Asparagus, Tomato, and Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Spring has officially sprung and seasonal veggies are hitting the market.  Asparagus is ready for harvest from March to June, depending on your region.  Contrary to popular belief, the skinnier spears are not necessarily more tender.  In fact the thickness does not indicate tenderness at all.  The tenderness of asparagus is determined by how it is grown and how quickly after harvest it is eaten.  Asparagus should be stored on your counter but I keep mine in the fridge because I do not need my cats messing with it while I’m at work.  If your asparagus has wilted, trim the ends, place upright in a glass with a little water in the bottom and it will perk right up.

This recipe is refreshing and flavorful.  A quality balsamic will make all the difference in the world.  It is worth it to spring for the good stuff.  Leftovers are still delicious the next day.  Try mixing it up by adding slices of kielbasa, or putting it on bruschetta toasts with a crumble of feta.  What is your favorite asparagus recipe?

ASPARAGUS, TOMATO, AND WALNUT SALAD WITH BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE

  • One 10oz package of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed, chopped into one inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 6 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tsp avocado oil (olive oil would work just fine as well)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a medium sized bowl mix together the tomatoes, asparagus, and walnuts.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing of balsamic, oil, mustard, and salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad, tossing lightly.

Take it to the next level: Add in grilled sliced kielbasa or top bruschetta toasts with salad and add a little crumble of cheese.

TOSSED WITH GRILLED KIELBASA TOPPED WITH CHIVES
TOPPED WITH CRUMBLED COTIJA ON BAGUETTE TOASTS

Creamy Broccoli Apple Salad

For the office St. Patrick’s Day potluck, it was a green theme.  There were green deviled eggs and green rice krispie treats, along with shepherd’s pie and cabbage rolls.  I needed a recipe with some green, some health, and some quickness.  This salad from Turning Back the Clock fit all my needs.  I adapted the recipe to omit the mayonnaise and got tons of compliments on the dressing.  I doubled the recipe and it came together quickly and easily, and fit in with our office Get Fit Challenge.  Perfection.

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CREAMY BROCCOLI APPLE SALAD

  • 4 cups broccoli florets and stalks (If you don’t like the stalks you don’t have to use them but why not?) about three small heads
  • 2 large apples, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 dried cranberries
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice, about half a lemon
  • 1 cup Fage plain greek yogurt (you can use any plain greek yogurt, I just love Fage, tastes the closest to sour cream and if you get the 0% there is no fat)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  1. In a large bowl, mix the broccoli, apples, carrots, cranberries, onion, and pecans together.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the Fage, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together.
  3. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine evenly.  Saran wrap for the next day work potluck or dish up a bowl right away.