It is the peak of asparagus season with the end of it looming over us! Now is the time to cook asparagus! I was inspired to make this balsamic asparagus and mushrooms recipe by a balsamic chicken and mushrooms dish I have found on Pinterest and made several times. My recipe different in that it has a touch of lemon, lemon thyme, asparagus, and more plant-based ingredients.
Asparagus and Mushrooms with Chicken or Tofu?
Now, I know you’re wondering, why does this recipe have chicken when my last several recipes have been vegan? My philosophy is that it’s important to eat plant-based meals and to eat mostly plants. I don’t want to intimidate those just getting started with a plant-based diet from shifting to a more plant-based but not totally vegan diet. However, if you don’t know already, there are studies that say eating chicken once or more a week can triple your risk of getting colon cancer 1. So it’s best to start moving away from the meat!
If you’re completely or mostly vegan in diet, such as myself, you can replace the chicken with tofu in this recipe or eliminate it all together. Mushrooms make a nice feature to a dish every time!
Why Balsamic Asparagus and Mushrooms are Healthy
Mushrooms are a superfood with so many nutritional and holistic medicinal benefits4! Asparagus is a very nutrient-packed vegetable as well with fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, as well as chromium – a trace mineral that enhances the ability of insulin to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells5.
The way I’d like to serve this dish is over wild rice, which is both double the protein as well as a complete protein (containing all essential amino acids) but is pricey and sometimes hard to find at the grocery store 2. You can also choose to serve over a multigrain or brown rice which contains a comparable amount of fiber and minerals.
I love balsamic! It is pretty much the only thing I put on my salads now. This balsamic sauce concoction reduces down a bit to make a nice sauce for the rice. Make sure you scoop some extra sauce on your dish! Balsamic is absolutely guilt free in that the benefits are numerous – among them improving your skin, reducing your blood sugar, and aiding in healthy weight loss 3.
If you like this recipe (which I know you will)… check out a few of my other most recent dinner recipes!
- Air Fryer Falafel – WFPB Oil-free Gluten-free
- Savory Neatloaf with Lentils, Chickpeas, Mushrooms, and Veggies
- 5 Simple Recipes for a Father’s Day BBQ Night
- Jackfruit Korean BBQ Tacos
- Air Fryer Crispy Buffalo Cauliflower
- Topic: Chicken – nutritionfacts.org
- Wild Rice Nutrition Review – Is It Good For You? – Healthline
- Ten Health Benefits of Balsamic Vinegar – Medical News Today
- Mushrooms Have Stunning Powers to Heal People and the Planet – Food Revolution Network
- 5 Powerful Health Benefits of Asparagus You Probably Didn’t Know – Eating Well
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Balsamic Asparagus and Mushrooms with Lemon & Thyme
- Large Sauce Pan
- 1 cup wild rice or whole grain rice blend or brown rice
- 1 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or a block of tofu cut in blocks
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 8 oz mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 whole onion
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
- 2.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon thyme or regular fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dry thyme
- 1 tbsp parsley chopped
- 1 tbsp lemon juice fresh is best!
- 16 asparagus spears 12 if the spears are large
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook rice according to package instructions.
- Season the chicken or tofu blocks with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken or tofu and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add the garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, and onions to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.
- Add the vegetable broth, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and thyme to the skillet. Stir and scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken or tofu and let simmer for 10-15 minutes on low heat or until chicken is fully cooked (if you used chicken).