmm….I’m going to add this into my meal plan for next week (my daughter LOVES asparagus).  What kind of oil would you suggest to substitute for peanut oil, since we have peanut allergies in our home? 

    • Kelli

      Hi Amanda!  Any oil you normally stir-fry with, or any with a high smoke point.  I think sesame seed oil would be great or, if you like the taste of coconut oil, organic coconut oil will work (although it’s usually better with sweeter stir-fries).  Avocado oil has the highest smoke point of any vegetable oil, but is $$$.  Let me know what you think…Kelli

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040301851 Amanda Gale Kotyk

        Thanks Kelli.  Mmmm….avocado oil sounds good!!   I will let you know how the fam likes this recipe, after I make it next week!  

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Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.

Answer:

Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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