Houseboaters love food like fish love water. Technically, you could probably say people in general love food like fish love water, but let’s be specific here and face a fact—running around in the fresh air and jumping in the lake while hanging out on a houseboat tends to work up a special sort of appetite. We all feel like our internal clocks are swept back a few decades to teenagehood when we could down a Subway foot-long as a light snack to tide us over until dinner, where the real eating would commence. And since spring is sneaking up on us, it’s time to say that one of the best ways to greet a new season is by whipping up some timely dishes that capture and celebrate the season’s best flavors. Here are some yummy suggestions if you’re looking for suggestions. Even if you’re not looking, we’ll give them anyway.
Spinach and Strawberry Salad
This delicious recipe makes 8 servings with only 10 minutes of prep. Tear two bunches of spinach into bite-sized pieces and toss them in a large bowl with 4 cups of sliced strawberries. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup white wine vinegar, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, and 1 tablespoon poppy seeds. Pour this delicious homemade dressing over the spinach and strawberries and give them a hearty toss to coat the salad. Prop some salad tongs on top and have everybody dig in! (AllRecipes.com)
Grilled Chicken Pineapple Sandwiches
If you’re after a tropical twist in your spring cuisine, you have to try these juicy sandwiches. Once you prep your grill, sprinkle four 6-ounce chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Throw them on the grill rack with cooking spray and grill 5 to 6 minutes per side, brushing them with lime juice every few minutes. Grill four ½-inch slices of fresh pineapple for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until they’re nicely browned. Spread some light mayo (or Miracle Whip, if that’s more your thing) on the bottoms of 4 toasted whole wheat hamburger buns and top with the grilled chicken, pineapple, a basil leaf, and the bun top. Eat this delectable spring sandwiches right away, because they taste best fresh off the grill. (MyRecipes.com)
Spring Vegetable Penne With Lemon Cream Sauce
A quick and light midweek dish, this recipe serves ten and shows off some of the best flavors of spring. Simply get a tablespoon of olive oil heating in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and sauté a chopped Vidalia onion and an 8-ounze package of sliced mushrooms. After about five minutes of this delicious aroma, add a teaspoon of thyme and a tablespoon of crushed garlic. After cooking for one minute, sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of flour and stir for 30 seconds.
Add a cup of fat-free chicken broth and a cup of fat-free half and half and cook for a couple minutes until the mixture is a little thicker. Toss in 1-1/2 cups of frozen peas, 4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, a tablespoon of lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. As the peas are heating through, start cooking a pound of penne pasta and diagonally cut a pound of asparagus. At the last 3 minutes, add the asparagus to the pasta. Drain and combine the two pans together, tossing to coat the noodles. Garnish this delicious dish with 2 more tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and you’re set! (PointlessMeals.Blogspot.com)
Spring Bounty Potato Salad
A refreshing new twist on an old classic, this is one dish you can’t miss out on. Serve up 8 to 10 people with this delicious spring potato salad. Steam 2 pounds of small Yukon Gold potatoes until they’re tender, about 20 minutes. Cool them off with ice water, pat them dry, and slice them up into whatever sized chunks you like. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and cook a cup of shelled fresh peas for about 3 minutes, before draining, cooling in ice water, and draining again. Whip up 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 1 cup of mayonnaise, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add half of this dressing, 4 sliced green onions, and the cooled peas to the potatoes and gently stir. Throw in 5 peeled and chopped hard boiled eggs and 3 tablespoons of chopped tarragon before gently stirring once more. Spread the rest of the dressing in the bottom of a wide bowl and pour in the potato salad, garnishing with a bit more tarragon if that’s your fancy. Then invite everyone to fill up their plates with this delicious potato salad. (MyRecipes.com)
Whipping Cream Pound Cake
Contrary to its name, this pound cake is delightfully light and offers just enough sweetness to add the perfect finish to any spring meal. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and grease/flour a 10-inch tube pan. Cream a cup of room-temperature butter for a few minutes before adding 3 cups of white sugar and beating 5 minutes more (the mixture becoming lighter in color). Add 6 room-temperature eggs individually, beating after each one. Next, add 1-1/2 cups of cake flour, a cup of room-temperature heavy cream, and another 1-1/2 cups of cake flour, mixing in between. Add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and a teaspoon of almond extract, before pouring the mix into the prepared pan. Bake for about 70 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean, then cool the pound cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Tip it out onto a dish towel and leave it to cool on a rack, wrapped in the towel. Once it’s cool, slice up this cake and top it with confectioners’ sugar, fruit, whipped cream, or plain Jane. (AllRecipes.com)