Revitalize Metabolism and Reverse Winter Weight Gain!
With spring’s arrival, a natural desire for new and exciting culinary adventures stirs us with the same drama as hyacinth, tulips and daffodils bursting from spring soil. Lucky for us, lovely and abundant springtime foods are not only delicious, but also ideal for trimming stubborn tummy fat, blocking inflammation and delivering vitality.
Leafy salads, veggie stir-fries, platters heaping with colorful raw vegetables, spring soups and crunchy bites that satisfy are exactly what we crave. Elegant herbs of spring—fennel, dill, parsley and cilantro enliven the palate. The best menu ideas inspire food combinations that are healthy, appetizing and easy to create.
There is nothing more soothing to the soul than Lemon Chicken-Vegetable Soup made from homemade chicken broth. Bone broth contains a high quantity of the vital minerals calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sulfur, fluoride, sodium and potassium. Love at first sip can’t get easier than this!
Lemon Chicken-Vegetable Soup
Makes 6 servings
1 pound organic chicken bones
6 quarts of water
3-4 cups of chopped carrot, onions and celery
Salt and pepper
2 tsp lemon rind
Greek yogurt for garnish
- Gently simmer one pound of chicken neck and back bones in water until broth is fully flavored.
- Temper in a well-beaten egg to create a silky, protein-rich base. To temper, stir small amounts of hot broth into the beaten egg before adding egg to the broth.
- Add carrot, onion and celery pieces and simmer gently with turmeric, kosher salt, bay leaf and black pepper until veggies are barely soft.
- Add lemon rind and dollops of Greek yogurt just before serving.
Egg-rich frittatas are so versatile that it might take a lifetime to explore all the possibilities for new flavors and textures. Eggs provide the crucial amino acids taurine, cysteine and methionine vital for healthy liver function. Frittata Genovese, with fresh asparagus or wilted chard, enriches the joy of eggs with extra nutrition and fiber. This flavor rhapsody is sheer joy and low fat too!
Makes 2 servings
1/2 pound asparagus or 6 large leaves of Swiss chard
½ cup cottage cheese
1 chopped onion
½ pound chopped mushrooms
Dried mustard, oregano or sage
One large tomato diced
Alfalfa or clover sprouts
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Gently steam asparagus or chard until tender.
- Beat eggs until foamy, then mix in cottage cheese and dried herbs.
- In an oven-proof skillet sauté chopped onion, mushrooms, salt and pepper.
- Stir in steamed asparagus or tender chard and pour egg mixture over veggies.
- Cook over low heat until bubbly, then oven-bake the pan for about 10 minutes until frittata is set.
- Garnish with tomatoes and sprouts.
Spring salads are a valued treat. Red leaf lettuce, crisp radicchio, radishes and edible flowers add color and zest. Combining leafy vegetables with a variety of nuts produces contrasting flavors and textures. Beet and Walnut Salad is a winner. Beets contain folate plus phytonutrients called betalains, which are detoxifying and anti-inflammatory.
Beet and Walnut Salad
Makes 2 servings
3 medium size beets
1 cup water
Mixed leafy greens of lettuce, spinach, arugula or watercress
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
Salt and pepper
- Bake beets in an oven dish with a cup of water for 1 hour and 30 minutes, then cool, peel and wedge.
- Toss mixed baby leafy greens, vinegar, salt, pepper and oil.
- Place salted wedged beets over the greens and top with walnuts.
- Optional chilled peas and artichokes add even more zest.
A splendid idea for a spring brunch is Tofu Vegetable Toss. This flavor celebration is glorious with steamed brown rice or couscous.
Tofu Vegetable Toss
Makes 4 servings
2 large shallots or one medium onion
1 small bunch of bok choy, chopped
½ pound broccoli florets
2 small sweet potatoes, steamed until tender
1 pound of tofu, diced into ½ inch cubes
Chopped basil or parsley
2 tbsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper
- Sauté onion, shallots, mushrooms, broccoli florets and bok choy in olive oil until crispy-tender.
- Stir in chopped herbs, soy sauce, salt and pepper.
- During the last few minutes of heating, add potato chunks, along with tofu cubes.
Eggplant is a miracle food rich in antioxidants, including manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. When laboratory animals with high cholesterol were given eggplant juice, their cholesterol was significantly reduced and their blood vessels relaxed, improving circulation. Eggplant and Lamb Delight is famous for its intriguing blend of flavors.
Eggplant and Lamb Delight
Makes 4 servings
1 pound of ground lamb
1 medium eggplant
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup celery chunks
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper
- Sauté until well-cooked one pound of ground lamb seasoned with one teaspoon each of cinnamon and cumin, then set meat aside.
- Toss over light heat the onions, garlic, celery chunks and tomatoes.
- Cut the eggplant into slices and layer it in a casserole dish with the cooked lamb and the veggie mixture.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F.
Spring rhubarb, considered a fruit, is loaded with calcium, lutein and vitamin K. Rhubarb juice increases peristaltic action of the intestines. Small chunks of raw rhubarb can add crunch and pizzazz to salads and sandwiches. Gently simmered rhubarb slices, sweetened with Stevia or honey, make a lovely fruit broth for a breakfast treat.
To make Tangy Rhubarb Salsa, stir two cups of thinly sliced rhubarb into a large pot of boiling water and blanch for 10 seconds. Quickly drain rhubarb and rinse with cold water until cool. Coarsely chop one small red onion and several bell peppers: green, red and yellow. Include a jalapeno pepper if desired. Add ½ cup of freshly chopped cilantro and three roma (plum) tomatoes, finely diced. Stir in the blanched rhubarb and season with 2 teaspoons of honey, five tablespoons lime juice, two teaspoons of salt and black pepper to taste. This is a condiment that compliments many meals.
Spring teas made from fresh herbs are especially elegant and fortifying. A garden box full of spring herbs can keep a teapot brimming with tantalizing beverages. It’s amazing how many types of mint are available these days: peppermint, spearmint, lemon mint with citrusy undertones, lavender mint revered by chefs, apple mint and even chocolate mint, which truly does offer a chocolaty kick. Other great herbs for spring teas are lemon grass and lemon balm. Even the plump and robust leaves of sage make a delicious and soothing herbal beverage with nutrient value.
Never boil an herbal tea. Simply pour boiling water over the luscious green leaves and let them brew gently under a lid for 15 minutes to protect the delicate oils that make herbs so flavorful and nourishing. Dandelion Root Tea is excellent to gently cleanse and support the liver, especially during weight loss. Some herb lovers choose this tea to replace their one daily cup of organic coffee.
When fresh strawberries arrive, give yourself a gift. Puree in a blender the berries, brimming with antioxidants, with a teaspoon of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of Flora-Key or stevia for sweetener. Freeze for two to three hours until firm, which is what your thighs will be if you stick to quality fruit sorbet desserts!
For busy times, when even simple cooking is not an option, rely on the superfuel of fresh fruit and protein smoothies that provide hours of energy and stamina. A cup of strawberries, raspberries or blueberries blended with a scoop of Fat Flush Whey Protein Powder is a springtime lifesaver. This smoothie powder with A2 beta-casein is unheated to preserve its fragile protein structure containing glycomacropeptides, rich in branched chain amino acids, plus immune-enhancing immunoglobulin. Smoothies are a great way to get your daily dose of omega-3 flaxseed oil, which can be added to the mix.
As the bounty of nature nudges you towards recipe exploration and innovation, have a great and flavorful spring season!