Spring is the perfect time of the year to add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your plate for every meal when leafy greens, luscious berries and crisp veggies are in season. This spring, we’ve found some great recipes that let these seasonal ingredients that are packed with important nutrients for seniors take center stage.
Now is the time to stock up on strawberries, known to have a wide range of benefits – from lowering blood pressure to improving eye sight. Strawberries contain a significant amount of antioxidants, making them important for the immune system and helpful for preventing certain types of cancer. In addition, strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C. Just one serving contains 150% of your daily requirement.
We love this easy to prepare salad that is packed with protein for energy and is hearty enough for dinner, especially when served with a(?) fresh baguette or cup of your favorite soup.
Strawberry and Grilled Chicken Salad
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups torn romaine lettuce
- 4 cups arugula
- 2 cups quartered strawberries
- 1/3 cup vertically sliced red onion
- 12 ounces skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast, sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted cashews, halved
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled blue cheese
- To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Gradually drizzle in oil, stirring constantly with a whisk.
- To prepare salad, combine romaine and next 4 ingredients (through chicken) in a bowl; toss gently. Place about 2 cups chicken mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons cashews and 2 tablespoons cheese. Drizzle about 4 teaspoons dressing over each serving.
Asparagus is a great source of folate, fiber, vitamins A,C, and E as well as chromium, an important mineral that helps insulin transport glucose from the bloodstream to cells. It also contains glutathione, a detoxifying compound that breaks down carcinogens and free radicals, making it an important vegetable to add to your diet to fight some types of cancer including bone, breast, colon, larynx and lung.
This simple pasta dish is perfect for a quick lunch, but it’s sophisticated enough to serve for a dinner. And it’s easy on the pocketbook, especially when asparagus is in season. Cooking for one? Half this recipe for solo dining, or follow the recipe as is and save the leftovers for lunch.
Linguine with Asparagus and Pine Nuts
- 12 ounces linguine (3/4 box)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 cup shaved Parmesan (about 3 ounces)
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook, tossing occasionally, until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the asparagus mixture to the pasta along with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the Parmesan before serving.
They may evoke the feeling of being on a tropical island in the middle of summer, but mangos are best purchased in the spring, when they’re in season. They’re called the “King of Fruit” for a reason; they’re packed with beta-carotene (Vitamin A), and selenium that can help decrease your risk of heart disease and certain cancers like colon and cervical cancer. It is also a great source of potassium, an essential mineral for blood pressure regulation.
This colorful and flavorful salad is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite fish, but we also like it served on its own. Add chopped cilantro or basil for added flavor and serve it immediately.
Avocado and Mango Salad
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 mangos, cubed
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large serving bowl, whisk together vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk in oil. Toss in mangoes, avocado and red onion to coat. Serve immediately.