Finding the Bright Spot: Recipes with Citrus Fruits To Brighten Your Days
How can it be May already? Even with all that's going on, I feel like these past months have just flown by. I am sitting outside right because it is such a gorgeous day. A slight breeze coupled with the warmth of the sun...it just doesn't get any better than that. On days like today the lines between work and play are a little blurry. I made a tray of snacks for the kids and I to pick on, some surprisingly delicious clementines (I'm surprised because they
are not really in season), hummus, crackers, cheese....it's a good mix of things. The kids seem to be enjoying it, so I am happy.
I have been spending way more time in the kitchen then I would even like to admit to, as I am sure most of you reading this have been. Sometimes we all get in a rut and don't know what to cook. We are sick of eating the same things or we are just tired of cleaning up the kitchen after we make a mess, but we know that we are doing the right thing. We are putting homemade food in front of our families and having family time that has seemed to slip away from us over the years. I just try to keep that in mind and continue to be grateful for not only my health but the health of my family and the time we get to be together.
I know that on Instagram I posted a few weeks ago about jumping on the Instacart bandwagon, and it was nice for a while to not have to run out, leave the kids, etc, etc. But I've been heading out to the grocery stores the last week or so, following the stores one way aisles and shopping at a safe distance. I just couldn't stomach paying $20-$30 extra on my already ridiculously expensive grocery bill for someone to shop for me and maybe get the items right. I know that I have friends who love it and it works for them, but I am really hands on when it comes to food shopping. Call me a control freak... I just can't help it. Controlling the things I can gives me a little bit of peace in all this craziness.
I have noticed the last couple of times that I have been spending even more time in the produce department then I used too (and believe me, I was usually there for half of my grocery trip before). The produce seems to be super fresh and in abundance, in most stores anyway. The zucchini, and cucumbers, the bell peppers and Swiss chard, the baby arugula and endive. I love all the colors I see! I just makes me happy.
Going into late spring, feeling the slightly warmer weather and seeing the super fresh and vibrant produce always turns my focus from thick, rich comfort food to light, fresh and bright flavors. I have always been a lover of citrus. Something about the freshness and acidity of a lemon or lime can brighten up just about any dish. I have been particularly obsessed with limes. They're taste is bright and fresh with a little bit of tang! Squeeze a bit of lime on your fish tacos, put a little bit of lime juice in your chili, make a gremolata of lime zest, salt and parsley and top a filet of flounder with it before baking. There are so many possibilities! I love to use the zest and juice of the lime in my Game Day Guacamole. The zest of the lime really turns up the flavor! Speaking of dips for a party...I've got a great one for you. Not your average run-of-the-mill salsa, the base of my Shrimp Salsa is simply the juice and zest of limes with some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Nothing else is needed to make this "dip" the star of your next get together this summer (at a safe distance of course!)
Another recipe I have that is brightened up by the delicious tang of limes is my Edamame and Black Bean Salad which I have to admit is a bit addictive. The longer it sits in the dressing the better it tastes. You can make a batch of it on Monday and have it throughout the week. The combination of lime, soy sauce and a bit of orange juice is SO good! The more I sit here and type about it, the more I want to go inside and make a batch right now.... I just might do that as soon as I am finished writing this entry!!
Sorry for going on and on about limes. If you are not a lime fan, lemons are equally as delicious. I little less of a tang and a bit more of a bright pop of tartness. If you are doing burgers and dogs or even surf and turf on the grill and you are looking for a great side dish, try out my Broccoli and Kale Slaw. It's packed with veggies and the dressing is bright and fresh with a punch of acidity from the lemon and white wine vinegar.
Whatever and wherever these next few months take us, at least we can put some healthy and delicious food on your family table that is easy to make and even easier to devour. From my family to yours, stay healthy and be safe.
Lots of Love.