Fresh Flavors for Spring Entertaining
It’s spring – and here in the Northeast the flowers are starting to bloom, grass is getting greener, trees are budding and it should be getting warmer (we are still waiting for that phenomenon!) Spring also brings many celebratory occasions – Mother’s Day, graduation celebrations, wedding showers and lots more oppotunities for entertaining. It’s the perfect time to get creative, but keep it simple in the kitchen for family and friends.
The fresh flavors of delicious veggies just scream spring, and their health benefits make them even more appealing! If you are entertaining, there are no better vegetables to feature in an appetizer, soup, snack, side dish or entree than freshly frozen ones, picked at their peak and locked full of nutrients, including asparagus, broccoli and even spinach!
Did you know that California grows nearly 80 percent of all the asparagus in the United States? The tasty vegetable has no fat or cholesterol, and it is high in fiber and potassium. Not only is asparagus one of these easy entertaining healthy vegetables, but broccoli and spinach top the list as well with their different nutrition benefits and simplicity in preparing. Broccoli is high in Vitamins A and C. The average American consumes over four pounds of broccoli a year, and 90 percent of our nation’s stock is produced in California! And you can’t forget Popeye’s favorite, spinach! This leafy green was first cultivated over 2,000 years ago in Iran, and in the 1930’s, U.S. spinach growers had Popeye to thank for the 33 percent increase in domestic spinach consumption!
We love using these vegetables in creative and simple recipes for different spring entertaining events! Here are a few of our favorite spring entertainment occasions and recipe ideas:
Hors d’oeuvres for Afternoon Gatherings:
- This creamy Warm Spinach Dip is the perfect dish to bring to a springtime gathering! The appetizer takes minutes to prepare, and it will be gone in seconds when your guests can’t get enough of its deliciousness!
- It is no secret that broccoli and cheese is a match made in heaven. These Broccoli Cheddar Rolls are the perfect snack-size appetizer to prepare and serve for your spring gathering!
- Crab and Asparagus Dip will delight all your guests with its rich flavor and creamy texture. It’s served best warm and bubbling right out of the oven!
- Who said pizza was only for dinner? Try this Spinach & Feta Pizza cut into bite size pieces to serve to guests! It’s gluten free so all your visitors can enjoy. Kids will love it, and parents will love that the spinach gives everyone a nice boost of nutrients!
- These flaky shells filled with veggie and cheese goodness make a great hors d’oeuvre. Broccoli and Cheese Phyllo Shells are packed with flavor and can be prepared in just minutes!
Mother’s Day Buffet:
- Treat all the moms in your family to this creamy and delicious Ham and Broccoli Potato Soup! Throw it in the crock pot to stay warm until all your Mother’s Day guests arrive for a lunch or dinner buffet!
- A great addition to any buffet is the traditional Beef & Broccoli! There’s no need to make everything from scratch when this easy-to-prepare meal option comes right from the freezer and has that homemade taste that everyone will enjoy!
- These Lemon Basil Vegetables are the perfect accompaniment to any buffet-style meal. Not only are they healthy and colorful with corn, asparagus and carrots, but they’re irresistibly tasty with the lemon basil sauce!
- Looking for a quick and tasty option? This Lemongrass Chicken combines delicious veggies like broccoli and snap peas with tender white meat chicken for a meal mom will love!
- If mom prefers seafood, then this recipe for Seafood Oscar is just right for her! Delicious tilapia fillets topped with asparagus and Hollandaise sauce – yummy!
Are you doing any Spring Entertaining? Let us know what you are preparing and planning in the comments below!