I know spring officially started a few weeks ago, but it is finally starting to feel like spring in many locations across the country. Growing up in New England this feeling came when the thermometer finally broke 50 and everyone fought with their parents for the chance to wear flip flops and shorts to school. However, now after living in California for ten years where 50 degrees means it's time to break out the down filled parka and winter hats, I instead gauge the arrival of spring by spring produce at the farmer's market. Artichokes, asparagus, spinach, pea shoots, strawberries, and a new favorite rhubarb are starting to show up everywhere. So this week what better way to celebrate spring then sharing recipes that use the best of spring produce. What are your favorites?
1. Strawberry Banana Chocolate Baked Oatmeal, 6 P+, 264 calories
This has become one of my favorite weekend breakfasts as of late. Usually it involves some version of this routine. Wake up, toss everything together and throw into oven, make coffee, and return to bed until the smell begins to waft in and I know it's ready. I usually use any fruit, nut, chocolate combination I have in hand but this is the perfect time of year to use lots of fresh strawberries.
2. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, 2 P+, 74 calories
Lately I have been buying a lot of asparagus and this is easily one of my favorite ways to prepare it. Wrapped in just enough bacon to flavor the entire bundle of asparagus, this makes a quick and delicious side dish for any meal. Not to mention the excuse to eat bacon.
3. Panko Parmesan Asparagus, 3 P+, 190 calories
This asparagus recipe is almost like an oven fry and makes a great accompaniment to burgers and sandwiches. Tossed in light Panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese, then baked to crispy and crunchy, they are perfect for lovers and not-lovers of asparagus alike. And if you need one more way to use asparagus, this spring Asparagus Quiche is also delish.
4. Spinach Artichoke Dip Mini Bread Bowls, 2 P+, 98 calories
While typically made with frozen produce, these mini spinach and artichoke dip bread bowls can be made with fresh ingredients that are plentiful this time of year. And although they taste great either way, you can really taste the difference when you start from fresh ingredients.
5. Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler, 6 P+
I haven't had the chance yet to work out my own strawberry rhubarb dessert, but in the mean time this is a pretty delicious treat that brings together the spring classic of strawberries and rhubarb. Although the recipe recommends frozen, start with the real thing and it makes a yummy dessert.
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