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Spring has finally sprung! (sort of) and it is important to eat seasonally and with foods that can assist in detoxification as well as provide valuable nutrition that supports the immune and digestive systems. Asparagus is one of the top ranked fruits and vegetables for its ability to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals and is a superb source of Vitamin K, which can improve bone health, increase bone mineral density as well as maybe even reduce fracture rates! Not to mention that it has been shown to help keep calcium out of your artery linings and body tissues where it can cause damage. Asparagus nourishes the digestive tract, serves as a natural diuretic due to asparagine (beneficial for those suffering from edema or high blood pressure) , and is also high in Vitamin B1( the “anti stress” vitamin). Some studies show that it may help fight cancer due to the glutathione it contains which can destroy carcinogens.

Shitake Mushrooms are also high in B vitamins and serve as a food source for vitamin D. Shitake mushrooms strengthen, detoxify and restore as well as aid weight loss, support cardiovascular health, fight cancer cells, improve energy levels and brain function, reduce inflammation, and support the immune system.

Asparagus and Shitake over Pasta or Rice

2 tblsp sesame oil
1 Tbs. fresh ginger grated or minced
2 green onions, sliced thinly
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic minced
1 package shitake mushrooms
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. tamari
1/4 c. parsley
1/4 c. pineapple juice
1 1/2 Tbs. raw honey
1 pound asparagus spears, cut into bite size pieces
4 cups cooked pasta (I like Explore brand chickpea spaghetti)

Heat oil in non-stick skillet. Add ginger, pepper, and onions . Cook a couple of minutes then add the garlic being careful not to BROWN to avoid bitterness. Add mushrooms and stir to combine and cook for a few minutes, now add the asparagus and cook until still bright green but tender to the bite. Meanwhile, simmer the vinegar, tamari, juice and honey to reduce a bit (about 5 minutes. ) Then add to the veggie mixture, toss, and add the parsley. Cook for a minute or so. DO NOT OVER COOK!!! You do not want limp grayish asparagus. Toss well. The rest is simple!!! Pour over your favorite pasta or rice/quinoa and MANGIA!

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