So it’s almost time to “spring forward…” I am not sure where the days go, but they certainly fly by too quickly! I am loving the warmer weather though. This morning the birds were so loud and chirpy outside that it made me realize how quiet it has been without their morning greetings! My yard is full of cardinals right now and I love their bright red feathers and their dark orange beaks. They just make me smile. This is why it is the perfect time of year for a meal outside. (Of course this means pulling that grill back out and getting it dusted off.)
Speaking of meals outside, I have been on a Springtime diet. Thankfully, this time of year it’s a little easier to make healthy choices. The reality of bathing suit season coupled with shorts and sandals season starts to creep in as the sun gets a little closer and each day lengthens a bit, providing inspiration. So – lean meats, veggies and salad ,salad, salad it is. Not so much fun for a foodie like me. But it IS challenging my creativity and I do appreciate that!
Let’s see… I have made pizza with a cauliflower pizza crust. (not so bad) And I have creamed cauliflower to make it look and feel like mashed potatoes. (notice I didn’t mention taste like mashed potatoes…) One of my favorite substitution discoveries is my pan broiled “fried” okra. I wash and cut fresh okra (you can use frozen, but it turns out a little soggy) and lay it in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Then broil it on low for about 8 minutes to get it started cooking and finish it with 4-5 minutes under a high broiler to turn it brown and crispy. Delicious! Seriously. You don’t even miss the crispy coating. (too much)
Tonight’s meal is going to be my garlic orange brick-grilled chicken legs with parmesan asparagus and a spinach salad with fresh berries and a pomegranate vinaigrette. I’ll serve some sparkling water with lime wedges, garnished with fresh mint and blackberries. (A lo-cal, fancy and refreshing mocktail) I think a stop off at my local greenhouse for some Spring-y potted flowers for my outdoor table is in order. That will be a low priced centerpiece that I can enjoy on my patio all season! And, no. I am not having a fancy dinner party. But I have found, that even if it’s just me, making an effort to account for all of the “details” helps make a meal more enjoyable. And taking time to sit down and linger over your meal has been proven to translate into eating fewer calories! Wish me luck in my continuing quest for yummy, healthy meals! I will continue sharing my discoveries along the way… Happy Spring Forward Weekend!