Cooking With Healthy Spring Foods

With spring finally upon us, it’s time to see how to incorporate all the most delicious and in-season nourishing foods into our diets. Whether you’re cooking for a warm spring night with friends or a relaxing sunny morning, here’s five recipes to try out this spring. 

 

1. Spring Veggie Pasta

Who doesn’t love tasty pasta? Even better when it’s healthy and filled with delicious nutritious food. Complete with asparagus, leeks, and lemon, you’ll definitely get in your daily dose of veggies with this meal. 

Calorie Count: 525 per serving                                                                                Cooking Time: 30 min

What you’ll need: 

  • 12 oz. fettuccine
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and sliced on a diagonal 
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, sliced into half-moons
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest plus 3 Tbsp juice 
  • 2 oz. parmesan, shaved with peeler

How to make it: 

  1. Cook the pasta as directed, adding asparagus during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil with garlic, leek, thyme, red pepper flakes, and 1/4 tsp salt on medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, for 12 to 15 minutes.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain pasta and asparagus and add it to the leek mixture. 
  4. Add lemon juice, the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil, and 1/4 cup reserved cooking water, tossing to coat. 
  5. Fold in half of the parmesan, adding more cooking water if the pasta seems dry. Top with lemon zest and remaining parmesan.

 

2. Berry Chia Mint Smoothie

Sometimes a refreshing smoothie is just what you need - especially on a hot day. Filled with juicy and yummy fruits, up your vitamin A and C with this healthy smoothie. 

Calorie Count: 100 per serving                                                                                Cooking Time: 5 min

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 c. sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 c. raspberries
  • 1/2 c. grated beet (from 1 medium beet)
  • 1/3 c. mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 c. almond milk

How to make it: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.   
  2.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!

3. Lemon Spinach Chicken Soup

Even though it’s springtime, you can never go wrong with a nice hot and hearty meal. Fill up your plate and get in your protein with this savoury soup. 

Calorie Count: 270 per serving                                                                                Cooking Time: 1 hour 

What you’ll need: 

  • 2 large yellow onions, halved
  • 1 head garlic, halved
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/4 lbs)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 6 c. baby spinach

How to make it: 

  1. In a large pot, simmer onions, garlic, parmesan rind and 12 cups of water for 25 minutes. 
  2. Over a large bowl, strain out the solids and return the liquid to the pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and return to a simmer. Add chicken and poach until cooked through - 11 to 13 minutes. 
  3. Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a bowl (do not discard broth). Let cool slightly and shred into pieces.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and lemon juice until foamy. Slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisk in 1 cup of broth from the pot. 
  5. While whisking the broth in the pot constantly, slowly add the egg broth mixture to the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until soup is slightly thickened and velvety - about 5 minutes. 
  6. Remove from heat, stir in the chicken and spinach and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

 

4. Roasted Strawberry Banana Bread

No day is complete without a sweet treat - especially when it’s healthy! Since it’s the beginning of spring, strawberries are ripe and perfect for this recipe. Moist and certainly delicious, this dessert will leave you wanting more. 

Calorie Count: 88 per serving                                                                                Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 min

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 1/4 cups strawberries, diced
  • 3 ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, not packed
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • baking spray

How to make it: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray a loaf pan with baking spray.
  2. Place the strawberries on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes, remove and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer.
  5. Add egg whites, bananas, applesauce and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Add flour mixture and blend at low speed until combined, do not over mix.
  7. Fold in strawberries and pour batter into the prepared loaf pan; bake in the centre rack for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  8. Let the pan cool for at least 20 minutes - bread should be room temperature before slicing.

 

5. Bright Spring Salad

Light, bright, and packed full of spring’s best produce, there’s nothing quite like a spring salad during the warm weather. And, because this is the perfect time of year for the veggies, you don’t have to do much to get that lovely flavour.

Calorie Count: 230 per serving                                                                                Cooking Time: 20 min

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 bunch asparagus, tender parts, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • A few handfuls of salad greens
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ avocado, pitted and diced
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted pistachios
  • ½ cup roasted chickpeas
  • Fresh herbs, for garnish (basil, mint and/or chives)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup fresh basil or a mix of basil and mint
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus ½ teaspoon zest
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more as desired
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt

How to make it: 

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set a bowl of ice water nearby. Blanch the asparagus for about 1 minute, until tender but still bright green. Transfer to the ice water for 1 minute, then drain. Allow the asparagus to dry and transfer it back to the bowl and add the peas.
  2. Make the dressing: In a food processor, pulse together the herbs, garlic, lemon juice, zest, vinegar, olive oil, and salt.
  3. Add half of the dressing to the bowl with the asparagus and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Assemble the salad. Arrange the salad greens on a platter, then layer the asparagus/pea mixture, the radishes, feta, avocado, pistachios, chickpeas, and herbs. Drizzle with remaining dressing, season to taste with more salt and pepper, and serve.

We hope you enjoy these yummy spring recipes! So, put on some upbeat tunes, get your apron on, and dance around the kitchen while cooking some delicious and healthy food.  

 


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