Support your ovulation phase with a recipe starring simple, nutritious ingredients with bold flavors.
Ovulation! It’s the equivalent of a standing ovation (see what we did there?) when it comes to your cycle. From the moment you started to bleed, your body has been preparing for this event: the release of an egg. For many of us, this phase feels exciting and freeing, and we have ample amounts of energy. In traditional Chinese medicine, this phase mirrors the season of summer, and oftentimes, we find ourselves with a stronger libido and zest for life.
Ovulation generally occurs 14 to 21 days after menstruation, but it varies depending on outside factors like stress. The start of this phase is often marked by increased cervical fluid and lasts for only 3 to 5 days; this is known as the fertile window. If the egg is not fertilized by sperm (and for most cycles, this is the case), your body prepares to shed the uterine lining and you head into the luteal phase.
It’s important for all women who ovulate, not just those trying to get pregnant, to understand how to best take care of themselves during this phase. This is because ovulation plays a big role in overall hormonal health by leading to the production of progesterone during the luteal phase. The following recipe is crafted with the intention to support your body during this important hormonal, mental, and emotional shift.
During ovulation, we may find ourselves reaching for simplicity, much like we ditch our shoes and pants during the summer in exchange for bare feet and flowing dresses. This simple dish uses minimal ingredients, letting nature (and the profound flavors of lemon and garlic) speak for itself. Asparagus is a nutrient powerhouse, as it boasts high levels of glutathione and vitamins C, A, and B6 and may promote joint health through its anti-inflammatory properties.
This recipe makes 3 servings.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 bunch asparagus (1–1 ½ pounds), woody ends broken off
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Whisk together the oil, pepper flakes (if using), lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, and lemon zest in a small bowl.
- Place the asparagus spears in a large bowl. Pour the oil mixture over the asparagus and toss to coat. Spread the asparagus on a large baking sheet in an even layer with a bit of space between spears.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the spears are easily pierced with a fork and slightly golden. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an airtight container and consume within a day or two, as they will become soggy with time.