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Sauces for Spring

Spring is here and it’s time for fresh ideas. Have you ever considered redressing your veggies? Good sauces enhance a vegetables natural flavor while keeping the veggie the ‘star’ side dish. Buttery cheese sauces are tasty but hardly the only option. Why not try these uncooked sauces for a tasty veggie topping or dip:

  • Orange sauce: 3 TB fresh orange juice, 1 TB olive oil, 1/2 tsp grated orange zest, freshly ground salt and pepper to taste. Serve atop cooked carrots, asparagus, beets, sweet potato wedges and other veggies.
  • Yogurt mint sauce/dip: great for drizzling on cooked potatoes and carrots, or serving as a dip for raw veggies. Combine 1 c low-fat Greek yogurt with the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1/2 minced garlic clove. Stir in 4 sprigs of finely chopped mint.
  • Pesto sauce: In a blender, combine 3 cloves garlic with 2 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves (may use 1/2 basil, 1/2 spinach, if desired) and 1 TB walnuts or pine nuts. With motor running, slowly add 1/4 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth and 1 TB each olive oil and lemon juice. Finish with 1 TB fresh parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper to taste. Blend again until smooth. Serve over any veggie.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash Medley

This fresh vegetable-forward summer squash recipe is reminiscent of the south of France with the addition of Herbes de Provence, an herb blend that typically includes dried basil, fennel seed, marjoram, rosemary, sage and thyme. If unavailable, you can substitute 1-2 tsp of these herbs instead.

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 large zucchini, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large yellow squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp. Herbes de Provence
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven broiler. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Add zucchini and yellow squash and sauté 5-6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 2 more minutes.

Add Herbes de Provence, cherry tomatoes and salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer mixture to a casserole dish. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Place under the broiler for a few minutes, until cheese melts. Less than 100 calories and 3 g fat per serving.