3 reasons to get your asparagus fix now--before the peak season is over:

1. It has only 5 calories per spear, zero fat and cholesterol, and almost no sodium. Talk about a dieter's dream!

2. It is one of the most concentrated veggie sources of protein: 1 cup offers about 10% of your daily protein and fiber needs--a one-two punch that helps keep you full longer, so you can avoid overeating.

3. It has more glutathione--one of the most powerful cancer fighters--than any other fruit or vegetable. Glutathione also helps your body absorb nutrients and slows down the aging process.

Photo by Lisa Hubbard
Photo by Lisa Hubbard

 Shopping Tip: Look for bunches with tightly closed buds on top--and eat them right away, because the nutrients fade fast.

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Asparagus, mint and pistachios are a perfect combination in this 30-Minute Meal from Rachael Ray. Pair this dish with a glass of grassy and bright Sauvignon Blanc for the perfect anytime-meal.

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This one skillet dish is a fine choice for a light breakfast-for-dinner meal or an easy brunch for a crowd. Serve this dish with a crusty loaf of bread or a side salad for an easy 20-minute meal.

When asparagus stems are shielded from the sun (usually under a mound of soil), they grow into white asparagus, which is milder and slightly sweet, with a silky-smooth texture. Store 1/2 cup of leftover hollandaise dressing in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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Go green with this green pasta in green sauce 30-Minute Meal by Rachael Ray! Get creative by adding in your own combination of parsley, mint, tarragon, basil or any of your other favorite herbs into the asparagus pesto.

Substitute the usual buttery pie crust for healthier whole wheat tortillas in this B, L or D--breakfast, lunch or dinner--quiche. Throw in some of our other favorite Meatless Monday veggies like mushrooms, edamame or eggplantto pump up the nutritional value even more!

More Meatless Monday recipes: