Spring’s Simple Meal Ideas From A to Z

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The Sun is out, the temperatures are soaring, so it’s time to pare down. We’ve compiled a list of easy, healthy and delicious meals both for picnics and on-the-go- slaving at the stove, not required!  Let us know what you think, and please share your favorites for our always-growing list!

Apples: Apple “fingers” = Peel, slice and serve with organic nut butter or yogurt “dip.”

Berries: + plain yogurt + low sugar granola = berry parfait

Cherries: Defrost organic frozen cherries; add honey and ricotta cheese

Dried (unsweetened, unsulfured) fruit: Add to plain oatmeal, trail mix, or yogurt for a touch of sweetness… naturally.

Eggs: A quick and nutritious breakfast, lunch or dinner–scrambled, fried or hard-boiled.

Frozen fruits: and vegetables: Great in smoothies, soups, stir-fries and omelets.

Great Grains: Make a pot of grains Sunday night and eat all week (quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, polenta, couscous).

Hot cereal: Organic oatmeal, millet and multi-grain cereals are a great way to start the day. Add organic flax seeds, milk and a touch of maple syrup or dried cranberries.

Italian, Indian (and other) cuisines: Don’t be afraid to add exotic seasonings and spices–just go easy on the salt.

Jicama: Cut in spears and serve with yogurt or hummus. Or make a crunchy slaw with sliced apples, shredded cabbage and carrots, honey and rice vinegar.

Kale: Any way you like it! Crisped in the oven, sautéed with garlic and salt, or pureed in soup.

Limit meat to a few times a week. Experiment with different grains, vegetarian sources of protein and vegetables. Grains and starches (quinoa, pasta, rice, polenta, sweet potato) + protein (beans, eggs, cheese) + vegetables (tomato sauce, spinach, peas) = Dinner in a flash!

Meatballs: Using your hands combine one pound grass-fed ground beef or organic ground turkey with finely chopped onion, garlic, whole wheat breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and egg. Shape into 1-inch balls. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F for about 15 minutes.

Nut Butters: Try an English muffin topped with peanut, almond or sunflower butter and a sliced banana.

On-the-go snacks: Baby carrots, whole wheat pretzels, cheese sticks, apples, bananas.

Pre-cut vegetables: Crunched for time? Choose organic diced carrots, celery and onions (all found at Whole Foods!)–use in soups, stews, and sauces.

Quinoa: A versatile (and nutritious!) alternative to pasta, rice and other grains.

Rotisserie chicken: A hot meal centerpiece that can be transformed into chicken tacos the next day.

Smoothies: Blend almond milk, shredded greens and frozen fruit for a healthy breakfast or snack.

Trees (broccoli or cauliflower): Dip in hummus and serve with red peppers, cucumbers and baby carrots–a fun way to eat your rainbow!

Unprocessed: Strive to incorporate as many unprocessed foods as possible. From whole grains to fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize the ingredients, chances are you shouldn’t be eating it!

Variety: Try introducing one new food every couple of weeks and preparing it in different ways. It can take about 10-15 exposures before a child will embrace a new food. (In French schools, no dish can be served more than once a month to encourage kids to try new things.)

Water: Is the drink of champions!

Xigua (watermelon!): Cut up into cubes or serve in wedges; chomping on the rind is great for teething tots!

Yogurt: Save money and packaging by buying a large container of organic plain whole milk yogurt and adding frozen fruit.

Zucchini: Slice into ¼-inch “coins”, sauté in butter or olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. Or grate and add to tomato sauce, veg-up muffins and more!

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