If you are like me, you like eating seasonally; meaning eating what is fresh and in season at the current time, consuming high nutrient foods that provide energy and other health benefits. I like easy, quick meals that you can make using only one pan (easy, quick clean up too). Recently, I have been cooking with asparagus, which checks all boxes. Learn how this in-season food can help you prevent illness and aging, and learn to cook it up in my one-pan dinner in no time.
Asparagus and the Plant-based Diet
Plant-based is not necessarily vegetarian or vegan in description. In The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living by Lindsay S. Nixon, Lindsay describes exactly what the plant-based diet is, although she prefers to call it a lifestyle instead of a diet. "As the name suggest, a plant-based diet is focused around plant foods -- fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds -- and zero animal products. That means no meat, fish, butter, milk, eggs, cheese, gelatin, or other animal by-products." 
This means that the diet, better yet, lifestyle, is not only about excluding animal protein, but also about including all sorts of amazing whole foods! Things that grow on trees and things that grow in gardens -- like asparagus! (And no processed foods like Doritos, which are technically vegan, but not plant-based). Adopting a plant-based lifestyle will do more than just help you lose weight, it will make an impact on your total health, preventing illness, increasing your quality of life, and helping make an impact on the greater world by decreasing environmental and other damage caused by the meat and dairy industries. [2}
Asparagus Health Benefits
Asparagus is a food with a "high ratio of alpha-carotene to calories," according to Dr. Fuhrman in his book Super Immunity. He says, "Alpha-carotene is one of over forty carotenoids, a family of antioxidants with documented disease-protective and lifespan-promoting benefits."  In addition, asparagus is high in nutrients, folate and B12, which were found in a Tufts University study to help older adults perform better in a test of response speed and mental flexibility.  So eating asparagus will help prevent both illness and aging, which is of high interest to most people.
My Asparagus One-Pan Bowl
Even more good news is that the best tasting vegetables and fruits are the ones that are in season, and summer is the right season for fresh asparagus. I picked up a bunch of fresh asparagus from my local farm market right before cooking this meal. And now that I've enticed you to incorporate asparagus into your diet, I'll show you how I do it in a few easy steps.
As I said, I'm big on one-pan, quick meals. I usually start with just water or organic veggie broth and a chopped up onion. Then I add vegetables. I started with just water and a chopped up onion. Then I added all the items pictured below, and seasoned with organic garlic powder, Himalayan sea salt, and fresh ground pepper.
Here you can see all of my ingredients:
I add organic carrots to many of my recipes. In my opinion, you cannot beat the beautiful color and incredible taste of an organic carrot. Here is my finished dish. In no time at all, I had an amazing asparagus-rific meal that I really loved and enjoyed. Another way to use asparagus is to simply bake with lemon juice or vegetable broth, or steam to make a wonderful side dish.
1. The Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living by Lindsay S. Nixon
2. The Triple Whopper Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production by Bryan Walsh
2. Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free by Dr. Joel Fuhrman
3. Folate and B12 May Influence Cognition in Seniors, Tuffs University, Science Daily