Spring is here! Fresh produce is one of the delicious benefits of this season. For produce at its peak, shop the farmers’ market or have a friend with a garden! Here are a few delicious recipes for you to enjoy this month!
GRILLED CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH LONG GRAIN RICE AND BLACK BEANS
Prep time: 15 minutes. Marinating meal: 1 – 4 hours. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Serves: 4
4 boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the chicken breasts. Rinse and dry the chicken thoroughly. Take each breast and pound gently to an even thickness. Do not pound too thin; the breast will not be completely uniform.
Skewer each chicken breast. Place the chicken in a large shallow baking dish. Whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, oil, and garlic. Pour over the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator 1 to 4 hours.
Prepare a charcoal grill to high heat. Before grilling allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the marinade and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Place the chicken directly over the coals and cook until each side becomes golden brown and slightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Turn, cover the grill and cook for another few minutes until tender. Remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes.
Note: Special equipment – 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 3 to 4 hours
LONG GRAIN RICE AND BLACK BEANS
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 8 minutes. Serves: 4 – 6
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1-1/2 cups long grain rice
3-1/2 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp freshly ground sea salt
1 cup cooked black beans or canned, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
Garnish: Thinly sliced red bell pepper and fresh coriander or flat parsley
In a heavy bottomed saucepan with lid, heat the oil. Sauté the onions, salt, and garlic until soft but not brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, coating thoroughly with the oil. Stir in the stock, the oregano and salt. Bring to a boil, place lid on tightly lower temperature to low and cook about 20 minutes or until most of liquid absorbed. Stir in black beans, coriander, and pepper. Cook a little longer until beans heated through and rice is tender. Garnish.
ARTICHOKE AND ROMAINE SALAD
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 5 minutes. Serves: 4
4 cloves garlic (peeled and trimmed)
1 red bell pepper (seeded and sliced into thin strips)
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
1 small English cucumber, cut in half lengthwise
1 romaine lettuce heart, chopped coarsely
3 artichoke hearts – packed in water and drained, chopped coarsely
In a large frying pan, sauté garlic and bell pepper with oil and cook until soft, but not browned. With a wide-style vegetable peeler, shave cucumber into six long ribbons. Toss romaine, artichokes and bell pepper together and divide evenly between serving plates; top with cucumber ribbons. Drizzle with your favorite “healthy” dressing.
FOUR INGREDIENT COOKIES
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 8 -10 minutes. Serves: 4 – 6
1 cup whole grain flour of choice
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup nut butter of choice (peanut, almond, cashew)
1 tsp extract of choice (vanilla or caramel)
Vegan chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Combine ingredients of your choice; drop by spoonful onto baking sheet (I line mine with a parchment paper to avoid spraying with oil).
Note: These are so simple and can be thrown together in a jiffy.