As the weather gets nicer, people will be getting out of their houses and spending more time outside. After being inside for a long winter, everyone will be eager to get outdoors and soak up the warm weather. Here are a few recipes you can try as Spring arrives and eating outside becomes an option.
Spinach Artichoke Zucchini Bites
These spinach artichoke zucchini bites are a great appetizer because they are so easy to make. With just 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of baking, this savory appetizer will be ready in no time!
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. shredded mozzarella
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 c. canned artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 c. frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 tbsp. sour cream
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
3 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2″ rounds
Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, artichokes, spinach, sour cream, garlic and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread about a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture on top of each zucchini coin.
Bake until zucchini is tender and cheese is melty, 15 minutes. For more color, broil on high for one to two minutes.
Spinach Strawberry Salad
This fun spinach strawberry salad is sweet and refreshing at the same time. One would think adding strawberries to a salad would not be appetizing, but they surprisingly add loads of flavor to the salad. Topped with some balsamic vinaigrette and grilled chicken on the side, this salad is a great meal to try this Spring.
¾ cup raw pecans
½ small red onion very thinly sliced
10 ounces fresh baby spinach I also love a 50/50 arugula and spinach blend
1 quart strawberries hulled and quartered (about 1 pound)
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
Toast the pecans: Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spread the pecans in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for eight to ten minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.
Place the sliced onions in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad.
Assemble the salad: Place the spinach in a great big serving bowl. Add the strawberries. Drain the red onion and add it as well. Add the feta and pecans. Toss lightly to combine. Serve immediately, with balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side as desired.
Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake
This dessert has a perfect combination of lemon and blueberry flavors along with the delicious glaze on top. It does take a little bit longer than the other recipes, but it is definitely worth it.
Cooking spray, for pan
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
2 c. plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 pt. fresh blueberries, some reserved for topping
1 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. lemon juice
Make pound cake: Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9″-x-5″ loaf pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat until combined.
In a separate medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until combined. In a medium bowl, combine most of the blueberries with remaining 2 tablespoons flour and toss to coat. Fold floured blueberries into cake batter; reserve unfloured blueberries for topping.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and smooth top with a spatula. Sprinkle with reserved blueberries and bake for one hour ten minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let cool for ten minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Meanwhile, make glaze: in a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Drizzle over cooled pound cake and serve.