Wake Up Your Taste Buds with the Fresh Bounty of Spring

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Spring is here and it’s time to revitalize your taste buds with the fresh bounty of the season!
Use fresh seasonal produce for dinners are also low in calories and high in fiber, which is a key combination if you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight. Sheet pan recipes, pastas and veggies, and fruit and chicken salads, are always a favorite. Hope you will find these recipes bright and delicious!!

Classic Pasta Primavera

  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces spaghetti pasta
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced into ½ inch half-moons
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • ½ red onion, sliced into ¼ inch half-moons
  • 2 small leeks, cut into ½ inch, half moons
  • 1 red bell pepper, cleaned and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen green peas, thawed
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • Lemon zest and juice from one lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta, stirring occasionally, until just under al dente according to package directions, 6 to 7 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 to 2 cups pasta water.
Meanwhile, in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/4 cup oil. Cook zucchini, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften and turn lightly golden but still vibrant green, 3 to 4 minutes; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add asparagus, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring often, until asparagus is vibrant green and softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer vegetables to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium. Coat skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons oil, if needed. Add onions and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to wilt and caramelize, about 5 minutes; season with 1 teaspoon salt. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring and reducing heat if onions and leeks start to char, until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes more. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until
fragrant and onions are translucent, about 2 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add tomatoes, cream, peas, and reserved 1/2 cup pasta water.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are tender and beginning to burst, 2 to 3 minutes. Add spaghetti, reserved zucchini and asparagus, Parmesan, and a splash of pasta water and cook, tossing to combine and adding more pasta water as needed, until sauce is glossy and cheese is melted.

Stir in lemon zest and juice; season with pepper.
Serves 8, each serving contains; Calories 364, Fat 18g., Carbohydrates 38g., Fiber 4g., Protein 11g.

Basic Chicken Fajitas

  • ¼ cup lime juice, about 3 limes
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup cooking oil, more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin, divided
  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Flour tortillas and lime wedges for serving

In a large bowl, whisk lime juice, red pepper, 1/4 cup oil, and 1 teaspoon cumin. Season chicken with salt and black pepper, then add to bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add chicken and cook until golden brown and cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 160°, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board. Let rest 10 minutes, then slice into strips.
Meanwhile, in same skillet over medium heat, combine peppers, onion, and remaining 1 teaspoon cumin; season with salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Return chicken to skillet and toss until combined.
Transfer chicken mixture to a platter. Serve with tortillas and lime wedges alongside.
Serves 6, each serving contains; Calories 243, Fat 14g., Carbohydrates 9g., Fiber 2g., Protein 19g.

Caesar Salmon with Broccoli and Tomatoes

For the Salmon

  • 4 salmon filets, about 5 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat Caesar vinaigrette, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    Lemon wedges, for serving

For the Veggies

  • 3 tablespoons reduced fat Caesar vinaigrette
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 medium red pepper, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces

Preheat oven to 425°. Place salmon on half of a 15x10x1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Brush with 2 tablespoons vinaigrette; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
Place asparagus and red pepper in a large bowl; drizzle with remaining oil mixture and toss to coat. Arrange around salmon in pan; sprinkle with pepper.
Bake until salmon flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are tender, 12-15 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.
Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 357, Fat 23g., Carbohydrates 7g., Fiber 2g., Protein 31g.

Crunchy Chili Lime Shrimp

(Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe)

  • 2 pounds uncooked shrimp, medium size, cleaned, peeled and deveined
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ancho chile pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium lime

Preheat oven to 425°. Place the first 7 ingredients in a greased 15x10x1-in. pan. Finely grate zest from lime. Cut lime crosswise in half; squeeze juice. Add zest and juice to shrimp mixture; toss to coat.
In a small bowl, combine crushed chips, cilantro and oil; sprinkle over shrimp mixture. Bake until shrimp turn pink, 12-15 minutes. Top with tomatoes and avocado. If desired, serve with additional lime wedges and cilantro.
Serves 8, each serving contains; Calories 230, Fat 13g., Carbohydrates 10g., Fiber 2g., Protein 20g.

Chicken Piccata Pasta

(Modified from a Rachel Ray recipe)

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/3 pounds chicken breast tenders, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 pound penne rigate pasta, cooked to al dente
  • Snipped chives for garnish

Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and the chicken to the pan. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Brown chicken until lightly golden
all over, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Remove chicken from pan and return the skillet to the heat. Reduce heat to medium. Add another tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter, the garlic and shallots to the skillet.
Sauté garlic and shallots 3 minutes.
Add flour and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in wine and reduce liquid 1 minute. Whisk lemon juice and broth into sauce. Stir in capers and parsley. When the liquid comes to a bubble, add remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter to the sauce to give it a little shine.
Add chicken back to the pan and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss hot pasta with chicken and sauce and serve. Adjust salt and pepper, to your taste. Top with fresh snipped chives. Serves 4.