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Plant Your Spring Garden Now for a Great Harvest

group of vegewtables and herbs

Early spring is the perfect time to plant cold weather vegetables in your garden. These include Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, bok choy, spinach, peas, and lettuces, to name a few.

Early spring is also a good time to plant herbs. Sage, rosemary, parsley (flat-leaf has more flavor), chives, cilantro and thyme all love the cool, wet weather and all will give you lots of bounty for seasoning your food, so much so that you won’t need salt.

You can buy starts at most nurseries, farmers markets or many grocery stores, or pick up some seed packets and plant them. Most will peek out of the ground in just a few weeks. I do both—starts to get an early crop and the seeds to get a later crop.

Here are some flavorful recipes to enjoy from your thoughtful planning and hard work.

Stir-fried Chicken and Bok Choy

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chives, chopped fine

1 tablespoon cornstarch

3 cups chopped bok choy, stem and leaves

2 green onions, sliced

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, optional

Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Add vegetable oil to skillet and heat on high heat. Add chicken and garlic, and then stir constantly for 3–4 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add bok choy and stir-fry for an additional minute. Combine chicken broth and cornstarch, and then add to chicken mixture in skillet. Cook on high heat until sauce thickens. Add green onions and toasted sesame oil. Makes 4 servings.

Serve over long-grain, brown or white rice.

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories: 378, carbohydrates: 41 grams, protein: 28 grams, sodium: 94 milligrams

Broccoli Salad

4 cups broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

½ cup sour cream

2 teaspoons white wine vinegar

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 carrot, shredded

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup sharp cheddar, cut into very small chunks (optional)

Whisk the minced garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream and vinegar together in a large bowl. Add broccoli, thyme, red onion, shredded carrot, dried cranberries and cheddar cheese. May be served immediately or refrigerated for up to 2 days. Makes 6-8 servings.

Nutritional information (per serving):

Calories: 83, carbohydrates: 9 grams, protein: 3 grams, sodium: 99 milligrams


Katy G. WilkensContributor Katy G. Wilkens, MS, RD leads the nutrition department at Northwest Kidney Centers. The National Kidney Foundation Council on Renal Nutrition has honored her with its highest awards for excellence in education and for significant contributions in renal nutrition. She has also been awarded the Medal of Excellence in kidney nutrition from the American Association of Kidney Patients.

Posted in Food