Spring has sprung, gardens are sprouting, flowers are peeking up out of the ground to greet the warm sunshine, and the great American past time of lawn mowing has officially begun!
Having said that, this blog cannot always be about bread and rolls and cakes and pies. Above all else, I want to promote a healthy balanced diet for all. So, lets talk about some of nature's bounty that is now available for our enjoyment. Fresh asparagus is in abundance now. I love to sprinkle it with some olive oil and sea salt and roast it in the oven.........magnificent! It still has some crunch and a wonderful flavor. It is also superb on the grill with the olive oil and sea salt. Remember how people used to prepare it by boiling it to death........ugh!
Lovely, Hawaiian pineapple are also in delicious abundance right now. Try putting fresh slices on the grill for a minute or two on each side and you have a surprisingly good, low calorie dessert.....very tasty! They also really jazz up any chicken and rice dish. If the you make the dish a little spicy, the pineapple adds an interesting contrast and makes chicken and rice more exotic. Personally, I also love to just indulge in pineapple fresh as is. I have a fantasy of sitting in a field of them in Hawaii eating until I fall over in a juice-laden stupor!
Strawberries are back in season in a big way (and I do mean big........some of them are huge this year)! While strawberries are great under any circumstance, try making a fresh salad of baby spinach and sliced strawberries with a balsamic vinegarette. Wonderfully satisfying and very unique in flavor. Also, strawberries smothering a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream comes to mind.....ahhh!! Strawberries smothering a slice of gluten-free angel food cake........then drenched in fresh whipped cream.......what was that I was saying about a healthy diet????
Lastly are my beloved champagne mangos. These are a slightly smaller version of the usual mango that we are accustomed to and are pale yellow in color. I find them at Whole Foods and they are very plentiful right now. I can't seem to get enough of them! They are sweeter than their counterparts and I could eat them until I sprouted a Carmen Miranda fruit adorned hat! You really need to give them a try! They are reasonably priced so they are good for your budget and loaded with nutrition.
As far as I am concerned, this is a great time of the year for Celiacs. Cherry, peach, and watermelon season can't be far away and let's remember that sweet corn and tomatoes deserve our attention later in the season. The more fresh wholesome food we eat, the more unlikely it is for us to get "glutenized". As we all know, meat that is not marinated when you buy it is gluten-free. So grilling becomes a delightful possibility with nary a hint of gluten to ruin your summer BBQ. Remember Cookies BBQ sauce is gluten-free! But always read labels for possible "injections" in meat.............sneaky, very sneaky!
A few announcements regarding Hy-Vee and their Health Markets........108th & Fort Hy-Vee....April 28th - 15% off Gluten-Free Health Market Sack Sale. May 25th Northwest Omaha Hy-Vee Gluten-Free Support Group meets at 79th & Cass St. Hy-Vee. Contact Karissa at 384-8668 to pre-register. (I believe it is 5:30 to 6:30 PM, but check with her.) May 26th - Gluten-Free Sample Fest - 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at 108th & Fort Hy-Vee. May 26th - 15% off Gluten-Free Health Market Sack Sale, 108th & Forth Hy-Vee Only.
Council Bluffs Hy-Vee - Gluten-free Sack Sale on May 11th and a regular Health Market sack sale on May 20th.
Next blog I will finally talk about all the interesting mixes I have been making and sampling.....and making and sampling! I had to slow down my carb intake briefly though. I had visions of resembling the Pillsbury Dough Boy! Get outside and enjoy the weather..........you have been cooped up all winter! Linda