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And before you know it, winter has loosened its hold on us and we're greeted with flowers poking out of the ground and robins chirping at us from the budding trees. It only seems right to welcome spring with fresh and lightly cooked vegetables that have been seasoned with perky ingredients like tangy vinegars and fresh lemon juice. Enjoy them as just a taste of what's to come in this season of fresh produce and sunshine!
The chewy wheat berries in this salad give it an extra dose of fiber and a texture that's unusually pleasant. You can find wheat berries at specialty food stores and in the whole grains department of larger grocery stores.
1 1/2 c. wheat berries, cooked until puffed & chewy
1/2 c. apple juice
1/3 c. raisins
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 c. thinly sliced spinach
1 T. roasted sesame seeds
3 T. rice vinegar
2 T. olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
Prepare wheat berries according to the package directions. Heat the apple juice to boiling and pour carefully over the raisins & allow to sit for 5 minutes. Then drain the apple juice and save for another use. Mix the raisins into the wheat berries.
Coat a small skillet with cooking spray. Saute the mushrooms, onion and red pepper until just tender. Add them to the wheat berries. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well blended. Season with salt and pepper as desired.
The broth in this spicy soup gets its kick from a combination of ginger, garlic and Thai curry. If you want a milder soup, simply omit the curry and add 1/2 teaspoon of paprika.
3 c. chicken broth
1 T. minced ginger
1 T. minced garlic
1/8 tsp. Thai red curry paste
5 oz. thin spaghetti
4 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. snap peas
1 c. cooked chicken, sliced into strips
2 T. sliced green onions
2 tsp. black sesame seeds
Combine the chicken broth, ginger, garlic and curry paste in a large saucepan over high heat. When the mixture begins to boil, cook the spaghetti in the broth until tender.
Meanwhile, in a wok, heat the cooking spray over high heat. Add the mushrooms, pepper, onion and snap peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add 1 ounce of the broth and the cooked chicken to the wok, cover and remove from the heat. Allow to sit for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
To serve, spoon the noodles evenly between two bowls. Top the noodles with the vegetable-chicken mixture and ladle the broth over it all. Garnish with the green onions and sesame seeds and squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over each bowl before serving.