FOOD FOR THOUGHT—Springtime Favorites

By on April 1, 2016
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Spring is here! Let’s welcome it by cooking with the many colorful fruits and vegetables in season—plus these colorful foods offer a boost in nutrition!

Crawfish is seasonal and one of my favorites. Why not try a new recipe and prepare Crawfish Tortellini? It is delicious and can be served for a casual home meal or at a special gathering.

My personal favorites in springtime are pasta and fruits salads. I love all the combinations and colors. Pick the fruits and veggies your family loves the best.

Happy Springtime!




  • 8 ounces uncooked small shell pasta
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 /4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette (Recipe follows)
  • 1 (4-oz.) package crumbled feta cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss pasta with tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 8 hours.

To serve, add the cheese just before serving. Drizzle with fresh lemon vinaigrette.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


  • 1 /4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 large garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 /4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 /4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 /2 cup vegetable oil

Whisk together first 5 ingredients. Gradually add oil, whisking until blended.

(Can be prepared ahead and stored in refrigerator up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature, and whisk before serving.)

Makes 3 /4 cup.

Adapted from Southern Living





  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 whole vanilla beans, caviar scraped out (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 4 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 2 cups red grapes, halved
  • 2 cups green grapes, halved
  • Mint leaves (optional)

Place the sugar, water, orange juice, orange zest and vanilla into a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes to thicken slightly. Set aside to cool, then store in the refrigerator until cold.

Mix together all the fruit in a large bowl and pour the syrup over the top, tossing gently. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

Serves 12

Adapted from




  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 /2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 /2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 pound crawfish tails
  • 1 /2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • 1 package cheese tortellini, cooked
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Tabasco sauce to taste

Sauté onions and garlic in butter. Add crawfish and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the cheese and parsley, and then the whipping cream, to make a thick sauce.

Fold cooked tortellini into crawfish mixture.

Season with Tabasco and cayenne pepper.

Place in a greased casserole dish.

Sprinkle with extra Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes covered lightly.

Serves 4.

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