April Seasonal Vegetables: Time to Get Your Greens

April seasonal vegetables | spinach tofu turmeric rice
Photo courtesy: Colorful Recipes | Recipe: Simple Spinach Tofu With Turmeric Rice

One of the best things you can do for your body is to eat more vegetables.  April seasonal vegetables contain superfoods that are loaded nutrients and antioxidants .  We will be focusing on the veggies that are harvested each month so you can start building your recipe file.  This makes grocery shopping more fun and will give your menus more variety. You will look forward to farmer’s markets each month and your body will thank you for the nutrients of local produce!

April seasonal vegetables | comfort food broccoli chicken casserole cream cheese Vitamin C recipes | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Eat Well 101 | Recipe: Broccoli Chicken Casserole with Cream Cheese

April Seasonal Vegetables Go Green

Most of April’s vegetables are the same as what appeared in March. Variety is the spice of life and these recipes will breath new life into April seasonal vegetables. Broccoli is full of collagen-boosting Vitamin C and is always begging to be paired with cheddar cheese. This comfort-food casserole is easy to bake and gets nutrients back into your family’s diet.

Ingredients:
5 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
2 broccoli heads, cut into small florets
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3/4 cup chicken stock
8 oz (230g) softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
Fresh chopped parsley, or garnish

Click here for recipe and full instructions. You can easily make this casserole vegetarian by omitting the chicken breast. The casserole is hearty enough to stand on it’s own

April seasonal vegetables | broccoli veggie cakes vegetarian recipe kid-friendly | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Poohs Pantry | Recipe: Veggie Cakes

Kid-Friendly Cakes

Start thinking creatively about broccoli and make veggie-packed cakes that are perfect for little hands to hold. Broccoli is one an April seasonal vegetable skin healer. It helps aid the healing of cuts and wounds and protects the body from damaging free radicals.

Ingredients:
2 cups broccoli, grated
3 large zucchini, grated and drained
6 large carrots, grated
1 onion, diced and sautéed (optional)
1 cup corn kernels
5 eggs
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, I used panko
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
oil for pan

Click here for recipe and full instructions. The key to making veggie cakes is to drain the vegetables really well. This helps them stay together. Your kids will love these!

April seasonal vegetables | citrus avocado salad orange tahini vinaigrette blood regulating calcium recipes | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Florida’s Natural | Recipe: Citrus Avocado Salad with Orange Tahini Vinaigrette

Count on Kale

The vegetables we are highlighting this month are all rich in Vitamin K. Vitamin K in April seasonal vegetables provide your body with bone health. It is not generally a dietary supplement so your body relies on food to obtain the benefits. Regulate your blood calcium levels and ensure proper clotting. Healthy blood is essential for keeping your energy levels high.

April seasonal vegetables | avocado kale caesar salad sweet potato fries Vitamin K dark greens | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Pinch of Yum | Recipe: Avocado Kale Caesar Salad

Best Kale Salad

Avocados are in season this month but since they are technically a fruit, we had to find a way to sneak them in. When it comes to April seasonal vegetables, it is time to start focusing on green. Dark green vegetables are more packed with nutrients than their red, orange, or starchy counterparts. Every vegetable carries it’s own unique health benefits so be sure to balance your diet accordingly.

Ingredients:
1 avocado, divided
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup mayonnaise (optional – see notes)
2 small cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt

Kale Caesar Salad:
1 bunch kale, stems removed, chopped (5–6 cups)
Parmesan and/or pepitas for topping

Click here for full recipe and instructions. We love the crunchy addition of sweet potato fries. Try dipping them in extra dressing and this will quickly become a household favorite.

April seasonal vegetables | kale quinoa salad high protein anti-aging low-carb recipe | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: The Simple Veganista | Recipe: Kale and Quinoa Salad

Protein Power

Spring is the right time to get your carbs back in control and start focusing on protein. Pair protein-rich quinoa and chickpeas into a salad full of April seasonal vegetables. Leave the dressing on the side and add this recipe to your meal prep repertoire. Kale and quinoa work together to create an anti-aging, anti-fattening, mood-enhancing salad. What.

Ingredients:
1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
1 3/4 cups water
1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed (optional)
6 – 8 good sized kale leaves, stems removed and finely chopped or julienned
1/4 red onion, finely diced or 3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 large zucchini, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 – 3 lemons
drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, optional
lemon pepper seasoning or cracked pepper, to taste
mineral salt to taste

Click here for full recipe and instructions. We love the portioning of this salad into 4 separate meals. You can grab one for a quick lunch or dress up a simple meal in 2 seconds flat.

April seasonal vegetables | broccoli cheddar egg bites quiche Vitamin C protein low calorie | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Pinch Me Good | Recipe: Mini Crustless Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Cut The Carbs

We thought there was no better breakfast than quiche. Then we started eating April seasonal vegetables as egg bites. You will be amazed at how little you will miss the crust! In addition, these yummy bites are low-calorie and high-protein.

Ingredients:
9 large eggs
1/4 cup milk (you can use plant-based milk)
salt and pepper
1 cup steamed broccoli (chopped)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Click here for full recipe and instructions. Get out your muffin tins! These egg bites are so easy to make, you will love them.

April seasonal vegetables | kale detox salad pesto avocado recipe | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Well and Full | Recipe: Kale Detox Salad with Pesto

Simple Detox Method

If you want to detox your body, you are stuck with resorting to juice fasts. In fact, eating April seasonal vegetables raw are better for your body than juicing. The stuff that is extracted during juicing (fiber) is required to get the whole health benefits of the vegetable. Easy healthy as a lifestyle is always better than temporary fasts.

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