Make Mealtime Fresh

By: Jacqueline Gomes, RDN, MBA

As we close out Family Meals month, let’s keep our eye on the prize – fresh family meals! Adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your family meals will undoubtedly provide balanced nutrition needed for continued growth and development.

  • Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants which are known to promote good health.
  • Along with its great taste, asparagus is a good source of vitamin C, high in folate, and a good source of vitamin A.


5 Tips to Enjoying Asparagus

  1. Egg-cellent Asparagus. Add steamed pieces of asparagus to an egg white and feta cheese omelet. Finish with halved cherry tomatoes.
  2. Grilled. Place asparagus spears on a medium-high heat grill coated with olive oil spray and cook for about 5-8 minutes until tender, turning occasionally.
  3. Cheese, Crackers & Asparagus. Spread a soft cheese (goat cheese, brie, etc.) on whole wheat crackers and top with a crisp asparagus head. Serve as an appetizer or an afternoon snack.
  4. Steamed. Place fresh or frozen asparagus in a microwave-safe container or in a sauté pan with a small amount of water, low-sodium seasonings, and garlic. Enjoy as a side dish or snack.
  5. Shake & Bake! Place fresh asparagus in a plastic zip lock bag, drizzle with olive oil, and add salt, pepper and other seasonings. Shake until asparagus is coated, then bake in oven at 400°F until crisp!



Grilled Asparagus Pasta Salad

Grilled Asparagus Pasta Salad

Prep: 25-30 minutes
Makes: 4 Servings



  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 bunch Asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 3 roma tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1-inch slice red onion
  • 2 tablespoons drained caper berries
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • ½ teaspoon salt/freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • ¼ cup goat cheese crumbles (optional)



  1. Heat an oiled grill pan or grill on medium heat.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and add the orzo. Cook until just al dente according to package directions. Drain and lightly rinse. Place into a large bowl and set aside.
  3. Grill the asparagus spears, halved roma tomatoes and slice of onion until tender with a few char/grill marks. Remove from heat and chop the asparagus into 1-inch pieces, tomatoes into bite-size pieces and onion into a small dice.
  4. Add the vegetables into the bowl with the orzo. Whisk together the capers, lemon, Dijon, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to create a dressing, then toss with the vegetables and orzo. Add the herbs and toss again. Season to taste for salt and pepper.


Nutrition Info:

Per serving: (1/4th recipe without cheese): 281 calories, 14g fat, 2g saturated fat, 417mg sodium, 33g carbohydrates, 8g sugar, 5g fiber, 7g protein

Recipe & Photo: Alex Caspero, MA, RD, CLT with