The Farmer’s Market in my town opens in April and look at how many fruits and vegetables are in season in April and May!

Apricots, Artichokes, Asparagus, Barbados Cherries, Belgian endive Bitter Melon, Broccoli, Butter Lettuce, Chayote Squash, Chives Collard Greens, Corn, Fava Beans, Fennel, Green Beans, Honeydew Limes, Leeches, Mango, Morel Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Oranges Peas, Pineapple, Purple Asparagus, Radicchio, Ramps, Red Leaf Lettuce Rhubarb, Snow Peas, Sorrel, Spinach, Spring Baby Lettuce, Strawberries Swiss Chard, Vidalia Onions, Watercress, White Asparagus

While most of these can be eaten “as is” their abundance at this time of year makes it
the perfect time to try the following fresh and healthy recipes!

Quick Breakfast Smoothie

2 cups pineapple juice
2 ripe medium bananas, peeled and sliced
2 cartons (8-oz each) vanilla yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1/4 cup wheat germ (optional)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For a large blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until smooth. For a small blender, combine one-half of the ingredients at a time.

Wild Rice Asparagus Salad with Lemon Dressing

1/2 cup wild rice
15 asparagus spears, tough ends removed, cut into 3/4 inch pieces and slightly blanched
1/2 cup minced fennel bulb
1/2 cup toasted and chopped hazelnuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon minced fennel frond
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1/4 cup Myer lemon juice
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons raw agave nectar
2 teaspoons white miso
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground white pepper to taste

For the salad:
Combined the ½ cup wild rice with 1 ½ cups water, and a pinch of salt in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. Pour the rice out onto a plate to cool. When cool, combine the cooked wild rice with the blanched asparagus spears, minced fennel, and chopped hazelnuts. Season with a little salt and pepper, set aside.

For the dressing:
Place the minced shallots, lemon juice, vinegar, agave nectar, and white miso in a medium sized glass jar fitted with a lid. Shake the jar to mix the ingredients, and to incorporate the miso. Remove the lid and add in the olive oil. Shake vigorously again. Alternately, whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl. Slowly add the olive oil in a thin, study stream, to evenly incorporate.

Assemble the salad:
Pour about 4 tablespoons of the dressing over the rice mixture to moisten. Mix well and taste for seasoning. Let the salad stand a few minutes to absorb the dressing and taste again. If it is to dry and bland, add about 2 more tablespoons and repeat the same procedure, allowing the rice to absorb the dressing. This recipe usually takes about 6 tablespoons of dressing, but it a good idea to add slow.

Spinach Fruit Salad

1 bag of spinach
4 kiwis
1 qt. strawberries
Fat free raspberry vinaigrette

Hand-tear spinach into bite size pieces. Peel and cut kiwis, hull and slice strawberries. Pour raspberry vinaigrette over the salad, as much as desired.