Parmesan Crusted Asparagus

I have never been an asparagus fan.  Especially when I was doing my first fitness competition back in 2005, I just could not stomach it!  My mom/trainer would tell me what a “good diuretic it is!”  Let’s be serious…I choose foods because they look delicious, smell delicious, and are delicious.  “Diuretic” isn’t really a great selling point.  I would try asparagus every now and then, but the texture would bother me or the color was no longer green.  As I got more and more into cooking, I realized that how you cook and present the asparagus is really what matters.

 

I like crispy, fresh tasting (and looking) veggies…preferably covered in cheese sauce.  Crispy Parmesan cheese also works.  I was glad to see that Jessica from How Sweet It Is blog agrees with me.  Also an ex-trainer and bacon lover, she is not a veggie fan either.  Oh, and I have I mentioned I am slightly obsessed with her blog?  Perhaps her recipes make me feel less guilty that I used to have minimal body fat and felt so comfortable in a bikini that I actually wore one on stage and let people judge me!  When I saw her Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks, I just had to try them.  They looked good, green, and they had cheese on them.  What more could I ask for.  They were incredibly easy to make, and I threw in my own twists by adding garlic and using regular breadcrumbs (I didn’t have any panko.)

 

Here is the recipe:
Parmesan Crusted Asparagus
Adapted from How Sweet It Is Blog’s Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks
Servings: About 4
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 20 min
Ingredients:
20 spears of asparagus
2 egg whites
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs (I like Progresso)
*NOTE – you can substitute gluten free breadcrumbs with a cap ful of Italian Seasoning or House Seasoning
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tbsp garlic (powder or dehydrated flakes)
sea salt and pepper
Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay a wire rack on a baking sheet and coat with non-stick spray.
Snap off the tough, white ends of each asparagus spear (you will be able to see where the spear gets tough and white, no longer green). On two separate plates, add the eggs whites (lightly beaten) and the breadcrumbs, flour, cheese, garlic, and seasoning. Coat each asparagus spear in egg whites, and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture, using your hand or a spoon to toss the mix over the spear.  REPEAT! (This is key1) I coated each spear two times, first in the egg mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture.  Place spear on the wire rack, leaving a little room in between.
Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. They should appear golden brown and crispy.
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