Spring has sprung and it’s time to shelve those hearty winter recipes for some lighter fare! With a variety of fresh produce in season, spring is the perfect time to incorporate more veggies into your diet. Here are our favorite delicious and healthy spring sides that will put a skip in your step. Hop to it and give them a try!
Lemon Garlic Spinach
For a fresh take on spinach, skip the frozen cube and buy fresh leaves. Wash your spinach well, or buy it pre-washed and bagged in the refrigerated section at your local grocery store. In a large wok, heat a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Peel and finely chop (or crush) fresh garlic cloves and lightly sauté to infuse the oil with flavor. Add your spinach leaves, salt lightly (optional), and toss to coat using a large spoon. Allow your spinach to wilt gently and finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving. This side dish pairs well with grilled or broiled fish.
Sesame Snow Peas
Don’t let the name fool you — Snow peas are a spring vegetable! Start by heating a tablespoon of sesame oil and fresh, finely chopped or crushed garlic in a large wok over medium heat. Add fresh snow peas to the mix and stir to coat. Add a dash or two of soy sauce and cook until your snow peas are still crisp but beginning to soften, stirring constantly — if you overcook your snow peas they will become mushy. Salt to taste, and serve hot topped with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. This side dish pairs well with grilled pork chops.
Orzo with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
Start by cooking your orzo al dente (soft but not over done) according to package directions. Chop fresh asparagus into bite-sized pieces, and lightly boil or steam. Drain your asparagus and rinse thoroughly with cold water to stop the cooking process, and keep your veggies crisp and green. Add the chopped asparagus to your orzo and toss in some halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice to taste. Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper and serve chilled. This side dish pairs well with grilled chicken.
Caramelized Vidalia Onions and Zucchini
Vidalia onions are sweet and get their name from where they are grown — Vidalia, Georgia. Start by quartering your onions and then cutting again into eights. You want your slices to be fairly thick. Next, rinse and chop zucchini into ½ inch medallions. In a large sauté pan, melt a good amount of butter over medium-low heat. Add your onions and stir to coat. When the onions become clear and start to soften, add the zucchini and mix well. Cook until the vegetables are softened but not overdone. Salt to taste, and serve hot. This side dish pairs well with grilled steak.
Grilling fresh vegetables is a great way to bring out their flavor. Some of our favorites include colorful peppers, onions, zucchini, and squash. But one of the tastiest and most unexpected vegetables to grill is broccoli! Start with a few fresh, rinsed heads of broccoli and chop in half, removing the trunk. Separate the florets and place them in a large bowl. Drizzle on extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle on your favorite herbs and spices, like garlic powder, salt, pepper, turmeric, and/or paprika. Toss to coat and add to a grill basket. Cook your veggies in the grill basket on a hot grill, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly charred. This side dish pairs well with everything — so enjoy!
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