Welcome Spring by Adding Color and Crunch

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Bring some springtime sunshine to your cooking! Use fresh spring produce to brighten up your meals. Give these colorful and healthy recipes a try!!

Roasting Vegetables is my new favorite way to eat them. Here are a couple of my “go to” recipes.

Roasted Asparagus with Caper Dressing

(This dressing is also great on other vegetables).


  • 2 bunches asparagus, (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • ⅓ cup chopped shallot
  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Trim tough ends from asparagus; place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the asparagus with 1 tablespoon oil, salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and roast, turning once halfway through, until the asparagus begins to soften and brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.
  3. Meanwhile, place shallot, parsley and capers on a cutting board and chop together to make a coarse mixture. Transfer to a small bowl and combine with vinegar, the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Serve the asparagus topped with the dressing.

Serves 4, each serving contains Calories 112, Fat 6 g, Sodium 346 mg, Carbohydrates 12 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 6 g.

Roasted Broccoli with Lemon


  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss broccoli with oil, salt and pepper. Place on a large baking sheet (not air-insulated) and roast until the broccoli is tender and blackened on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.

Serves 6. Each serving contains  Calories 54, Fat 4 g, Sodium 165 mg, Carbohydrates 4 g, Fiber 2 g, Protein 2 g.

Crunch Time Veggie Wrap


  • 1 light flatbread original wrap
  • ¼ medium avocado, peeled
  • ⅛ teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin bite-size strips
  • ¼ small cucumber, cut into thin bite-size strips
  • ¼ small red sweet pepper, seeded and cut into thin bite-size strips
  • 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese


  1. Place wrap on a work surface. In a small bowl, mash together avocado and limejuice. Spread mixture over the wrap. Arrange carrot, cucumber, and red pepper strips on top of the avocado mixture, leaving about 2 inches of space at each end of the wrap. Sprinkle with feta cheese; roll up into a spiral.
  2. Serve immediately or cover and chill for up to 4 hours. If desired, cut in half diagonally.

Serves 1. Serving contains Calories 211, Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 8 mg, Sodium 471 mg, Carbohydrates 28 g, Fiber 14 g, Sugar 5 g, Protein 12 g.

Island Spiced Ham Skewers


  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1½ teaspoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground coffee beans (not instant coffee powder)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika or regular paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1½ pounds reduced-sodium cooked boneless ham
  • 1 large orange sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1½-inch pieces
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into ¾-inch thick slices
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 12 wedges
  • 1 large navel orange, cut into 12 wedges
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line an extra-large baking sheet with foil; lightly coat foil with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, thyme, ground coffee, paprika, allspice, garlic powder, and, if desired, cayenne pepper.
  3. Trim fat from ham; cut ham into 1½-inch pieces (about ½ ounce each). On twelve 12-inch metal skewers, alternately thread ham, sweet peppers, zucchini, and onion. Add an orange piece to the end of each skewer. Place skewers on the prepared baking sheet; carefully sprinkle with about half of the brown sugar mixture. Turn and sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar mixture.
  4. Roast skewers about 24 minutes or until zucchini and onion are crisp-tender, carefully turning once halfway through roasting time. To serve, sprinkle with cilantro.

Serving size 1 skewer, each one contains Calories 123, Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 32 mg, Sodium 554 mg, Carbohydrates 7 g, Fiber 1 g, Sugar 4 g, Protein 13 g.

Carrot Cake Parfait


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar or sugar substitute blend* equivalent to ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar or brown sugar substitute blend* equivalent to ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (4 medium)
  • 1 8 – ounce container frozen fat-free whipped dessert topping, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons pureed baby food carrots
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
  • ¼ cup finely chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×1½-inch round baking pan; set aside. In a small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together applesauce, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg, and oil. Stir in shredded carrots. Add flour mixture, stirring just until combined.
  3. Spread batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Coarsely crumble cooled cake (the crumbles will be dense and moist).
  4. In a medium bowl, fold together dessert topping, baby food carrots, and ginger just until combined.
  5. Divide half of the crumbled cake among ten 6-ounce parfait glasses or dessert dishes. Top with half of the dessert topping mixture. Top with pineapple. Top with the remaining crumbled cake and the remaining dessert topping mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts.

Serves 6. Each serving contains  Calories 198, Fat 5 g, Cholesterol 21 mg, Sodium 101 mg, Carbohydrates 34 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugar 14 g, Protein 3 g.