Holly’s Scoop: Eat your greens

The first thing I think of when it comes to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day is the color green. I love to serve green foods on March 17. March also brings us National Nutrition Month, making now the perfect time to—you guessed it—eat your greens. You know they are good for you; your mama always told you so!

There are so many green food choices: green apples, kiwi, limes, pears, avocado, asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, kale, green peppers, green beans, spinach, zucchini, green cabbage and more. Many of these foods are great sources of vitamins and antioxidants, calcium and healthy phytochemicals, along with being naturally rich in fiber. And remember that the more colors you have on your plate, the better!

With winter nearing an end and spring around the corner, Broccoli Soup is a creamy and delicious way to blend the seasons. This vegetarian soup is packed with calcium and makes an awesome starter or even a perfect light meal when paired with a sandwich. Brussels Sprouts, Tomato and Feta Salad will make you a Brussels sprouts fan in no time! Tossed with just a handful of ingredients, this salad provides DNA-protective and cancer-preventive benefits. And it’s all in the seasonings in Basil Lime Chicken, which makes for an extra green and tasty dinner that’s gluten free and diabetic friendly. The recipe calls for dried basil, but if you grow fresh basil, this is a great time to use it.

This month, there is no excuse. Dig into greens!

Holly's Scoop-broccoli soupBroccoli Soup
This velvety soup hits the spot on comfort and flavor.

4 cups fresh broccoli florets, packed
1⁄4 cup water
1 onion, chopped
1⁄2 tsp. minced garlic
1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups skim milk
2 cups low-sodium, fat-free vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Cheese for garnish (optional)

In the microwave, cook broccoli in water, covered, on high for 5-7 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a large pot coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté onion over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and flour, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually add milk, stirring to combine. Add broccoli and broth; bring to a boil for about 5 minutes or until thickened.

In a blender or mixer, purée soup until smooth. Return to pot. Add cheese and cook over low heat until cheese is melted and heated. Season to taste. Sprinkle with additional cheese when serving if desired. Makes 6
(1-cup) servings.

Terrific tip: Two (10-oz.) packages of frozen chopped broccoli may be used instead of fresh.

Nutritional information per serving
Calories 131 | Calories from fat 25% | Fat 4g | Saturated fat 2g 
Cholesterol 12mg | Sodium 200mg | Carbohydrates 15g | Dietary
fiber 2g | Total sugars 7g | Protein 11g | Dietary exchanges: 1⁄2 starch,
1 vegetable, 1 lean meat

Holly's Scoop-BrusselsBrussels Sprouts, Tomato and Feta Salad
This recipe will win over even the wariest Brussels sprouts newbie.

1 1⁄4 lbs. fresh Brussels sprouts
2 tsp. plus 3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 Tbsp. chopped green onions
1⁄4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1⁄3 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil, and coat with nonstick cooking spray. Remove outer discolored leaves from Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place on prepared pan, and drizzle with 2 tsp. oil, tossing. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until tender. Cool.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, Dijon and remaining 3 tablespoons oil, and season to taste.

In a large bowl, combine Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and feta; toss with vinaigrette. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Makes 8 (2⁄3-cup) servings.

Terrific tip: If you cannot find white balsamic vinegar, any vinegar may be used.

Nutritional information per serving:
Calories 113 | Calories from fat 55% | Fat 7g | Saturated fat 1g
Cholesterol 2mg | Sodium 141mg | Carbohydrates 10g | Dietary fiber 3g | Total sugars 4g | Protein 4g | Dietary exchanges:
2 vegetable, 1 1⁄2 fat

Holly's Scoop-basil chickenBasil Lime Chicken
Two zesty ingredients give chicken a fresh flavor.

1⁄4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. lime juice, divided
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. minced garlic, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tsp. dried basil leaves

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 1⁄4 cup lime juice, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, 1 tsp. garlic, salt and pepper, and chicken. Marinate for 1 hour or longer. Grill or broil chicken in oven for 5-7 minutes on each side (discard marinade).

Meanwhile, combine remaining 1 Tbsp. lime juice, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 tsp. garlic and basil, mixing well. Slice chicken and pour sauce over top. Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 171 | Calories from fat 36% | Fat 7g | Saturated fat 1g | Cholesterol 73mg Sodium 299mg | Carbohydrates 2g Dietary fiber 0g | Total sugars 1g | Protein 25g | Dietary exchanges: 3 lean meat

p_077Holly Clegg has sold over 1 million cookbooks in her trim&TERRIFIC and Eating Well series. Sign up for her Monthly Menu newsletter at hollyclegg.com, check out her blog at thehealthycookingblog.com, or watch Holly on YouTube at youtube.com/user/hollycleggonline