April 9, 201210-Second Recipes: No Need to 'Stew' Any Longer About Spring Stew Ingredients
(10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare)
By Lisa Messinger
Food and Cooking at Creators Syndicate
Our stew pots often get put away with our winter coats. However, stew is a wonderful way to highlight and deliciously combine the flavors of spring as well. Lamb, for instance, is a flavorful base with just enough natural fat to enrich the final results. Vegetables, like asparagus, add distinctive appeal and soften up much more than from other preparations while absorbing added seasonings, such as the spring herb tarragon.
Cooking can be delicious, yet simple, nutritious and inexpensive, too, as the following split-second sensations prove. They take just 10 seconds each to read and are almost that quick to prepare. They are tasty proof that everyone has time for cooking and, more importantly, the healthy family togetherness - including prepping with your kidlets - that goes along with it! Another benefit: You effortlessly become a better cook, since there are no right or wrong amounts. These are virtually-can't-go-wrong spring stew combinations, so whatever you choose to use can't help but draw "wows."
Crazy for Carrots
True baby carrots (as opposed to packaged bags of larger carrots that are milled down into a mini shape) are in season from spring through summer. They are known for being more tender than their larger counterparts and, therefore, perfect for spring stews. Use a vegetable or poultry broth. After removing stems, add seasoning that will complement, such as tarragon and sorrel. Consider stewing lighter meats, like chicken or poultry.
Using a meat broth, combine chunks of lamb, pieces of new potatoes, shelled spring peas, generous handfuls of minced fresh mint, a bit of mint jelly, salt substitute and freshly ground pepper.
Asparagus as an Accent
In a vegetable broth, accompany asparagus with chunks of ham, celery and spinach. Stir in some prepared ham glaze, Dijon mustard, as well as a bit of cayenne pepper.
Eager for Edamame
To a vegetable broth, add handfuls of spinach or kale, finely minced garlic and red onion, shelled edamame (fresh soybeans that are high in protein and low in fat found in most supermarkets), a few dollops of plain, nonfat Greek-style yogurt and Chinese five-spice powder (a blend found in most supermarket spice aisles).
Chocolate Lovers Unite
Who says stew can't be for dessert, too? To a broth of water, add unsweetened cocoa powder (considered by nutritionists not only as delicious, but a powerful antioxidant), a sugar-free nonartificial sweetener, like stevia, diced apples and pears (which will soften, but keep their shape and texture) and a combination of fresh berries (which may eventually break apart and flavor the broth by somewhat liquefying.) Swirl in a small amount of whipped cream just before serving.
QUICK TIP OF THE WEEK: During winter, to increase heartiness, perhaps you enjoy your favorite whole-grain cereals warm. A nice, slightly lighter, touch during spring is to turn them into puddings. Add soy or almond milk, dried fruit, like cherries, sliced nuts, such as almonds, and a sugar-free nonartificial sweetener, like stevia, or a touch of honey. Heat for a wholesome dessert.
Posted by Staff at 7:37 AM
Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food and nutrition writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the National Council Against Health Fraud and author of seven food books, including the best-selling The Tofu Book: The New American Cuisine with 150 Recipes (Avery/Penguin Putnam) and Turn Your Supermarket into a Health Food Store: The Brand-Name Guide to Shopping for a Better Diet (Pharos/Scripps Howard). She writes two nationally syndicated food and nutrition columns for Creators Syndicate and had been a longtime newspaper food and health section managing editor, as well as managing editor of Gayot/Gault Millau dining review company. Lisa traveled the globe writing about top chefs for Pulitzer Prize-winning Copley News Service and has written about health and nutrition for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Reader's Digest, Woman's World and Prevention Magazine Health Books. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.