Feeling the effects of 'warm and hearty' meals from this winter? Notice that winter weight sticking around? While it's more spring-like in some parts of the USA than others, it really is the time to switch gears to lighter meals. It'll help for a number of reasons.
Literally feel lighter
Stews, chowders and three-bean veggie chili are oh-so-good, but they can be a lot for your digestive system to handle, adding to the slowdown and the, 'I'll get out and walk/bike/zumba tomorrow' syndrome.
Light doesn't have to mean skimpy
Light eating is all about fresh, vibrant ingredients. That doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your satisfaction, however! If traditional salads aren't your thing, there are plenty of filling options - barbeque veggie skewers, zucchini pasta, salad rolls with peanut sauce, etc.
Spring produce is overflowing with nutrition
The award for "best of spring produce" goes to strawberries, asparagus, peas, radishes, artichokes, rhubarb and more! These ingredients are packed with nutrients and a breath of fresh air after a long cold winter.
Quick & easy with less time in the kitchen (get outside)
"Assemble-only" meals are perfect in the spring, with little-to-no cooking required. A nice refreshing salad in the warmth of a perfect spring day is pretty hard to beat, no?
A Few Meal Ideas:
- Lightly steamed and/or dressed veggies...how about asparagus with a little grated parm & chopped hard boiled egg on a bed of arugula?
- Green salads with shredded radishes, a sprinkle of edemame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, some currants or raisins.
- Grain salads. Think farro with roasted veg & fresh herbs like Italian parsley and/or cilantro.
- Salad rolls packed with avocado, cucumber, pea shoots and carrot with a peanut dipping sauce.
- Quinoa tabbouleh with fresh parsley and mint.
- A Greek inspired salad with diced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes (the only tomatoes with any flavor in mid March), yellow bell pepper, red onion/spring onion, pepperoncinis, kalamata olives & feta. A little lemon juice, olive oil, S&P and you're there.
- Light pastas...make a fresh pasta sauce by mixing quartered cherry tomatoes, finely chopped fresh basil, a fresh mozzarella ball in small dice, a small pressed garlic clove, olive oil & a splash of balsamic vinegar in a non-reactive bowl and let flavors meld for a few hours. Cook up 8-12 oz of a pretty pasta shape (or make zucchini pasta or spaghetti squash) and add to fresh sauce with some thinly sliced fresh spinach. Yummo.
So lighten up, why don't you. Your body says thanks.