Fun, Fast, Fresh: Spring Into Healthy Eating With These Recipes

(Photo courtesy of Simple Green Smoothies)

Winter is all about comfort food that warms the soul, but as the calendar inches towards summer light, refreshing recipes are just the ticket for feeling revived. Welcome spring’s bounty with these fast, fresh recipes. 

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

(Photo courtesy of Real + Vibrant)

This salad is nourishing and full of flavor and fresh vegetables. Tossed in a refreshing and tangy lemon herb dressing, this salad is a crowd-pleaser and perfect on its own or as a side. Make it for potlucks, picnics, barbecues or work tomorrow.


Lemon-Mint Vinaigrette

¼  cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper


2 cups cooked quinoa

1 cup snap peas, chopped

1 avocado, diced

½ cup diced red pepper

½ cup halved cherry tomatoes

¼ cup  kalamata olives, pitted and halved

¼ cup diced red onion

¼ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup pistachios


Prepare the dressing. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Prepare the salad. In a large bowl, combine the quinoa, vegetables and remaining ingredients. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss the salad. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.

—Submitted by Sapana Chandra of Real + Vibrant

Mustard and Matzo Crusted Pacific Salmon

(Photo courtesy of The Posh Pescatarian)

A date night dish that’s spicy, simple and elegant that you can make in under 15 minutes. This seafood recipe will help celebrate the arrival of spring.


4 (4-oz) salmon fillets, pin bones removed

1 Tbsp deli mustard (whole grain)

1 Tbsp Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp of lemon juice

1 large matzo cracker, crushed 

1 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp dried dill

3 Tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Optional: Fresh dill and fresh lemon zest


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

 In a small bowl, use your hands or a food processor to crush the matzo cracker in fine pieces and combine with the dried dill, lemon juice and olive oil. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix the mustard and yogurt together and set aside. 

 Sprinkle the salmon fillets with the garlic powder, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste. Use a pastry brush to apply a thick coating of the mustard mixture to the fish then artfully top each piece of fish with the matzo mixture. Add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven. Bake for 10 to12 minutes, or until the matzo topping is lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for a couple of minutes before serving. 

Garnish with fresh dill and lemon zest.  

—Submitted by chef Stephanie Harris-Uyidi,  aka The Posh Pescatarian. She is  the producer and host of the travel-adventure-cooking TV series, The Posh Pescatarian: Appetite for Adventure.

Simple Vegan Coleslaw

(Photo courtesy of Simple Green Smoothies)

This recipe is the perfect side dish for grilling out or making ahead and eating for lunches a quick snack during the week. It’s super versatile.


Cashew-Garlic Aioli Sauce

1 cup raw cashews

1 tsp dijon mustard

5 tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided

1⁄4 tsp sea salt, or more to taste

3 garlic cloves

Vegan Coleslaw

1⁄2 head napa cabbage, cored and shredded

1⁄4 cup shredded carrots

1⁄2 cup Cashew-Garlic Aioli Sauce

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, or more to taste

2 tsp coconut sugar

1⁄4 tsp sea salt


Cashew-Garlic Aioli Sauce

Place the cashews in a medium bowl and pour 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice over the top. Add enough water to cover by a few inches. Let soak for 2 hours, then drain and rinse well. In a blender, combine the cashews, garlic, mustard, salt and the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Pulse a few times, then blend on low. If needed, add a few tablespoons of water. The mixture should be thick and creamy, sorta like mayonnaise. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice as desired. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate. This keeps well up to 1 week in the fridge or up to several months in the freezer.

Vegan Coleslaw

In a mixing bowl, combine the cabbage and carrots. Add the Garlic Aioli, vinegar, coconut sugar and salt. Toss until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

—Submitted by Jen Hansard plant-based cookbook author and creator of Simple Green Smoothies 

Cyndi Zaweski
Cyndi Zaweski is the former editor of Anton Media Group's special sections.

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