This because, for the first time in ages the sun is out and the air smells fresh.
I noticed it last night while I was out for a run - birds were chirping, Easter is around the corner, and it feels like an end to the long months of winter hibernation.
I'll tell you, I certainly took the whole hibernation thing to heart this year - and though cooking with a Julia Childlike reverence for butter was not the best for my waist line, sometimes you just want comfort food - especially when the days grow cold and the nights get longer.
But in spring, I automatically begin to think about renewal.
That's why I'm so excited to share my side dish recipe from The Real Women of Philadelphia contest. for Philadelphia Hodge Podge because its a blend of comfort and renewal.
New vegetables that have been tender cooked in a lemony broth are enveloped in a decadently flavourful herbed cream sauce.
At 125 calories per one cup serving and 2 grams of fat, this deliciously decadent side dish is a wonderfully guilt free indulgence that would also make a wonderful side dish for Easter dinner.
For printable recipe click here
- 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 leek, well rinsed and quartered lengthwise using the only the white and light green parts.
- 8 small new potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
- 6 new carrots, peeled, and cut lengthwise on the diagnol into matchstick size pieces
- 2 cup(s) of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- zest from one whole lemon
- 6 small Brussels sprouts cut in half
- 2 handfuls green beans, tips removed, cut in half
- 1/4 cup(s) of Philadelphia Light Cream Cheese
- 1/4 tsp. of kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup(s) of chopped fresh baby dill
- 1/4 cup(s) of chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley for garnish
- Saute garlic on medium low heat for one minute in a large, deep, nonstick skillet.
- Add the onions, leek, kosher salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper and continue to saute for five minutes just until the onions become soft.
- Add the potatoes and carrots. Mix well with the leeks and onions and then cover with the 2 cups of low sodium broth and lemon zest. Stir well and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil and then continue to simmer for five minutes.
- Add the beans and Brussels sprouts and continue to simmer for 7-10 minutes with a lid on - just until the vegetables are tender.
- Drain the vegetables into a large bowl reserving the broth.
- Return the broth to your pan and turn to medium high. Boil for about 3 minutes to reduce.
- Turn the heat to medium, add the Philadelphia Cream Cheese and continue to stir as it melts into the sauce. The sauce will continue to reduce and thicken as the cream cheese incorporates into the sauce.
- Pour cream sauce over the vegetables, add the fresh herbs and the rest of the pepper and stir. Serve sprinkled with additional parsley family style in a large bowl.