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Lighten Up!

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Lighten Up!

Spring Recipes for the Busy, the Mindful and All Lovers of Food!

Yes it’s true, we should all be thinking about eating healthy all year, not just in spring when we are trying to bring in our waistlines. But there’s something to be said for that inspiring lightness we all feel when the winter pall is lifted and the days start to get longer.

Here are some really great recipes to get you started. They’re easy, light(er) and oh so delicious!

ChickPea Salad with Fresh Tarragon

You won’t believe how addicting this recipe is! I had this out at a party recently and it was gone, fast!

What You Need

    1/4 cup Red onion

    1 oz Sugar snap peas

    1-2 tbsp Tarragon, fresh

    1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise

    1/4 tsp Black pepper, freshly ground

    1/4 tsp Kosher salt

    28 oz can garbanzo beans

What You Do

Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans

Pull tarragon leaves from the stems and mince

Dice the red onion

Combine all ingredients and stir

(Add a little fresh lemon juice if you’d like the kick!)

Serve with whole grain crackers or pita, or in bibb lettuce cups

 

Salmon and Asparagus in Foil

Healthy oils, sulfur, potassium and lots of other vitamins and nutrients all packed into a tasty tent. And it’s easy!

What You Need

    4 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillets

    1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed

    2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper Coupons

    1 lemon thinly sliced

    Fresh dill sprigs, or chopped fresh thyme, rosemary or parsley

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut four sheets of aluminum foil about 14-inch long.

Divide asparagus into 4 equal portions (about 8 spears per foil packet) and layer in center of each length of foil.

In a small bowl stir together oil with garlic.

Drizzle 1 tsp of the oil over portion of asparagus then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rinse salmon and allow excess water to run off, then season bottom of each fillet with salt and pepper.

Layer fillets over asparagus.

Drizzle top of each salmon fillet with 1 tsp of the olive oil mixture and season top with salt and pepper to taste.

Top each with about 2 sprigs dill and 2 lemon slices (if using fresh thyme or rosemary use about 3/4 tsp per each if using parsley use 1 1/2 tsp).

Wrap sides of foil inward over salmon then fold in top and bottom of foil to enclose.

Place foil pouches in a single layer on a baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven until salmon is cooked through, about 25 - 30 minutes.

Unwrap and serve warm.

 

Basil Cashew Pesto

This stuff is packed with nutrients and it’s good with so many things! Toss it onto some zucchini noodles with cherry tomato, slather it on some salmon or drizzle it onto a snap pea/snow pea/pea salad. the nutritional yeast is great for the gut flora and it has a cheesy flavor that enriches any dish.

What You need

    2 cups fresh basil

    1/4 cups raw cashews

    3 garlic cloves

    1/4 cups nutritional yeast

    1/4 cups olive oil (quality)

    2 tablespoons lemon juice

    1/3 teaspoons sea salt

    1/2 teaspoons black pepper

What You Do

In a food processor, add garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons olive oil, pepper, and cashews. Process until smooth.

Add nutritional yeast and salt and process to combine.

Add basil and ¼ cup olive oil and process again.

Finally, add lemon juice and process until combined.

 

Peach Salad with Grilled Basil Chicken and White Balsamic-Honey Vinaigrette

Sweeten things up a bit with the taste of summer without all of the added sugars. This is a crowd-pleaser. So many textures and colors and flavors…YUM!

What You Need

    1/3 cup Basil, slightly packed fresh

    2 ears Corn

    2 cloves Garlic

    10 oz Mix lettuce, Spring

    1 lb Peaches

    1/2 Red onion, small

    1 tsp Dijon mustard

    1 tbsp Honey

    1 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh

    3 tbsp White balsamic vinegar

    2 Salt and freshly ground black pepper

    8 1/3 tbsp Olive oil

    1/2 cup Pecans, toasted

    4 oz Goat cheese

    (1 Lb boneless, skinless humane certified chicken breast, optional)

What You Do

In a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, basil, garlic, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each).

Using the back of a spoon, press basil against sides and bottom of bowl (to help extract flavor from basil).

Place chicken in a resealable bag and pound thicker parts of chicken to even thickness with a meat mallet, then pour basil mixture over chicken and evenly distribute basil over chicken.

Seal bag while pressing excess air out, rub marinade over chicken and transfer to refrigerator and marinate 2 - 5 hours.

Preheat a grill to 425 - 450 degrees over medium high heat.

Brush grill grates lightly with olive oil then place chicken on grill. Grill until cooked through, rotating once halfway through cooking, about 4 - 5 minutes per side (chicken should register 165 degrees in center of chicken on an instant read thermometer). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes then slice into strips or dice into cubes.

For the vinaigrette

Whisk together all ingredients until well blended and season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in refrigerator until ready to use, stir again before pouring over salad.

For the salad

In a large salad bowl gently toss together lettuce, peaches, corn, pecans, onions, and grilled chicken. Sprinkle goat cheese over top and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately after adding dressing.

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