- Author: Julie Hyske, Master Gardener
If you have a pan, you can make a plan: baked lemon chicken with asparagus! It cooks together on a single-sheet pan, includes healthy veggies and tastes extra fresh, thanks to the dynamic duo of lemon and garlic. Next up is a Mediterranean orzo salad. It is loaded with crunchy, fresh vegetables, leafy spinach, briny olives, feta cheese and is mixed together with vinaigrette-dressed orzo pasta. Peas, pesto, artichokes and pasta shout “spring” in this salad mix. If you choose to add chicken or some shrimp, a pretty side dish becomes a dinner entrée. Any of these dishes can be finished with strawberry mousse. So, easy peasy with only three ingredients, so delicious!
1 lb. baby red potatoes cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tbsp olive oil divided
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 tsp kosher salt ,divided
½ tsp black pepper, divided
2 lbs thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed and discarded, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 large lemons juiced and zested
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to add, as desired
Place a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 400 ℉. Generously coat a large, rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place the potatoes in the center and top with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon rosemary, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat, spread into an even layer. Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, place the asparagus, chicken and garlic powder in a large bowl. Drizzle with the lemon juice and add the lemon zest, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon rosemary, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Toss to coat, transfer to the baking pan with the potatoes. With a spatula, loosely toss the ingredients so that they are evenly combined and spread into an even layer. Overlap the chicken as little as possible. Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through, stirring once or twice throughout. The asparagus may release some liquid, which you can carefully pour off the pan. Enjoy hot.
16 oz. orzo
3 cups baby spinach leaves, gently torn into large pieces
1-½ cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup cucumber, diced and seeded, about one medium
¾ cup red onion, diced
1 cup Castelvetrano green olives, drained and halved
1 cup Kalamata pitted olives, drained and halved
8 oz. feta cheese
½ cup canola oil
cup olive oil
1 lemon juiced
1-½ tsp oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
Bring a pot of water to a boil, season with salt, and cook the orzo for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside to cool. Transfer the cooled orzo to a large mixing bowl. Add the spinach, chopped vegetables and olives, then crumble half of the feta cheese over the pasta. In a small bowl whisk the canola oil, olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper until mixed. Pour the vinaigrette over the pasta mixture and gently fold until the pasta and veggies are coated. Taste for seasoning and top with the remaining feta cheese. Refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight before serving. The pasta is best within 2-3 days but will last in the refrigerator up to 1 week.
1 lb. rotini pasta
3 tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup pesto (homemade or store bought)
5 oz. fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 cups frozen peas, cooked according to package directions (if you can find fresh peas, use those)
4 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Combine pesto, spinach, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth and creamy and add to the pasta. If it looks too dry or thick, thin it out with a bit of water. Add cooked peas, Parmesan cheese and remaining tablespoons of olive oil to the pasta and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. If it looks dry, add more olive oil. Serve at room temperature.
2 cups strawberries
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
Extra strawberries for topping
Clean and slice the strawberries. In a blender or food processor add the sliced strawberries with the sugar and puree. Remove half a cup of puree and set aside. In a cold bowl add the cream and beat until stiff peaks form. Then gently fold in the remaining puree. Divide the ½ cup of puree between the 4 small/medium glasses and top with the strawberry mousse. Refrigerate for approximately 1 hour or over night, if desired. Top with fresh sliced strawberries and serve. Enjoy.