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Herb Roasted Lamb Chops with Aparagus And a Baked Potato

Herb Roasted Lamb Chops with Aparagus And a Baked Potato
         If Spring has a food, I can think of two things that fit the season perfectly. The first is lamb, so associated with Easter in both liturgy and on the Easter Table.  The second is Asparagus, which is never better than when it is local and abundant.  Putting the two together is a natural. Today’s post is not for a roast leg of lamb at all.  Rather these loin lamb chops start the cooking process on the stove and then finish in a hot oven.  They couldn’t be easier and they’re perfect for a weeknight dinner.  What’s surprising here is how much flavor the very simple and fast herb marinade gives you.  In thirty minutes to an hour, you’ll achieve a very tasty lamb chop. Alas, the Asparagus I used was not local – it will be June before it breaks ground on Long Island.  But the stuff in the stores was so tempting that I gladly brought it home.  And finally, I put a couple of Russet potatoes in the oven and baked them.  Andrew couldn’t remember the last time he’d had one but what had we been missing!

         Potatoes in general get a bad rap which has little or nothing to do with the tubers themselves and everything to do with what is loaded into and onto them.  A Baked Potato has a lot to recommend itself: The skin, which is full of vitamins, becomes wonderfully chewy.  And the flesh of the potato inside emerges from the oven fluffy and light.  A potato itself, flesh only, weighing 5.5 ounces contains 145 calories. It has only trace amounts of fat, 34 grams of “good” carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein. The skin of a potato, weighing 2 ounces, adds 115 calories, 27 grams of carbs and 2.5 grams of protein. But the skin adds fiber — 4.6 grams compared with the 2 grams found in the flesh. The flesh is higher in sugar, with 3 grams, compared with the skin, at less than 1 gram. And there’s more.  The skin of the potato gives you eight times as much iron as the flesh. The flesh is a great source  source of magnesium, and both skin and flesh are equal in  phosphorus and zinc content.  And there’s copper, and copious amounts of potassium—more than in a small banana. But beware the dangers of the baked potato.
Andrew proved you can enjoy a
Baked Potato without a hint of butter or
Sour Cream–just a sprinkling of Scallions.
         You can quickly turn baked potatoes from a healthy low-calorie dish to a double-cheeseburger in grams of fat and calories. It all depends on what you choose to use for the topping and how much of the topping you use. Sour cream contains 23 calories per tablespoon, while butter packs a whopping 102 calories per tablespoon.  So if you add just a tablespoon of butter and one of sour cream you are still at  all of 385 calories.  The problem is people do not limit themselves to tablespoon servings of butter and sour cream, and they can watch the calorie count soar.  That old ‘moderation in all things’ certainly applies here. I stuck to very little sour cream and butter. Andrew eschewed them altogether and just stuck with a sprinkling of scallions over the top.   Here are the recipes:

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