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Spring Recipes

Springtime Recipes

Strawberry Banana Smoothie # 1

10 oz. fresh strawberries, stems removed
2 ripe bananas
3 Tbsp. sugar or honey
¾ cup milk or yogurt

Wash strawberries and remove banana peels. In a blender, process all ingredients until smooth. For a little extra flavor, a few drops of vanilla or almond extract may be used, but do not overdo it.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie #2

Roughly 1 cup of ice
1 medium banana
½ to ¾ cup of orange juice
3 small handfuls of strawberries, or roughly 10 to 12, hulled
2 tsp. sugar, honey, or sugar substitute (optional)

Using a blender, grind ice down to marble size pieces. This will help the ice to blend with the smoothie better. Add orange juice and strawberries. Peel banana and break it up into pieces and add to blender. Add sugar, to taste. Blend to preferred consistency.

Strawberry Parfaits

4 cups sliced strawberries, divided 1 Tbsp. water
¼ cup granulated sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese 1 cup amoretti cookie crumbs
½ cup (4 oz) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened ½ cup whipped topping, thawed
¼ cup powdered sugar 2 Tbsp. toasted slivered almonds

Place 2 cups strawberry slices and granulated sugar in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Set strawberry puree aside.

Combine ricotta and next 4 ingredients (ricotta through vanilla) in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk. Spoon 2 tablespoons cookie crumbs into each of 4 parfait glasses. Top each portion with 2 tablespoons strawberry puree, ¼ cup strawberry slices, and 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture; repeat the layers. Drizzle the remaining strawberry puree over each serving. Chill for 2 hours. Top each parfait with 2 tablespoons whipped topping and 1 ½ teaspoons almonds.

Chicken and Strawberry Salad

Dressing: Salad:
1 Tbsp. sugar 4 cups torn romaine lettuce
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar 4 cups arugula
1 Tbsp. water 2 cups quartered strawberries
1/8 tsp. salt 1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/8 tsp. black pepper 12 oz. skinless, boneless roasted chicken breast, sliced
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp. unsalted cashews, halved
½ cup crumbled blue cheese

To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Gradually drizzle in oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.
To prepare salad, combine romaine and next 4 ingredients (through chicken) in a bowl; toss gently. Place about 2 cups chicken mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 ½ tsp. cashews and 2 tablespoons cheese. Drizzle about 4 teaspoons dressing over each serving.

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

16 oz. milk chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. shortening
1 pound strawberries with leaves

In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
Turn the strawberries upside down and insert the toothpick into styrofoam for the chocolate to cool.

Strawberry Pie

1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 quart fresh strawberries ¾ cup water
1 cup white sugar ½ cup heavy whipping cream

Arrange half of strawberries in baked pastry shell. Mash remaining berries and combine with sugar in a medium saucepan. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Stirring frequently.
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Gradually stir cornstarch mixture into boiling strawberry mixture. Reduce heat and simmer mixture until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over berries in pastry shell. Chill for several hours before serving. In a small bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Serve each slice of pie with a dollop of whipped cream.

Sweet and Sour Strawberries

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (not whipped style)
1 cup sour cream
4 Tbsp. honey
1 quart strawberries, rinsed
¼ cup granulated sugar
Orange liquor or brandy (optional)

Mix the first three ingredients together and refrigerate for 24 hours, either in individual custard cups or in a glass serving bowl. When ready to serve, mash the strawberries just slightly with the sugar, then serve over the sour cream cheese mixture. Garnish with unhulled strawberries and a dash of liquor, if desired.

Grilled Soy-Sesame Asparagus

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil 1 tsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. soy sauce 1 ½ pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Preheat grill for high heat.
In a bowl, mix sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and brown sugar. Place asparagus in the bowl, and toss to coat.
Lightly oil a fine-mesh grill grate. Place asparagus on grate, and cook 8 minutes, until tender but firm. Garnish with sesame seeds to serve.

Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Vinegar

2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ pinch ground sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place asparagus in a shallow 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with oil, salt, and pepper; toss to coat.
Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Drizzle with vinegar just before serving.

Ham and Asparagus Quiche

4 large eggs
¾ cup half and half
1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded
1 cup chopped asparagus
1 cup chopped ham
½ tsp. salt
1 unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk, then stir in the remaining ingredients.
Place the dough into a pie or tart pan and mold into the shape of the dish. Place the pie crust in the freezer for 10 minutes to chill.
Pour the filling into the well-chilled pie crust and bake for 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through (the center shouldn’t jiggle).
Cool and serve.

Asparagus Chicken Quiche

1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed ½ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
And cut into ½ inch pieces ½ cup sliced fresh mushrooms
4 green onions, chopped
5 eggs 2 tsp. all-purpose flour
½ cup half and half 1 unbaked 9-inch pie crust
1 Tbsp. dried parsley 3 spears fresh asparagus, trimmed
½ tsp. salt ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
Ground white pepper to taste
¼ tsp. mild hot pepper sauce
2 cups diced cooked rotisserie chicken
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Steam 1 pound of asparagus 4 to 6 minutes or until just tender.
Beat eggs, half and half, parsley, salt, white pepper, and green hot sauce in a bowl until smooth.
Stir together cooked chicken, Swiss cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, mushrooms, and green onions in a bowl; mix in flour.
Line a 9-inch pie dish with pie crust.
Spread about half of the cooked asparagus over the bottom of the crust.
Spread about half of the chicken mixture over the asparagus.
Repeat layers of asparagus and chicken mixture.
Gently pour the egg mixture over the layers.
Arrange 3 asparagus spears decoratively on top of the quiche.
Bake in the preheated oven until the filling is slightly puffed and lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes.
Sprinkle quiche with cherry tomatoes, if desired.

Tuscan-Style Roasted Asparagus

1 ½ lbs fresh asparagus, trimmed
1 ½ cups grape tomatoes, halved
3 Tbsp. pine nuts
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. grated lemon peel

Put asparagus, tomatoes, and pine nuts on a foil-lined 15 in. x 10 in. x 1` in. baking pan. Mix 2 Tbsp. oil, garlic, salt and pepper; toss with asparagus.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 – 20 minutes or until asparagus is just tender. Drizzle with remaining oil and lemon juice; sprinkle with cheese and lemon peel. Toss to combine.

Light and Fluffy Spinach Quiche

½ cup light mayonnaise
½ cup milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1 bag of Harman’s spinach, lightly steamed and squeezed dry
¼ cup chopped onion
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and milk until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Layer spinach, cheese, and onion in pie shell, making several layers of each. Pour in egg mixture. Place quiche on prepared cookie sheet. Cover quiche with foil.
Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove cover, and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until top is golden brown and filling is set.

Seasoned Broccoli Spears

1 ½ lbs. fresh broccoli, cute into spears
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
½ tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. dried thyme

Place broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl; add water. Cover and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes or until tender; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Ginger Broccoli Stir-Fry

4 cups broccoli florets
2 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp. minced fresh gingerroot

Place broccoli and water in a 1 ½ qt. microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes; drain. Stir-fry broccoli in oil in a nonstick skillet or wok for 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, soy sauce and ginger; stir-fry 1-2 minutes longer or until broccoli is crisp-tender.

Parmesan Roasted Asparagus

1 lb. fresh asparagus
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt

Place asparagus in an ungreased 15-in. x 10 in. baking pan.
Drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese, lemon-pepper
Seasoning and salt.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 min. or until tender, stirring occasionally.

Hint of Lemon Squash Saute

2 medium yellow summer squash, sliced
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. grated lemon peel
¼ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
¼ tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt

Saute squash, carrots and onion in oil in a large skillet for 5 – 7 minutes
or until tender. Add the remaining ingredients; cook 1 minute longer.

Sauteed Spinach

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine
1 lb. spinach
¾ tsp. salt

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic in olive oil for 1 minute. Add white wine.
Cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add spinach and salt; cook and stir for 2 minutes or just until spinach is wilted.

