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Food for Thought: April Freshness by Lydia Bolen

I love the phrase, “April showers bring May flowers.” March 20 is the official start of Spring, but by April we all looking forward to marking the end of cold weather and the beginning of new life. Anticipation is in the air as we watch the unfolding beauty around us.

Bring some springtime and sunshine into your meal planning. It is time to lighten up and explore new recipes like Strawberry Parfait or Key Lime Cake. Even vegetables can be on the lighter side. Roasted cauliflower is a fresh light side dish with a delicious taste. It is so good that it can be served as an appetizer or as a snack.

Happy Spring!

4 cups sliced strawberries, divided
1 /4 cup sugar
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1 /2 cup reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 /4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Amaretti cookies, crumbed (I find these at Walmart)
1 /2 cup reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
Place 2 cups of strawberry slices and the sugar in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Set strawberry puree aside.

Combine ricotta and next 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk.

Spoon 2 tablespoons cookie crumbs into each of 4 parfait glasses. Top each portion with 2 tablespoons strawberry puree, 1 /4 cup strawberry slices, and 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture; repeat the layers. Drizzle the remaining strawberry puree over each serving.

Chill for 2 hours. Top each parfait with 2 tablespoons whipped topping and 1 and 1 /2 teaspoons almonds.

Serves 4

(Adapted from Cooking Light)

ROASTED CAULIFLOWERRoasted-Cauliflower-300x200
6 –1 /2 cups uncooked cauliflower florets, cut small
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one-half lemon
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine cauliflower, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper so all the florets are coated. Place in a large shallow roasting pan and place in the center of the oven. Roast for about 25-35 minutes, turning florets occasionally so they are evenly cooked.

Remove from oven and top with cheese (and lemon zest if desired). Use additional salt and pepper if needed.

Makes 5 cups.

Good as a side with steaks, pork chops, or chicken.

Key-Lime-Cake-300x1231 package Lemon Cake Mix
1 package (3.4 ounces) instant lemon pudding
and pie filling
3 /4 cup water
1 /2 cup oil
1 /4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Key Lime juice, divided
4 large eggs
1 /2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10-inch Bundt or tube pan. (I like to use Baker’s Joy to grease and flour)

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, water, oil, 1 /4 cup lime juice, and eggs in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 25 minutes. Remove cake from pan and cool completely.

Stir confectioners’ sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over cake.

Courtesy of Mississippi Christian magazine

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