Taste buds: Eating local, in season

. April 12, 2017.
May is the peak season in Michigan for Asparagus
May is the peak season in Michigan for Asparagus

I’m a big fan of healthy living. Like most 80s babies, I went through an (extended) phase of living off of coffee, cheeseburgers, and pretending I wasn’t addicted to cigarettes just to end up 25 and feeling the first physical effects of a late night.

Three years later, I’m chasing a naked toddler around my kitchen and my body clock wakes me up at 7 am. But I couldn’t be happier.

I learned a lot of lessons in my mid-twenties, one of the most important being that what I put in my body matters. Drinking excessively leads to 1-2 days of praying for death. Drugs: not good for longevity of life. And as my publisher loves to remind me, eating dairy with every meal, snack and beverage will cause physical distress. I didn’t have these problems when I was 20.

I directly attribute my happiness to many things: stability, enjoyment of my career, the naked toddler, and my physical health. For my physical well-being, I believe my eating habits are mostly to thank because, as I said, what we put in our bodies matters. Basically, you can’t eat crap and expect to not feel like crap.

Healthy eating is often assumed to be flavorless and plain: spinach wraps with kale and endive. But as we approach the season of fresh, local ingredients via markets and local farms, we are also provided the opportunity to eat well and flavorfully with fresh herbs, berries, greens, and veggies.

Every month is the peak season of a new item of produce! And my hippie heart may be alone in this, but that’s an exciting piece of information!

May is the peak season in Michigan for Asparagus – a veggie rich in fiber, vitamins A, C and E – also a food safe for most dietary restrictions. And it is perfect to add to almost any dish. Here’s one of my favorites:

Zucchini Noodles with Lemon Garlic Sauce

Ingredients:

1 Cup raw almonds

4 Medium Zucchini

5 Garlic Cloves

½ Lemon (juice it)

1 Bundle Asparagus

2 Chicken Breasts (grilled or roasted and chopped)

Shaved Parmesan (for garnish)

½ Cup Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

How to make it:

  1. Make “noodles” using spiralizer. Include all zucchini.
  2. In a food processor, blend garlic, lemon juice and almonds until smooth.
  3. In a medium pot, heat the olive oil on low.
  4. Add the garlic/lemon blend and whisk to combine
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste
  6. Toss noodles and asparagus in the sauce and cook on medium low (covered) 3-4 minutes
  7. Add chicken
  8. Serve with parm on top
  9. Eat as much as you want because it’s healthy AF