• 4

    Servings

  • Prep Time 15'

  • Total Time 40'

  • Gluten-free

  • Nut-free

Asparagus and sea buckthorn salad recipe

  • 4

    Servings

  • Prep Time 15'

  • Total Time 40'

  • Gluten-free

  • Nut-free

With spring right around the corner, I am excited to trade in my warm soups and stews for something a little lighter. I find it easier to pack the nutrients into something warms and hearty. It requires more creativity to construct a satisfying salad.

Crafting the perfect salad takes some practice. The first challenge is deciding what ingredients will work best together, think about the flavours, textures, and consistencies! My goal this season is to master the entrée salad, this means creating a balanced meal out of a light, refreshing dish. I am thinking of innovative ways to up the protein, fibre and healthy fats.

If you are not eating animal products, there are still plenty of plant protein options. In fact, I get all my protein from plant-based options. I choose garden peas since they are both a good source of protein as well as fibre. One cup of cooked garden peas provides around 9g of protein and 9 grams of fibre (1). I also love their taste and texture, it’s great to add variety to your salad. To boost my fiber, I made sure to add lots of other yummy vegetables such as asparagus, mushrooms and radishes.

The extra virgin olive oil is a healthy source of fat. It is a monounsaturated fat, which is the “good” type. We need fat for energy as well as for our cells and muscles (2). Adding greens to your salad is kind of a no-brainer. I like to stock up on my fresh greens at the farmers market, it is fun to combine different varieties.

I love the crunchiness of asparagus with the chestnut mushrooms. Of course, you can substitute out any vegetables that you would like, but this combo is my favourite right now. All together, this salad took only about 15 minutes. I prepped my veggies while the couscous was boiling and then was ready to put it all together.

The couscous is a bit sweet just like the green peas. Together, they balance out the sharp taste of the asparagus and the Erbology Organic Sea Buckthorn Dried Berries. To neutralize the strong flavour of asparagus, I cooked it with lemon and herbs, also making it easier to digest. You can add more or less sea buckthorn berries depending on how much flavour and crunch you like.

I try to treat my taste buds to complimentary flavours and textures, usually, this also ends up providing a diverse nutritional profile as well! A great way to do so is with fruits and vegetables, you would be surprised how often my dishes combine the two.

I make my salads to be served right away, but they can also be stored in the fridge until you are ready to enjoy. The great thing about a salad is that it makes for a great leftover. I like to repurpose my leftover salad into an open-face sandwich or as a side dish for my next meal. If I know that I am going to have leftovers, I make sure to lightly dress it or not mix in the dressing.

Asparagus is good for your health.

With its long list of nutritional benefits, asparagus is used as a medicinal vegetable. One cup of asparagus contains 3.6 grams of fibre or 14% of one’s daily fibre recommendation (1). As a source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, asparagus is great for our digestion. The soluble fibre helps to slow our digestion and keep us satiated for longer. Insoluble fibre is a bulking agent that helps to scrub our digestive tract, ridding our bodies of trapped toxins (3). If you are working to improve digestion and regularity of bowel movements, you may want to consider bumping up your asparagus intake.

The same cup of boiled asparagus also contains over a third of the recommended daily value of vitamin A and nearly a quarter of vitamin C (1). Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant. It is involved in immune function, vision, reproduction, and cellular communication. Beta-carotene is the form of vitamin A found in plants. Studies by the National Eye Institute have shown that this form of vitamin A, in combination with vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and copper reduced the risk of advanced macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of age-related blindness (5,6).

Vitamin C functions as an essential building block of collagen. Collagen is the structural material for bone, skin, blood vessels and other tissue. It is what provides strength and elasticity for our skin, replaces our dead skin cells and essentially holds our entire body together. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies but it is important to eat foods rich in vitamin C to replenish this source as age and other lifestyle factors slow its production (4,7).

A serving of boiled asparagus contains 1.6 mg or 10% of our daily recommended value of iron (1). Iron deficiency is quite common, especially amongst females. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, about 10% of women are iron deficient (8). Iron is a primary component of two cells; the blood cells that carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and the muscle cells that hold oxygen. Iron is an important element of hemoglobin, the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our bodies. Without enough of these healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells, our bodies can become fatigued. This fatigue can go as far as impacting our brain functioning and our immune systems ability to fight off a virus. Iron is also linked to healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails (4,9). It is important to ensure you are getting enough iron, especially if you are consuming a plant-based diet.

The benefits of sea buckthorn berries

The sea buckthorn berries are one of the best sources of omega-7 fatty acids. Rarely found in plants, this fatty acid is also great for restoring the natural balance in our skin cells and promoting strong hair and nails. Omega-7 is also recognized for its ability to fight the harmful effects of the metabolic syndrome and support of cardiovascular health. Through regulating the work of the mucous membranes in our bodies, omega-7s improve our response to bodily inflammation (11,12).

