Top Diet Recipes for Spring
Mirin-Poached Salmon with Spring Salad
Poaching fish with a little flavorful liquid may be the easiest way to cook fish! This quick poached-fish recipe stars salmon, but tuna, mahi-mahi or cod work just as well. Look for pea sprouts, also called “pea shoots,” at farmers' markets and in well-stocked supermarkets. Or use 1 more cup thinly sliced snap peas instead.
Inspired by our love of lemon squares, we developed this healthy strawberry-rhubarb squares recipe. We slashed the butter in the shortbread crust for these strawberry-rhubarb bars, but kept the crust light and crisp with heart-healthy canola oil and a little cornstarch. A judicious amount of sugar in the filling lets the natural sweetness of the fruit shine and keeps calories in check.
Grilled Mahi-Mahi & Asparagus with Lemon Butter
In this quick grilled fish recipe, we grill firm mahi-mahi and fresh spring asparagus alongside one another, then drizzle them with a bit of tart lemon butter. We like mahi-mahi in this recipe, but any firm fish fillet can be used in its place.
Snap Pea & Quinoa Salad
Snap peas and mushrooms are combined with the fresh flavor of lemon in this pretty, healthy quinoa salad recipe. If you can make it ahead of time, do--this quinoa salad is even better the next day, after the dressing has soaked into the mushrooms and quinoa. (Adapted from “Quinoa Revolution” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
Strawberry-Rhubarb Quinoa Pudding
Think of quinoa pudding as a delicious whole-grain cousin of tapioca pudding. This healthy quinoa pudding recipe is flavored with tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries and topped with sweetened, creamy yogurt for a delicious, healthy dessert.
A simple pea soup makes an elegant start to a spring meal. It's also a great way to use frozen vegetables when the produce section is looking bleak.
Roasted Garlic & Asparagus Salad
The dressing for this roasted asparagus salad recipe uses fresh garlic scapes--available in spring from farmers' markets or gardeners. Use chopped fresh garlic in the dressing if you can't find garlic scapes.
Packed with oysters, Parmesan and herbs, these stuffed artichokes make a spectacular meal along with a fresh salad. Cooking the artichokes first softens the leaves so they're easier to stuff.
Penne alla Primavera
Penne tossed with spring vegetables, such as carrots, morel mushrooms, asparagus, peas and fava beans, along with loads of fresh herbs is a perfect example of Mario Batali's rustic approach to great-tasting Italian food. When both fava beans and morel mushrooms are in season, by all means use them in this recipe. But if you can't find either of those, substitute what looks best. Basic cremini mushrooms will work and frozen lima beans are a good option. Recipe adapted from Molto Gusto by Mario Batali and Mark Ladner (Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers, 2010).
A truly old-fashioned dessert, “pandowdy” is said to refer to the cutting up of the flaky crust, or “dowdy-ing,” toward the end of the baking time. Once the crust is cut, the bubbly fruit cooks up around the crust. This dessert is good with whichever berries are ripe at the moment. In early summer go for strawberries. Serve with ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Asparagus Salad Topped with Poached Eggs
This asparagus salad topped with poached eggs is satisfying yet light, making it a nice option for lunch, brunch or even dinner with some crusty bread. Roasting brings out a toasty flavor in the asparagus. We like this salad with medium-set poached eggs so the yolks are still a little runny, but poach your eggs for the full 8 minutes if you prefer hard-set yolks.
Roasted Spring Vegetables with Arugula Pesto
These roasted vegetables tossed with arugula pesto are an easy side for a dinner party. Try serving them with a roasted leg of lamb. If you can find beautiful, freshly harvested small carrots, they'll look and taste the best in this dish.
Turkey Cutlets with Rhubarb Chutney
Try rhubarb in this tangy chutney with golden raisins and fresh ginger, served with turkey. You can also pair the sauce with grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts or lean pork chops. Serve with: Whole-wheat couscous and steamed asparagus.
Roasted New Potatoes & Green Beans
Whoever said potato salad needs to be cold? For this warm version, new potatoes are roasted right alongside green beans, then tossed in a tangy champagne vinegar and Gorgonzola dressing. If you like, you can toss in some baby arugula.
Spring Salad with Beets, Prosciutto & Creamy Onion Dressing
Tender mixed salad greens (mesclun) from the garden or farmers' market along with baby beets, crispy and salty prosciutto and a creamy dressing make a fabulous salad.
Grunts, also known as slumps, are cousins to the cobbler--they too feature a biscuit topping, but unlike the cobbler, which is baked in the oven, a grunt is cooked on the stovetop. In this easy summertime dessert, apricots simmer in a skillet with honey and a touch of cloves. Then whole-grain buttermilk biscuits are steamed on top of the bubbling fruit until set. Serve warm with a little heavy cream, a dollop of yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Try it with any type of fruit or combination of fruit--frozen fruit works well too.
Spring Turnip Frittata
Broccoli rabe and turnips are a fantastic pair in this frittata. If you're shy about the broccoli rabe's strong flavor, try this frittata with milder broccolini instead.
Roasted Rhubarb Salad
Rhubarb roasted for just a few minutes is a tart topping for a mixed green salad with raisins, walnuts and goat cheese.
Asparagus & Salmon Spring Rolls
These spring rolls are filled with smoked salmon, tender-crisp asparagus and plenty of fresh herbs. Spring rolls look impressive when you put them out for a party, but they are actually easy to make. To simplify the process, lay out all the ingredients you need to make the rolls near your work surface before you begin.
Broccoli Rabe & Orzo Salad
Lemon, oregano and feta add zing to broccoli rabe tossed with whole-wheat orzo.
Sole with Garlic-Almond-Caper Sauce
In this quick fish recipe, seasoned fillets of sole (or flounder) are sautéed in a hot skillet and topped with a simple sauce of sautéed garlic, slivered almonds, capers and lemon juice--a riff on sole meunière. This is a very simple dish but all your ingredients need to be ready by the stove because it cooks quickly once you turn on the heat.
Quinoa Veggie Burger
Even meat-lovers will crave this vegetarian burger: toasted pecans, mushrooms, Cheddar cheese, fresh herbs and red quinoa pack this recipe full of delicious flavor. Red quinoa gives the burgers the perfect color, but white quinoa is fine too. These quinoa veggie burger patties hold together well for freezing, making for a quick and easy meal. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before cooking. Serve with your favorite burger garnishes. (Adapted from “Quinoa Revolution” by Patricia Green and Carolyn Hemming; Pintail Books, 2012.)
Buffalo Chicken Salad
All the flavor of Buffalo chicken wings is packed into this irresistible, healthy salad. But unlike chicken wings, you can eat a big serving of this healthy Buffalo chicken salad recipe for just 291 calories.
Shrimp Fried Rice
This healthy shrimp fried rice recipe is packed with vegetables and makes 4 generous servings, so you'll need to use a large skillet that is at least 12 inches wide. A large wok also works well. If you have cooked rice on hand, omit Step 1 and add 2 1/2 cups cooked rice to the pan in Step 5.