Even though I use many convenience foods in my meal prep, as I did today, I love love love to see the new seasonal fruit and vegetables emerge on to the grocer’s shelves. Not only is buying seasonal produce good for our budgets, but these foods are in their prime, taste wise. Following is a seasonal produce list for early Spring:
Artichokes Kale Fruits:
Asparagus Leeks Apples
Broccoli Lettuce Avocado
Cabbage Onions Bananas
Carrots Parsnips Citrus
Celery Potatoes Pineapple
Collard Greens Rutabega
Green Peas Swiss Chard
It is the first weekend of Spring, and in celebration, I am using some of the above mentioned vegetables in my meal prep this week. Since there is still a chill in the air, I went with soup for lunch. I made a delicious Green Goddess Herb Soup inspired by the recipe found in this link: https://www.inspectorgorgeous.com/2018/10/green-goddess-herb-soup-gluten-free-low-carb-dairy-free-option/.
This soup is a super healthy combination of green vegetables and herbs. I used the vegetables I had in the house, some of which were frozen: a red onion, which I sauteed in canola oil spray instead of olive oil, frozen spinach, Trader Joe’s Green Vegetable Foursome, which is a combination of broccoli florets, zucchini, peas, and green beans. I knew I wasn’t going to puree the soup as the original recipe directs, so I thought this would go great with the fresh basil and parsley that the recipe calls for. And I did not omit the avocado in the recipe. I know it’s not a 0 point soup now, but I used a small avocado for what will be about 5 servings. I’m going to call it 2 points a serving. I also added about a tablespoon of chia seeds for the important nutrients they offer. Vegetable broth pulled it all together. I tasted it when it was ready, and it was truly delicious, and my house smelled great. The original recipe calls for roasted chickpeas and plain Greek yogurt as add ins when serving, so I will be complying. Those will give me extra protein and texture. Speaking of protein, I will be pairing this soup this week with sweet Italian chicken sausage, maybe a turkey wrap one day, maybe a leftover piece of chicken another day. I left that open.
Breakfast this week is an asparagus and mushroom egg white fritatta, with red onion and a little sliced fresh tomato on top for color.
I want to make a note here about why I chose frozen asparagus instead of fresh. #1, it is already grilled, so I didn’t have to roast or grill them myself. There is no oil added to this preparation either, it is just the asparagus spears. The main reason is because my husband is prone to the gout. Asparagus happens to be one of the vegetables that is high in purines, which can cause gout. Spinach and mushrooms also contain this chemical. Since it is just the two of us, it is better if I keep some things handy for myself in the freezer, so nothing goes to waste. The mushrooms I used were left over from a light mushroom broth we had made previously to go with chicken.
As the weather warms up, and inevitably it will, hydration becomes even more necessary. As we are all working to give up soda, and plain water gets boring, I wanted to suggest some tasty, and healthy alternatives. There are some delicious flat and carbonated flavored waters on the grocer’s shelves these days. Walk slowly through that aisle next time you are there and pick up a couple to try. My favorite is the La Croix Grapefruit flavor carbonated water. You can also add fragrant herbs and citrus to your plain water – lemon, orange, ginger, cucumber, mint, and basil to name a few.
Unless we are having company, the only soft drink we keep in the house is home brewed iced tea. I use my handy dandy Mr. Coffee Ice Tea Maker. It’s so easy and fast. And tea is not expensive. There are many delicious, decaffeinated, healthy teas on the market.
It’s Spring! Enjoy the bounties of the season, and get out into the sunshine! Get moving!
Have a great week. Please feel free to join the conversation with your comments, tips, and recipes. I’d love to hear from you.