April 23, 2014

EVERYDAY GOURMET: Spring twist

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By Kim Dannies

Good nutrition is always in season and with fresh produce possibilities right around the corner, it’s getting a lot easier to eat healthier. Break up routine recipes by adding new twists to everyday salad greens: snap peas, shaved fennel, goat cheese, walnuts and a few chopped strawberries tossed with a honey balsamic vinaigrette makes a grand meal paired with some grilled chicken or shrimp. Or go Mediterranean with a cuke, olive, cherry tomato, quinoa, feta, and Marcona almond salad topped with a lemon oregano dressing.

This is a great time of year to break out the blender and whip up breakfast smoothies for a fresh start to the day. I am loving the combination of apple-carrot-ginger-mint. Try cutting commercial juice smoothies, like the Naked brand, with some unflavored natural coconut water to enhance nutrition and reduce calories. Adding honey, fresh mint, and sparkling water to freshly squeezed lemon juice is a refreshing hot weather cocktail. I also love a little maple syrup in iced tea or agave in iced coffee for a healthy alternative to simple syrup. A good Rx for dehydration is a coconut water, pineapple juice and freshly squeezed orange juice combo.

I was lucky to get a sneak preview of summer’s bounty at a recent farmer’s market in San Diego. The vast array of veggies and herbs inspired this twist on a summer slaw. The simple dressing encourages the medley of fresh flavors to shine through.

 

SoCal Slaw

In a large prep bowl toss together 4 cups fresh baby spinach, 6 cups thinly sliced green cabbage, 2 cups cubed cantaloupe, 5 thinly sliced scallions, 3 tablespoons pistachios, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 1/2 cup fresh mint (ribbon cut).

Cube-cut 1 or 2 ripe avocados and sprinkle with a little fresh lemon juice and sea salt. Reserve.

In another bowl mix together 1 cup Hellmann’s mayo, the juice of two lemons, 2-3 minced garlic cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold the dressing over the salad ingredients and plate on a platter. Scatter the avocado over the top of salad along with a few more pistachios and additional mint. Serve immediately; serves 6-10.

 

Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three twenty-something daughters. Archived Everyday Gourmet columns are at kimdannies.com. [email protected]

 
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