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Have a Spring Produce Fling!

Make the best of the season's bounty with these tips and yummy recipes

11. KALE

Kale is grown in California, where peak season is April to July.

A cup of raw, chopped kale contains some 33 calories, 2 grams fiber, 75% Daily Value for vitamin A, 11% for folic acid, 134% vitamin C, 11% calcium, and 8% vitamin E.

Tips to try:

  • Keep kale refrigerated, and remove the stems from the leafy part (it's the leafy part that you want to cook).
  • Use kale in cooked recipes that call for spinach (such as quiche, casserole, and soups).

Now, on to those recipes.

Blackberry Spinach Salad

Journal as: 1 cup side salad + 1/2 ounce regular cheese + 1/2 tablespoon nuts.

This salad has so much flavor that the only dressing you'll need is a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

4 cups baby spinach, rinsed and dried (comes in packages this way), packed measure
2 cups fresh blackberries (thawed blackberries can also be used)
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese (or reduced-fat or regular feta cheese)
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (chopped ripe tomatoes can be substituted)
1 large or 2 small green onions, sliced
3 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts or walnut pieces
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (add more to taste)

  • Add spinach, blackberries, cheese, cherry tomatoes, green onion, and walnuts to a large serving bowl. Toss to blend well.
  • Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve into 4 salad bowls.

Makes 4 servings

Per serving: 167 calories, 7 g protein, 21 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat (3.2 g saturated fat, 1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 1.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 11 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 129 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 37%.

Mango Papaya Salsa

Journal as: 1 piece of fruit.

This is a wonderful tropical salsa that goes well with chicken or fish. It even tastes great served on reduced-fat tortilla chips.

1 mango, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 papaya, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
1/2 cup sweet onion, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

  • In a medium bowl, gently toss mango, papaya, and red bell pepper, avocado, sweet onion, cilantro, and balsamic vinegar.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve (it works well to chill for at least 30 minutes).
  • Serve with broiled or grilled fish or chicken breast (skinless) or reduced-fat tortilla chips.

Makes 8 servings

Per serving: 84 calories, 1 g protein, 12.6 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat (0.7 g saturated fat, 2.5 g monounsaturated fat, 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 5 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 40%.

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