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Mom2Mom

Now that we’ve officially entered the spring season, you’ll notice different fruit and vegetables will become plentiful at your supermarket.  One of the first veggies to come into season during spring are snow peas, also known as Chinese pea pods.  Years ago, these popular veggies were difficult to find–you would only see them in Chinese restaurants, but now they are available everywhere.  Snow peas are a nutritious vegetable option as they are low in calories (1/2 cup cooked is only 35 calories), fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free, an excellent source of Vitamin C, and a good source of iron and manganese.

snow_peas
Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters

 

Though we typically think of adding snow peas to a stir fry, there are other ways of enjoying these tasty veggies as well.  Snow Pea, Grapefruit and Orange Salad is a refreshing dish that works well as a side or a light lunch.  Snow peas, orange, grapefruit, and red onion are combined with a dressing made from white wine vinegar, honey, minced ginger, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Top with toasted sunflower seeds for extra crunch.

snow peas and citrus salad
Courtesy of The Yummy Life

 

Honey Pecan Stuffed Snow Peas make a perfect party appetizer.  The filling is made from roasted, finely chopped pecans, cream cheese, honey mustard, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar.  You’ll blanche the snow peas and carefully pipe in the filling before sprinkling pecans on top.

stuffed snow peas
Courtesy of Rosemary and the Goat

 

Garlic Snow Peas are the ideal weeknight side dish as they are ready in five minutes and require only a few ingredients.  Simply boil the snow peas for one minute and drain.  In the meantime, add one teaspoon of sesame oil in a wok or fry pan, heat and add three cloves of garlic minced.  As you begin to smell the aroma of the garlic, add the snow peas, a bit of salt, and stir so that everything mixes well.  Transfer everything out of the pan to a serving plate and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

garlic-snow-peas-2
Courtesy of China Sichuan Food

 

If you want even more ways to enjoy snow peas, Fruits & Veggies–More Matters has their Top 10 Ways.  So, get out to your local grocer and grab this tasty veggie while they’re in season and I’ll be back next week with some delicious kebab recipes that feature fruit, veggies, meat, and seafood.

 

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Meatless Meals have gained extra popularity in recent years with the launch of the Meatless Monday campaign, encouraging people to incorporate a meatless meal each Monday to improve both their health and the health of the planet.  If you observe the season of Lent, which runs from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday, you know that each Friday you have even more reason to want to add a healthy meatless meal to your menu index.  The key to a nutritious and satisfying meatless meal is to ensure you’re incorporating protein and fiber into the dish.  Legumes, nuts, soy, quinoa, eggs, and dairy are some meatless protein sources available.  Fiber is readily available in many fruit and veggies such as apples, spinach, broccoli, pears, and bananas just to name a few.  There are the typical meatless dishes (veggie pizza or a veggie stir fry over brown rice), but I’ve collected a few recipes I think are interesting and ones you may want to add to your menu lineup even on a regular basis they’re so good.

 

20 Minute Lemon Broccoli Pasta Skillet is perfect for a weeknight.  It’s super quick to prepare with minimum clean up.  Along with the broccoli and pasta, you’ll be adding fresh spinach to this dish.  Lemon, garlic, fresh parmesan, and crushed red pepper add flavor.  A tip: To add some protein to this recipe, substitute the protein “plus” variety of dried pasta to this dish.  I know Barilla Pasta carries a “Protein Plus” variety that would work well.

lemon broccoli pasta
Courtesy of The Food Charlatan

 

Easy Tuscan Bean Soup is another recipe perfect for a weeknight.  It will taste like you slaved over the stove all day making it, but it only takes 30 minutes!  This recipe is packed with healthy veggies–cannellini beans, onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, kale, and garlic.  You’ll use vegetable broth as your base and add lots of herbs and spices.  Serve this soup with a slice of crusty bread and you’ve got a hearty meal.

easy-tuscan-soup-white-beans-recipe-4
Courtesy of The Wanderlust Kitchen

 

Rolly Veggie Cannelloni are sure to be a crowd pleaser, especially if you have kids.  This recipe is a healthier take on the traditional lasagna idea, but it incorporates grated carrots and chopped spinach.  Serve with a side of fruit to make this meal complete.

rolly_veggie_cannelloni_500
Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters

 

Enjoy these meatless meals on Monday, during the Lenten season, or any day you need a healthy, flavorful recipe.  I’ll return next week with some recipes that feature fresh snow peas–one of the first veggies of the spring season.

 

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