It’s the perfect time of year to entertain friends and family while relaxing outdoors. Colorful, fresh, bright and airy represent spring in the Valley, and springtime recipes shouldn’t be any different.

For those keeping to a healthy, low-cal diet as well as those preparing for bikini season, there are plenty of springtime recipes to keep the pounds off and your taste buds pleased.

Whether you are spending the evening alone or with friends, the following low-cal cocktails and healthy small dishes are sure to be a hit.



  • 2 oz Hennessy VS
  • 3 oz Vita Coco Water
  • 3 Strawberries
  • .5 oz Fresh Squeezed lime juice
  • 1/3 oz Agave Nectar

Method: Muddle 3 strawberries in a shaker tin, add all liquids with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a Collins glass with fresh ice and garnish with a strawberry on the rim.

image004Spring Bee

  • 1.5 oz Hennessy VS
  • 1/3rd oz Aperol
  • 1 oz Light Honey Chamomile Syrup
  • 1 oz Fresh Squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 1 dash Fee brothers grapefruit bitters (optional)

Method: Add all liquids to a shaker tin with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice, garnish with a twist of grapefruit.

VOLISkinny Breeze

  • 1 ½ oz Voli Mango Coconut
  • 2 oz Diet Cranberry Juice
  • 1 oz Light OJ
Lime Squeeze

Method: Build all Ingredients over ice in a rocks glass and garnish with a lime twist.


2673Spring Salad with Strawberries and Creamy Orange-Avocado Dressing

  • 3 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces spring greens or mesclun mix
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into strips with a vegetable peeler

Method: Puree green onions, avocado, juice, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor until smooth to make a dressing. In a large bowl, toss greens, strawberries and asparagus together. Transfer to plates, drizzle with half the dressing and serve. Extra dressing will keep one day refrigerated.

Recipe and image from

2961Steamed Artichokes with Creamy Walnut Dip

  • 1 lemon, Juice of
  • 4 large artichokes
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Method: Fill a large bowl with water and lemon juice. Stir well. Cut stems from artichokes to sit flat on your work surface. Peel stems with a paring knife. Transfer artichokes and stems to bowl with lemon water. Working with one artichoke at a time, carefully use a serrated knife to cut off the top third, then use scissors to clip off and discard sharp leaf points, returning each artichoke to the lemon water as you finish.

Fill a large pot with water to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover pot and arrange trimmed artichokes, bottoms up, in a single layer. Add stems around artichokes. Cover pot, reduce heat to medium low and steam until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Cooking time will vary greatly depending on the size of the artichokes. When the leaves pull out easily and the base can be pierced with a knife, they’re ready. Drain well and transfer to a large platter.

Meanwhile, place walnuts, vinegar, mustard and garlic in a blender with 5 tablespoons water and process until smooth. Add 1 or 2 more tablespoons water if needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Stir in chives. Serve artichokes and stems warm, with walnut dip on the side.

Recipe and image from

3452-1Mango Black Bean Salsa

  • 1 large mango, peeled, pitted and finely diced
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1 fresh jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Method: Add all ingredients to a small bowl and stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 10 minutes and up to 1 day for flavors to meld. Taste salsa before serving and add more salt or lime juice if desired.

Recipe and image from

2592Coconut Milk Ice Cream

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can regular coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Method: In a large bowl, whisk yolks and sugar together until pale yellow, 1 to 2 minutes. Add light and regular coconut milk and whisk again until well combined.

Transfer coconut mixture to a medium pot and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until just thickened and mixture coats the back of a spoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Be sure not to let the mixture boil. Remove pot from the heat and stir in vanilla.

Transfer contents of pot to a bowl and chill until cold. Process mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions then transfer to a container with a lid and freeze until firm, about 2 hours more.

Recipe and image from