Recipes for Sizzling Spring Delights

All you need for a red-hot spring dinner with family and friends.

As soon as the sun starts peeking out from behind the cold winter days, you come down with the much-anticipated condition of the season: spring fever! You’re suddenly overwhelmed with a desire to clean your house from top to bottom, get some fresh air, and have all your family and friends over for a nice evening of food and fellowship.

If you’re stuck wondering what to serve you guests, read on for some fantastic ideas that will have your mouth watering in no time!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Want something that screams warm weather? You’ve got to toss some strawberries in it. A great way to add strawberries is through a spinach-based salad. This recipe makes about four servings. Since it is rather fattening (35 grams of fat per serving), you probably shouldn’t make this your everyday salad.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion
10 ounces fresh spinach (rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces)
1 quart strawberries (cleaned, hulled, and sliced)
1/4 cup almonds (blanched and slivered)

Directions

Whisk together first eight ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Cover the bowl and chill for an hour. Next, combine the spinach, strawberries, and almonds in a large bowl, pour the chilled dressing over the salad and mix together. After 10 or 15 minutes of refrigeration, serve to your springtime guests and enjoy!

Chicken Barbecue Quesadillas

Think there’s no way to improve on chicken quesadillas? How about using one of spring’s most heralded flavorings to add some barbecue flavor? In addition to bringing in some great spring flavor, chicken barbecue quesadillas are a healthy and easy addition to your springtime festivities! This recipe makes 8-10 servings.

Ingredients

2 cups cooked chicken (finely chopped)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon minced onion (optional)
8 large flour tortillas
6 to 8 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

In a small saucepan, heat the chicken, barbecue sauce, and onion until it is warmed all the way through. While warming, sprinkle cheese on the tortillas. (Feel free to cut tortillas into shapes for some added flair.) Add a tablespoon of the chicken-bbq-onion mixture, add a little more cheese on top, and put the top tortilla in place. Do this for all the tortillas. A few minutes before eating time, put the tortillas on a warmed griddle for a couple minutes on each side and eat up!

Cool Spring Punch

With the warm weather comes the need to cool down. That’s where this one-of-a-kind recipe comes in. Combining some of your favorite fruit flavors into a refreshing punch, cool spring punch is sure to please. You can also spice it up a bit more if the kids aren’t around!

Ingredients

10 strawberries (washed and stems removed)
3 pineapple spears
20 red seedless grapes
2 ounces rum (optional)

Directions

Toss all the ingredients in a juicing machine, turn it on, and serve ice cold!

Avocado-Mango Salsa

After cleaning up for your guests, you’ll probably want some down time to enjoy your work. With a bag of tortilla chips and this excellent salsa, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, and your guests will be begging for more of this light, spring salsa!

Ingredients

1 ripe mango (peeled, sliced, and diced)
1 tomato (seeded and diced)
2 green onions (sliced)
1/4 cup limejuice
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and minced)
1 ripe avocado (diced)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

Directions

Combine all ingredients, put in your favorite serving dish, and serve. You can also add this to your favorite grilled meat for a marvelous addition to your spring fare.

Easy Chilled Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold tomato-based soup that originated in Spain. What better time to enjoy a chilled bowl of gazpacho than on a hot summer day? Use fresh ingredients for the best possible taste.
Servings: 6

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 sweet green bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • Dash of hot sauce
  • Fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tomatoes & 2 cucumbers chopped for garnish
  1. Place all of the ingredients, except tomato and cucumber garnish, in a high speed blender. Turn on high speed for 40 seconds.
  2. Chill the soup for 30-60 minutes.
  3. Place chopped cucumber and tomato in each serving dish and fill with soup. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 85 calories, 2.5g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 2.5g fiber, and 3g protein.

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Absolutely Amazing Ahi

This tantalizing appetizer mingles fresh ahi, avocado, cucumbers and spice and will impress the most knowledgeable food critic.

Categories: Low Carb, Lunch, Low Calorie, Dinner, High Protein, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian

Here’s What You Need
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 1 avocados – peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 3/4 pound sashimi grade tuna steak, diced
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the tuna, cucumber, avocado, green onion, red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.
  2. Pour in the lemon juice, sesame oil and soy sauce, and stir carefully to blend so as not to mash the avocado.
  3. Place this bowl into a larger bowl that has been filled with ice.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, but no longer – the terrific freshness of the fish will be lost.
  5. Once chilled, remove the bowl from the ice, and invert onto a serving plate.
  6. Serve with toasted bread or your favorite crackers.
Nutrition Facts

Servings: 6, Calories: 155, Fat: 8.2g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 1245mg, Carbohydrate: 5.8g, Protein: 15.6g

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Memorial Day Weekend All-Star Veggie Burger Recipe

All-Star Veggie Burger

Use soy. No, use beans. No, use oats. No, use rice. Hey, why not use them all? This veggie burger is an alternative to eating its beefy cousin (and can be used together). It’s high in fiber and as a stand alone patty, actually tastes pretty good. Once you layer the ketchup, the mustard, pickles, etc. you won’t be able to tell the difference.

Categories: Lunch, Dinner, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low Cholesterol, High Fiber Diet, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free

Here’s What You Need
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1 (14 ounce) package firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and mashed
  • 5 tablespoons Korean barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried sage
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the mashed garbanzo beans and basil.
  2. Mix in the oat bran, quick oats, and rice; the mixture should seem a little dry.
  3. In a separate bowl, mash the tofu with your hands, trying to squeeze out as much of the water as possible.
  4. Drain of the water, and repeat the process until there is hardly any water worth pouring off.
  5. It is not necessary to remove all of the water.
  6. Pour the barbeque sauce over the tofu, and stir to coat.
  7. Stir the tofu into the garbanzo beans and oats.
  8. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sage; mix until well blended.
  9. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  10. Form patties out of the bean mixture, and fry them in hot oil for about 5 minutes per side.
  11. Serve as you would burgers.
Nutrition Facts

Servings: 8, Calories: 162, Fat: 4.7g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 340mg, Carbohydrate: 23.8g, Protein: 8.4g

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