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Must-try spring recipes

The arrival of spring brings so many gorgeous seasonal fruits ,vegetables and lots of farmers market shopping! I love getting creative in the kitchen and trying new recipes I find online, on TV and anywhere else I can get inspiration.

I love making seafood, salads, refreshing cocktails and guilt-free desserts. It’s all about fresh ingredients for me. Here are some recipes I can’t get enough of or have added to my list of what to make this spring.

1. Tuna Tartare by Barefoot Contessa – Ina Garten always has incredible recipes. I recently tried this Tuna Tartare and it was a hit! It’s delicious, healthy and very easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 3 3⁄4 lbs very fresh tuna steaks

  • 1 1⁄4 cups olive oil

  • 5 limes, zest of, grated

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (please not the bottled)

  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons wasabi powder

  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons hot red pepper sauce

  • 2 1⁄2 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper

  • 1 1⁄4 cups minced scallions, white and green parts (12 scallions)

  • 3 1⁄4 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeds removed

  • 5 ripe Hass avocadoes

  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions:

  • Cut the tuna into 1/4-inch dice and place it in a very large bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, lime zest, lime juice, wasabi, soy sauce, hot red pepper sauce, salt, and pepper.
  • Pour over the tuna, add the scallions and jalapeno, and mix well.
  • Cut the avocados in half, remove the seed, and peel.
  • Cut the avocados into 1/4-inch dice.
  • Carefully mix the avocado into the tuna mixture; so that the lime juice covers thewm. (To prevent discoloration).
  • Add the toasted sesame seeds, if using, and season to taste.
  • Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour for the flavors to blend.
  • Serve on crackers.

2. Citrus, Fennel and Avocado Salad by FoodieCrush – If you love fruit in your salads, then this recipe is definitely for you! This is easy to throw together for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:

  • An assortment of citrus, totaling about 2½ to 3 pounds

  • ½ fennel bulb, very thinly sliced

  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced

  • ½ shallot, peeled and very thinly sliced

  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

  • ¼ cup mint leaves

  • Reserved fennel fronds

Instructions:

  • Slice the peels off of the citrus and place in a bowl or on a serving plate. Layer with thinly slivered fennel slices. Add avocado slices and shallot slivers.

  • In a small bowl, slowly whisk the olive oil into the champagne vinegar until emulsified. Add the honey and whisk to mix. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

  • Pour dressing over the salad and season with more kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Top with reserved fennel fronds and mint leaves.

3. Blackberry & Mint Margarita from Eater – Who can resist a good margarita? It’s always fun to try new flavors, and this combination of blackberry and mint is right up my alley.

Ingredients:

  • 3 blackberries

  • 2 mint leaves

  • 1 1/2 ounces silver tequila (such as Republic or El Tesoro)

  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

  • 1/2 ounce light agave nectar

Instructions:

Place blackberries and mint in cocktail shaker. Press firmly on solids with muddler or back of wooden spoon until mashed. Add tequila, lime juice, agave plus half a cup of ice. Shake for 15 to 20 seconds. Pour mixture through strainer over ice in a double old fashioned glass. Garnish with a mint sprig.

4. Strawberry Cheesecake ‘Blizzard’ by Healthful Pursuit – Soft serve made out of frozen fruit? Yes please! This recipe will satisfy all your sweet cravings and you won’t be feeling guilty after.

Ingredients:

  • 8 lite coconut milk ice cubes, about 1/2 can frozen
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries, frozen
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk – I used unsweetened original almond milk
  • 4 fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free graham cracker crumbs

Instructions:

  • Place coconut milk cubes, frozen strawberries, lemon juice, vinegar, and vanilla in your food processor. Pulse with the “S” blade until mixture is broken up.
  • It should look like pieces of hail in the bowl. This process takes about 30 seconds of pulsing on and off.
  • Continuing to pulse, add non-dairy milk slowly. Use up to 1 cup. Discontinue when mixture forms a ball.
  • Remove ice cream ball from processor and place in a large bowl. Mix in fresh strawberries and graham cracker crumbs.
  • Serve immediately

5. Sesame Ginger Quinoa Salad by POPSUGAR – This vegan salad packed with yummy ingredients is perfect as a post-workout meal, or just about any other time!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed

  • 2 cups water

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups shelled frozen edamame

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced

  • 1/2 red pepper, diced

  • 1 cup red cabbage, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely minced

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Instructions:

  • Place the quinoa, water, and salt in a covered pot. Heat on high until it boils, lower the heat to low, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa is soft and the water absorbed.
  • Pour the quinoa into a medium-sized bowl, and mix in the frozen edamame, carrots, peppers, and cabbage.
  • In a small bowl, make the dressing by mixing the sesame oil, rice vinegar, minced ginger, and sesame seeds.
  • Pour the dressing over the quinoa and veggies, and mix thoroughly. Enjoy immediately, or store in a covered container for later.

Enjoy!

- XO, Emily