Sunshine and Lemons

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Nothing brightens your day more than a ray of sunshine and the tangy flavor of lemon!! Squeezed or sliced, lemons and their flavor are always a mood booster! Keep lots of fat, juicy lemons on hand, and add zest to any of your favorite recipes!! Here are some ways to bring sunshine to your table, in a sauce, main dish, or dessert! Hope you will enjoy!!

Honey Lemon Asparagus

(Very soon you will be able to get your asparagus, fresh and local at Farmers Markets)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • ¼ cup local honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Additional salt, as needed for taste

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Add asparagus in batches, cook, uncovered, 1-2 minutes or just until crisp-tender. Drain and pat dry.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  3. Transfer asparagus to a large bowl, drizzle with glaze, and toss gently to coat. If desired sprinkle with additional salt, or I like to sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 8.

Mediterranean Mushroom Lemon Soup

(Also, detoxifying soup, I usually multiply to feed more and often add chopped cooked chicken)

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, sauté mushrooms and onions in oil until tender. Add garlic, cook one minute longer. Stir in the broth, parsley, thyme, and pepper.
  2. Bring to a boil. Stir in the orzo, lemon juice, and zest. Cook until pasta is tender, 5-6 minutes.

Serves 2.

Lemon Caper Pork Medallions

Ingredients

  • 1 pork tenderloin, cut into 12 slices
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.2 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ¼ cup white wine or additional chicken broth
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

Directions

  1. Beat the pork slices to flatten to ¼ inch thickness. In a large shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Add pork, a few pieces at a time, and turn to coat.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook pork in butter and oil in batches until the juices run clear. Remove and keep warm.
  3. Add the broth, wine, and garlic to the pan, stirring to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil, cook until liquid is reduced to half. Stir in the capers, lemon juice, and rosemary, heat through. Serve with pork.

Serves 4.

Lemon Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 green onions, white parts only
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Chopped fresh dill for garnish

Directions

  1. Melt the butter and heat olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add onions and cook for 1 minute. Stir in garlic and lemon zest, continue to cook, and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
  2. Add rice, season with the turmeric, salt, and pepper, and cook and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in broth, half & half, and lemon juice. Turn the heat up and bring mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pan and simmer for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Remove from heat. Fluff with a fork and season more if needed. Garnish with dill and thin lemon slices.

Serving size 1 cup.

Super Easy Lemon Sauce

(This sauce can be a topping for dessert, breakfast yogurt, or even meats, and it is so easy to keep on hand)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons butter

Directions

  1. Combine sugar, lemon zest, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Gradually whisk in lemon juice. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, cook, still whisking, until slightly thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in butter. Serve warm.

Yields 24 servings.

Lemon Ice Cubes

(These lemon ice cubes are rich with vitamins, minerals, anti-inflammatory, detoxifying, and immune-boosting benefits, add to water, or to a recipe. I found this recipe on theharvestkitchen.com and think it is most appropriate this season)

Ingredients

  • 2-3 large lemons
  • Purified water

Directions

  1. Chop 2-3 large lemons, add to a high-speed blender with a small amount of water.
  2. Blend until smooth, as additional water as needed.
  3. Pour into ice cube trays, once frozen place in Ziploc bags for easy use.

Lemon Meringue Cheesecake

(Confession – I cannot make meringue, I have tried and tried, with no success, so I have not made this recipe, however, I have tasted it and it is wonderful. It is adapted from an Eating Well recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, about 10 whole crackers
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2/3 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 4 large eggs
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup prepared lemon curd
  • 3 large egg whites, at room temperature

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Stir graham cracker crumbs and oil together in a medium bowl. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Using a hand-held electric mixer, beat cream cheese, yogurt, and 2/3 cup sugar together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat well. Spread the mixture evenly over the crust.
  4. Bake the cheesecake until almost set in the middle, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  6. Spread lemon curd evenly over cheesecake.
  7. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl with the electric mixer (make sure beaters are clean) until soft peaks are formed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Mound the egg whites over the lemon curd. Bake until golden, 8-10 minutes. Chill uncovered, until cold, about 1 hour.

Serves 12.