Going Green

March is a month of renewal. Nature is reviving itself with lush untouched tufts of green, and we are eager to get outside to garden. Why wait? Start indoors by potting a quick mini garden. Next, nosh on refreshing and healthy bites, like veggie pasta with basil and mint, and pretty raspberry and blood orange smoothie bowls. Wash it down with revitalizing citrus and mint sparkling iced tea. Bring on spring!

_MG_6932Minty and Citrusy Sparkling Sips

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 10 mint leaves, bruised to release the oil
  • Brewed tea
  • Fresh lime slices (for garnish)
  • Fresh mint springs (for garnish)
  • Sparkling water
  1. Make the mint simple syrup by combining sugar, water, and 10 mint leaves in a pan on the stovetop. Simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cool, strain, and store in the fridge.
  2. To make the drinks, brew your favorite tea, and pour over ice. Add simple syrup, lime slices, and sprigs of fresh mint. Top with sparkling water.

_MG_7148Smoothie Bowl

Who doesn’t love a yummy smoothie? This one is delicious, especially with inspired toppings.

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 small banana
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons mint simple syrup
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Slices of kiwi
  • Chia Seeds

Whip up all the ingredients in a blender and pour into a bowl. Top with a lime wedge, slices of kiwi, shredded unsweetened coconut, and chia seeds.

_MG_6966

Homemade citrus salt adds a zesty finishing note to this veggie pasta dish. It’s also great on seafood and around the rim of that favorite margarita recipe!

Zucchini Pasta Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette

Do you spiralize? Don’t worry; it’s not a new exercise craze! Spiralizers are uber-cool kitchen appliances that turn fresh veggies into pasta-like pieces. You can sauté the veggie “pasta” in a pan on the stovetop, but I love it raw. Tip: Some local markets carry raw precut veggie “pasta” in the produce department!

  • 1 lemons
  • 2 orange
  • 1/2 cup French salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed juice, half lemon and half orange
  • 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • Two medium zucchinis, unpeeled
  • Two medium yellow squash, unpeeled
  • Fresh basil, roughly torn
  • Fresh mint, roughly torn
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  1. To make the citrus salt, zest lemons and orange and set aside. Add the lemon zest to 1/2 cup of French salt and mix. Repeat this step with the orange zest.
  2. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out the lemon and orange salt mixtures in two even rows. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees for 20 minutes or until the citrus is dried out. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Cool and store in two airtight containers at room temperature.
  3. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette by whisking together olive oil, juice, and salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Spiralize the zucchini and squash. To assemble the salad, toss lightly with the vinaigrette, basil, mint, and parmesan. Sprinkle with citrus salt to taste.

Easy Green Backdrop
Turn the scene green with vibrant bottles of sparkling water and fresh palm-wrapped bouquets. Simply slide supermarket palm leaves into clear drinking glasses, add water, and top with inexpensive white daisies.


See Monica Hart’s design, recipe, and entertaining ideas in every issue of 425 magazine, and on her website at lafamigliadesignllc.com.

Credits: Hair by Seven Salon, senior stylist Chu. Ingredients from Metropolitan Market in Kirkland. Spiralizer from Williams Sonoma at The Bellevue Collection. Mini white colander from World Market. Herb and seed packets from Ravenna Gardens.

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