Spinach Strawberry Salad

2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
½ cup sugar
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup distilled white vinegar
¼ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. minced onion
One bag fresh spinach
1 qt. strawberries – cleaned, hulled and slice
¼ cup almonds, blanched and slivered

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.
2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.


Bok Choy Recipes

Teriyaki Chicken in Slow Cooker

3 – ½ lbs. meaty chicken pieces (thighs, breasts, etc.) skinned
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup chicken broth
¼ cup water
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger, or 1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
2 minced cloves garlic
6 cups sliced bok-choy
2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Place chicken in a 3-1/2 to 4 qt. slow cooker. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, broth, water, sesame oil, ginger, vinegar, and garlic. Pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours, or on high for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Transfer chicken to a serving platter, reserving cooking liquid in cooker. Cover chicken with foil, keep warm.

Stir bok-choy into liquid in cooker. Cover, let stand for 5 minutes. Transfer bod-choy to platter with chicken. Sprinkle chicken and bok-choy with sesame seeds. Spoon a little of the liquid from cooker over chicken bok-choy.

Bok Choy Chicken Salad

2 stalks bok choy, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 -4 cups diced cooked chicken
1 sm. pkg. slivered almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 pkg. Ramen noodles (Oriental flavor)
1/3 cup butter

Dressing:

1 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
¼ cup vinegar
2 pkg. Oriental seasoning (from noodles)

Brown almonds, sesame seeds and noodles in butter. Let cool. Mix dressing. Just before serving, mix all ingredients and toss with dressing.

Bok Choy Salad

1 head Bok Choy, cut and chop leave and stalks
2 to 3 green onions, chop, including some of stem
½ cup sesame seeds
1 cup sliced almonds
2 tbsp. sugar
2 pkgs. Ramen noodles (discard seasoning packets), cruch before opening
½ cup butter

Dressing:

Mix in a pint jar. ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, 1 tbsp. soy sauce

In a heavy skillet, brown sesame seeds, almonds, noodles and sugar in butter. Let cool. Prepare bok choy and onions in large salad bowl. Stir in cooked noodle mixture. Pour dressing over and mix before serving.


Swiss Chard Recipes

Penn with Swiss Chard & Asiago cheese

Ingredients:

2 cups penne pasta
8 cup coarsely chopped Swiss Chard (I remove stems from leaves)
1 (18) ounce cans cannellini beans or 1 (19 oz) can other white beans, drained
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup shredded asiago cheese
1 clove garlic, smashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook penne 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but firm.

Add 8 cups coarsely chopped Swiss Chard, cook 1 minute, drain will.

In a large serving bowl, combine remaining ingredients.

Add pasta mixture; toss well.

Season to taste.

Creamy Swiss Chard Pasta

Ingredients:

1 lb. Swiss Chard
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
¼ cup onions, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
½ cup fat free sour cream or ½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup 2% low-fat milk
¼ cup parmesan cheese
8 oz. fettuccine pasta, cooked according to package
Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Wash Swiss Chard, cut into small pieces.
2. Heat oil in large 2 qt. saucepan over medium high heat, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add Swiss chard, garlic and onion; cooking 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add tomatoes, sour cream, milk, parmesan cheese, cooked fettuccine, salt and pepper to taste; stir well.
5. Serve warm.

Sauteed Swiss Chard

One of the easiest ways to prepare Swiss Chard is to simply sauté it with a little olive oil, onion, garlic, and salt, to taste. Remove the stems by folding the leaves in half and cutting or tearing close to the stem. Saute the onion first, then add the chard leaves. Some people like to add some crumbled bacon, others a little lemon juice. Just experiment.

Paula’s Favorite Swiss Chard Dish from Cindi Umbarger

Saute some onion, pepper and garlic in olive oil in a large pan. Add ground beef and brown. Drain. Pour in a can of diced tomatoes and then add chopped Swiss Chard leaves. Allow to simmer and enjoy!