Spring is here!  Let’s get into the spirit and ring in the start of a new season in your kitchen.  Open windows, clear clutter and let warm sunshine fill your culinary space. A recent survey conducted for the Huffington Post revealed that a cluttered home can raise levels of cortisol, a stress hormone in the body. The survey also noted that people who tended to be stressed about disorganization in their homes were more stressed out in general. In an effort to ensure mental clarity, in all aspects of your life this spring, take the time to head off disorganization before it hits.  Cleaning and reorganizing your kitchen is the key to successfully creating quick and healthy meals.

Organize your cooking area by:

  • Rotating your cupboard stock and putting away ingredients that may only be used occasionally.
  • Adding labels and transferring common foods such as pasta, oatmeal, and nuts into clear, see-through containers, will not only serve as visual cues for recipe inspiration, but will ensure they don’t go unused in the back of your pantry.
  • Remember, “first in, first out” (FIFO) to effeciently using your pantry staples before they expire on the shelves.

“Freshening up” for the spring would not be complete without the addition of seasonal fruits and vegetables back into your repertoire. April is a peak month for asparagus, avocados, green beans, pea pods, lettucekale, swiss chard and spinach. Crisp greens pair perfectly with dressings that smell of citrus and summer to come.  Mix them up in a salad, add to stir-frys and color your plate green in hopes of a lush spring!

Green Goddess Chicken Salad with Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette

By Maggie Michalczyk*

Maggie Green Goddess Salad 2

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 cup chicken breast, seasoned and grilled

2 cups baby kale

½ avocado, pitted and diced

¼ cup pea pods

1/2 tsp chia seeds

2 tbsp almonds, slivered

1 tsp Dijon mustard

4 tbsp canola oil

½ tsp Italian seasonings

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions: Combine lemon juice, canola oil, Dijon mustard, Italian seasonings and chia seeds in a mason jar for easy mixing and pouring. Toss kale, peapods, avocado and almonds and combine with chicken. Pour vinaigrette over salad and enjoy!

Nutrition Information (per one serving): Calories: 434, Total Fat: 13 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Saturated Fat: 3, Cholersterol 26 mg, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Dietary Fiber: 11 g, Sugars: 2 g, Protein: 19 g   

* A special thank you to Maggie, my fabulous intern, for this great post and delicious spring-inspired recipe.

Enjoy evolving your eating today!

Happy & healthy eating,

Vicki

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