Feeding your Body and Soul for Spring

Springtime cooking can be challenging. We as meal planners are so ready for a change from cold-weather rustic to springtime fresh.

asparagus

More outdoor activities of cleaning up the yard and working in the garden can demand meals that are hearty and feed the body and soul.

Here are some springtime recipes for your families that aim to both satisfy tummies and incorporate fresh spring vegetables.

Springtime Asparagus Snacks

5 slices of lightly toasted rye bread cut into quarters
3 Tablespoons Savory Honey Mustard (I like Gulden’s Zesty Honey Mustard)
1 package (10-ounces) Extra Sharp New York Cheddar Cheese, cut into 20 slices
40 asparagus spear tips, blanched, chilled (blanching directions in recipe)
2 medium roasted red peppers, peeled, each cut into 10 thin strips

Preheat broiler. Spread toast slices with mustard. Top each toast with1 cheese slice and 2 asparagus tips. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Broil; 4 to 6 inches from heat, 1 to 2 min. or until cheese is melted. Top each with 2 roasted red pepper strips.

***How to Blanch Asparagus
Add asparagus spears to large pot of boiling water. Cook uncovered, 2 to 3 min. or until crisp-tender. Drain, then immediately plunge asparagus into bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Spring Lettuce Wraps

1-pound extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
1/4 cup Toasted Sesame Dressing, divided (Kraft makes a good one)
2 carrots cut into thin strips
2 Tablespoons peanut butter
8 large Bibb lettuce leaves
Brown meat in large skillet; transfer to plate.

Heat 1 Tbsp. dressing in same skillet on medium-high heat. Add carrots; cook and stir 3 min. or until crisp-tender. Stir in remaining dressing, meat and peanut butter; cook 2 min. or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Spoon onto lettuce leaves and roll up.

Easy Tortellini Soup

1/2 –pound ground turkey breast
1 Tablespoon Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon ground sage
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 can (15-ounces) Italian-seasoned diced tomatoes
1 can (8-ounces) tomato sauce
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup frozen green beans, thawed
1 package (20-ounce) refrigerated three-cheese tortellini (I love Buitoni Brand)
Loaf of crusty bread, heated and sliced

Heat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil and coat with vegetable cooking spray. Combine turkey, bread crumbs, sage, pepper and salt in a bowl; shape into 48 meatballs. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned.

In a 3-quart saucepan combine broth, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and carrots. Boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Cut up beans and stir into broth with tortellini. Cook, covered, 5 minutes more. Add meatballs to serve. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Using fresh spring vegetables in our menus along with rib sticking foods will help you and your family get the work done. Soon the harsh touches of winter will be but a memory and spring gardens with produce and flowers will abound.

About Dori Fritzinger

I live and work with my multi-generational family in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. We have a farm of cows and calves, wool sheep, dairy goats, rabbits, ducks, geese, chickens, honey bees, a horse and a donkey. We have a goat's milk soap and bath products line available on our farm web site. I enjoy reading, quilting and doing embroidery.