It’s time to spring into healthy eating

It’s time to spring into healthy eating

Spring is here.
I feel it, I smell it and best of all I am beginning to taste it. What does spring taste like? Spring tastes fresh, crisp, sweet and green. With memories of winter fading, it is now time to let go of the slow cooker, the stews and potpies and say hello to lighter pastas, spring mix salads and fresh fruits.Enjoying seasonal produce means buying what’s available that week and learning how to cook it. But you don’t have to be a gourmet to shop at the farmer’s market. The chief benefit of seasonal, locally produced food is fresh, ripe food that may have been harvested the day before. Food that is fresh has so much flavor that it often doesn’t require much more than olive oil, salt and pepper to make a delicious meal.So what is in season now? As far as vegetables, look for spinach, asparagus, sugar snap peas and avocados. For fruits: apricots, kiwis, rhubarb and strawberries. But aside from the usual preparation of an ordinary salad, whether it be fruit or mixed greens, what else can one do to turn garden greens into flavorful, healthy dishes? How does fresh spinach, lightly steamed and then drizzled with roasted garlic olive oil sound? Or grilled asparagus dressed with lemon olive oil and violet balsamic vinegar. Take a bowl of fresh strawberries and make them a standout with baker & olive’s traditional 18-year aged balsamic vinegar. Delicious but oh so healthy! Did you know that one tablespoon of olive oil has just 120 calories; and remember these fats are all your healthy fats. Even more surprising and equally satisfying is balsamic vinegar coming in at just a mere 10 calories per tablespoon!
The olive oil and balsamic vinegar selection at baker & olive in Encinitas will surely open your eyes and taste buds to an entirely new flavor experience. They carry over two dozen extra virgin olive oils. Half of which are infused and flavored and the others are pure, natural olive oils. The two dozen balsamic vinegars are both white and dark infused balsamic. Good ingredients do indeed equal good food or at the very least, they’re the critical starting point. Here is a simple recipe to try this week that will go well with any meal you are preparing.

Grilled Romaine with Apricots and Blue Cheese (serves 4)
Preheat outdoor grill or grill pan. Make salad dressiSpring is here.
I feel it, I smell it and best of all I am beginning to taste it. What does spring taste like? Spring tastes fresh, crisp, sweet and green. With memories of winter fading, it is now time to let go of the slow cooker, the stews and potpies and say hello to lighter pastas, spring mix salads and fresh fruits.
Enjoying seasonal produce means buying what’s available that week and learning how to cook it. But you don’t have to be a gourmet to shop at the farmer’s market. The chief benefit of seasonal, locally produced food is fresh, ripe food that may have been harvested the day before. Food that is fresh has so much flavor that it often doesn’t require much more than olive oil, salt and pepper to make a delicious meal.
So what is in season now? As far as vegetables, look for spinach, asparagus, sugar snap peas and avocados. For fruits: apricots, kiwis, rhubarb and strawberries. But aside from the usual preparation of an ordinary salad, whether it be fruit or mixed greens, what else can one do to turn garden greens into flavorful, healthy dishes? How does fresh spinach, lightly steamed and then drizzled with roasted garlic olive oil sound? Or grilled asparagus dressed with lemon olive oil and violet balsamic vinegar. Take a bowl of fresh strawberries and make them a standout with baker & olive’s traditional 18-year aged balsamic vinegar. Delicious but oh so healthy! Did you know that one tablespoon of olive oil has just 120 calories; and remember these fats are all your healthy fats. Even more surprising and equally satisfying is balsamic vinegar coming in at just a mere 10 calories per tablespoon!
The olive oil and balsamic vinegar selection at baker & olive in Encinitas will surely open your eyes and taste buds to an entirely new flavor experience. They carry over two dozen extra virgin olive oils. Half of which are infused and flavored and the others are pure, natural olive oils. The two dozen balsamic vinegars are both white and dark infused balsamic. Good ingredients do indeed equal good food or at the very least, they’re the critical starting point. Here is a simple recipe to try this week that will go well with any meal you are preparing.

Grilled Romaine with Apricots and Blue Cheese (serves 4)
Preheat outdoor grill or grill pan. Make salad dressing by whisking together 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon agave nectar and 1 cup Arbequina extra virgin olive oil. Whisk until thick and emulsified. Set aside. Slice two small to medium heads of romaine in half and brush lightly with olive oil. Place cut side down on grill/pan until grill marks show, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and place cut side up in individual plates.Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Top each half with crumbled blue cheese to taste and one sliced apricot. Drizzle with salad dressing and enjoy.
Baker & Olive is open 10 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 165 S. El Camino Real in Encinitas. Contact at (760) 944-7840 or bakerandolive.com.ng by whisking together 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon agave nectar and 1 cup Arbequina extra virgin olive oil. Whisk until thick and emulsified. Set aside. Slice two small to medium heads of romaine in half and brush lightly with olive oil. Place cut side down on grill/pan until grill marks show, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and place cut side up in individual plates.Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Top each half with crumbled blue cheese to taste and one sliced apricot. Drizzle with salad dressing and enjoy.
Baker & Olive is open 10 to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at 165 S. El Camino Real in Encinitas. Contact at (760) 944-7840 or bakerandolive.com.

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