The vibrant orange berries are a result of the carotenoids present in sea buckthorn. The carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, are converted into vitamin A (4). As discussed above, this vitamin plays a role in healthy vision. Sea buckthorn berries are also a great source of vitamin C, supporting immunity and collagen formation (4).

Vitamin E functions similarly to an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals. Due to its ability to strengthen the capillary walls in our skin, vitamin E improves moisture and elasticity (4). Vitamin E is also being studied for its relationship to healthy skin, particularly anti-inflammation and UV protection (14).

Written By: Danielle Bear

 

(1) “Peas, Green, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, without Salt Nutrition Facts & Calories.” Nutrition Data Know What You Eat., nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2521/2.

(2) Harvard Health Publishing. “The Truth about Fats: the Good, the Bad, and the in-Between.”Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good.

(3) “Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002136.htm.

(4) “Vitamins and Minerals.” United States Department of Agriculture, www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/vitamins-and-minerals.

(5) Harvard Health Publishing. “On Call: Vitamin A and Macular Degeneration.” Harvard Health, www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/On_call_Vitamin_A_and_macular_degeneration.

(6) “The AREDS Formulation and Age-Related Macular Degeneration.” National Eye Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nei.nih.gov/amd/summary.

(7) Chambial, Shailja, et al. “Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview.” Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, Springer India, Oct. 2013, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3783921/.

(8) “Recommendations to Prevent and Control Iron Deficiency in the United States.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00051880.htm.

(9) Ware, Megan. “Iron: Recommended Intake, Benefits, and Food Sources.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 23 Feb. 2018, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287228.php.

(10) “Daily Value Reference of the Dietary Supplement Label Database (DSLD).” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, www.dsld.nlm.nih.gov/dsld/dailyvalue.jsp

(11) Zielińska, Aleksandra, and Izabela Nowak. “Abundance of Active Ingredients in Sea-Buckthorn Oil.” Lipids in Health and Disease, BioMed Central, 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5438513/

(12) “Omega-7 An Overlooked Fatty Acid.” LifeExtension.com, www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/5/Omega-7-An-Overlooked-Fatty-Acid/Page-01.

(13) Chambial, Shailja, et al. “Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview.” Indian Journal of Clinical Biochemistry, Springer India, Oct. 2013, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3783921/

(14) Thiele, J J, and S Ekanayake-Mudiyanselage. “Vitamin E in Human Skin: Organ-Specific Physiology and Considerations for Its Use in Dermatology.” Molecular Aspects of Medicine., U.S. National Library of Medicine, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17719081?dopt=Citation

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous (for a gluten-free version, substitute with 1 cup millet or quinoa)
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 stalks asparagus
  • 5 tbsp marinated radishes
  • 4 spring onion leaves
  • 2 cup garden peas
  • 2 cups mushrooms
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Dried or fresh basil to taste
  • 2 tbsp of Erbology Organic Sea Buckthorn Dried Berries

Here's how you do it

  1. Cook the couscous using a 1:1 ratio water to couscous. If you go for the gluten-free version, the same ratio is applied to the millet. Quinoa requires a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa. First, bring the water to a boil. Then add a pinch of salt and your preferred grain. Reduce the heat and stir continuously until all the water is absorbed. Once absorbed, cover with the lid and leave for 10 minutes or until it reaches desired firmness.
  2. Prepare the veggies by washing the asparagus and green peas. Cut the asparagus into medium or large pieces.
  3. Put the sliced radishes in a small bowl, add a good sprinkle of sea salt and 2 tbsp of lemon juice. Mix with a fork and leave to marinate on the counter. They will be ready in about 10 minutes.
  4. Add extra virgin olive oil to a pan over medium heat.
  5. Once heated, add the green peas and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the chopped asparagus, salt (to taste), dry basil and lemon juice. Only leave over heat for 3-4 minutes. If you sautée asparagus for too long, it can lose its colour, flavour, and crunchiness.
  7. Dice the spring onions and put aside.
  8. In the same pan, heat another teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the chopped mushrooms. Add salt and cook for about 5 minutes until the water evaporates.
  9. In a bowl add the couscous, fresh and sautéed veggies, the mushrooms and also, the marinated radishes. Add the olive oil and mix well.
  10. Serve with a sprinkle of sea buckthorn dried berries and enjoy!

Tags

  • Asparagus
  • Couscous
  • Light dishes
  • Omega 7
  • Salad
  • Sea buckthorn berries
  • Skin food
  • Spring recipes

If you tried this recipe...

Share your experience with us. Leave a comment below or post a picture on Instagram, tag @erbology_london #erbology and get a chance to win a healthy treat from us.

Comments (0)

All fields are required. Your email address will not be published.

More recipes