After a long winter it looks like Spring might have finally arrived! To get in the mood I like to decorate my house with fresh flowers and get the herb garden started. Spring is the time of year there is hope! Hope for new life and good things to come. Speaking of good things, it’s also the time of year for some lighter fare and I have some favorite spring recipes that help get the season started.
Creamy & Light Chicken Salad
3lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and
1 cup diced celery
1 cup seedless red or green grapes cut in half
1 cup mayonnaise
1 8-oz. carton dairy sour cream or plain yogurt
Salt and ground black pepper
In a very large bowl stir together the chicken, celery, grapes, mayonnaise, sour cream or Yogurt, and salt, and pepper to taste until combined. Cover and chill 2 to 24 hours. Makes 8 cups salad
Layered Garden Salad
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
1 cup halved grape tomatoes,
or quartered cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 cup sliced scallions
3/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt
3/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1-2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 strips cooked bacon, crumbled
- Place lettuce in a large bowl.
- Layer peas, bell pepper, tomatoes, celery and scallions on top.
- Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar to taste, garlic powder, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Spread the dressing evenly over the top of the salad (an offset spatula is handy for this, if you have one).
- Sprinkle with cheese, basil and bacon.
Berry Cheesecake Cloud
Nonstick cooking spray
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups small pretzel twists (2 oz.; about 33)
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds, toasted
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/3 cup water
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 8-oz. tubs light cream cheese, softened
1 8-oz. carton light dairy sour cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1/2 of an 8-oz. container frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed
1 cup quartered or halved fresh strawberries
1 cup fresh blackberries or blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350°F. For crust: In a food processor, combine pretzels and sliced almonds; cover and process until finely crushed. Add butter; cover and process until combined. Press pretzel mixture on the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
- For filling: Place the water in a small saucepan; sprinkle with gelatin(do not stir). Let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Cook and stir over low heat until gelatin dissolves; set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, powdered sugar, and almond extract; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add gelatin mixture; beat until combined. Fold in whipped topping.
- Spread half of the filling evenly over cooled crust. Top cheese cake with half of the strawberries and half of the blackberries. Spread the remaining cream cheese mixture over berries. Cover and chill cheesecake for 4 to 24 hours or until set. Run a long sharp knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen; remove side of pan. Cut cheesecake into wedges. Top each serving with some of the remaining strawberries and blackberries.