Spring Into Healthy Eating

Posted on April 28, 2015

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healthy eating

BY: KATIE BUTLER

After a long and rather icy winter, I think I can say that all Memphians, including yours truly, is ready for the spring. I can’t wait to shed my sweaters and gloves for shorts and sunglasses, to see the trees bloom and the clouds part, and to be able to run outside without the risk of frostbite or slipping on the icy ground. Yet, as spring brings warmer weather, it also brings a new season of food and yummy dishes that will not only aid in achieving that summer bod, but will energize you just as the shining sun and budding flowers do. So, here is your go-to guide for the foods that are now coming season to perfectly march your new sandals or pastel golf-shorts.

Here is a list of the foods that are in season during the spring, especially in April;
Artichokes
Arugula
Asparagus
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Fava Beans
Fiddlehead Ferns
New potatoes
Ramps
Rhubarb
Spinach
Sugar snap peas
Vidalia onions
Zucchini
Spring fruits
Apricots
Avocadoes
Blueberries
Cherimoya
Grapefruit
Kiwi
Lemons
Pineapple
Strawberries
Tomatoes

Many of these great ingredients can be found at local farmers markets around Memphis. And, of course, if you want to make a tasty, springy, and healthy meal for your family or friends, here are a couple of recipes that are right in season, easy to make, and will put a little spring in your step.

Chunky Gazpacho Soup

Crunchy cucumbers, sweet Vidalia onions, and three vinegars combine to form this traditional Spanish soup. Serve the chunky gazpacho cold for a light refreshing lunch, or with a mixed green salad for a filling dinner.
8 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)
Ingredients

6 cups coarsely chopped tomato (about 3 pounds)
1 (32-ounce) bottle low-sodium tomato juice
2 cups coarsely chopped peeled cucumber (about 2 medium)
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 1/4 cups finely chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon basil-flavored vinegar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced

Preparation

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Cover and chill.

Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing

At only 260 calories per serving, this chicken salad with the taste of Thai serves as an easy entree or easy appetizer.
4 servings (serving size: 3 cups salad, 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts, and 1 lime
6 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 cups shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup sliced celery
2/3 cup light coconut milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
4 lime wedges (optional)

Preparation

Total: 17 Minutes
1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Combine coconut milk and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and cool for 2 minutes. Pour warm coconut milk mixture over lettuce mixture. Sprinkle with peanuts; serve with lime wedges, if desired. Serve immediately.

Grilled Salmon with Roasted Corn Relish

Grilled chilies and corn give the relish a wonderfully smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with grilled salmon seasoned with just salt, pepper, and cumin. Serve with a mixed green salad to round out the meal.
4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 3/4 cup

4 Anaheim chilies
Cooking spray
2 shucked ears corn
1 cup diced tomato
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
Preparation

Prepare grill.

Place chilies on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until blackened. Place chilies in a heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel chilies; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Cut chilies into 1/4-inch strips.

Place corn on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Cool slightly. Cut kernels from cobs.

Combine chilies, corn, tomato, cilantro, and juice; toss gently. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.

Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and cumin, stirring well. Rub spice mixture evenly over both sides of salmon. Place salmon on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with relish.

Peach, Plum, Apricot Crisp

Savor the summer’s best produce with this simple, family-favorite crisp. Freshly grated nutmeg accents the flavors of the fruit while the crispy brown sugar and oat topping offers a crispy texture contrast.
12 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup crisp and 1/3 cup ice cream)
Ingredients

4 1/2 cups sliced peaches
2 cups sliced plums
2 cups sliced apricots
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon grated whole nutmeg
Cooking spray
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3.4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream

Preparation

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; let stand 15 minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 400°.

3. Spoon fruit mixture into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until bubbly.

4. Combine oats and next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a bowl. Drizzle with butter, stirring until crumbly. Sprinkle oat mixture over fruit. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and fruit is bubbly. Serve warm with ice cream.

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Posted in: Health