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As spring begins to make an appearance it's a good time to try these snacks and sauces. Also be sure to add them, along with the past months, recipes, to your kitchen files.

Savory Eggplant Spread
Makes 4 servings of 1/2 cup

  • 1 large eggplant, roasted
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 1/2 cup sesame paste
  • Sliced green onions for garnish

Into a medium bowl, scrape the flesh of the roasted eggplant and mash coarsely. Stir in remaining ingredients and blend well. Then, top with green onions. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Curried Spinach Dip
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 teaspoons cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or cashew crème fraiche
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients and chill one hour before serving.

Makes 4 servings

  • 4 roma tomatoes, chopped and seeded
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Pumpkin Hummus
Makes about 2 cups

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame or pumpkin seeds

Combine first nine ingredients in a blender or small food processor and mix until well incorporated. Drizzle with sesame oil. Top with toasted sesame or pumpkin seeds.

Olive Tapenade
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup black olives
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced

Use a blender or food processor to combine all ingredients until chunky.

Party Pate
Makes 8 servings

  • 2 (13-ounce) cans water-packed tuna, drained and rinsed (reserve some liquid for blender)
  • 8 ounces smoked sardines, drained and rinsed
  • 2 ounces anchovy fillets, drained and rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried horseradish
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast

Place all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Spinach Flatbread
Makes 2 servings

  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 large pastured eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; pour the mixture evenly onto the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Holding the ends of the parchment paper, pick up the flatbread and lay on a cooling rack or towel. Cut into sandwich or wrap-size pieces and drizzle with olive oil.

Spinach & Shaved Fennel Salad
Serves 4

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens
  • 1 fennel bulb, save fine leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted Dressing:
  • 1/4 cup Roasted Sesame Seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Dash of sea salt

Cut garlic clove in half and rub inside of salad bowl. Mince finely and reserve for dressing. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin seeds and stir until popping and most have turned a light brown. Be careful not to burn. Set aside. Wash and rinse greens and fennel. Using a good vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, shave pieces of fennel from the bulb. Add to fennel, sliced scallions, spinach and greens to salad bowl. To make dressing, combine ingredients in a jar with lid. Shake until well incorporated. Drizzle over salad and toss. Sprinkle toasted pumpkins seeds on top. Dust with minced fennel leaves and serve.

Smart Sides

Quinoa Tabbouleh
Makes 4 servings

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomato
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Cracked pepper to taste

Whisk together lemon juice, avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Combine all other ingredients, then dress with lemon mixture. Refrigerate one to two hours, then stir and serve.

Garlic Roasted Peppers and Anchovies
Makes 4 servings

  • 4 large bell peppers, halved, seeds and membranes removed
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon macadamia nut oil
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 ounces canned anchovy fillets, rinsed and drained

Preheat broiler. Roast peppers on a baking sheet under open broiler, turning every few minutes until the skin has browned. Remove peppers and put them in a brown paper bag to rest for at least 15 minutes. Peel skin and cut into long thin strips. Dry thoroughly on paper towels. Separate garlic into cloves and place in boiling water for 15 minutes. Cool and remove skins. Place garlic, macadamia nut oil, parsley, and anchovies in a blender. Blend to make a paste. Toss paste with peppers and refrigerate one hour or longer before serving.

Cauliflower Bacon Mash
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 large cauliflower head, well steamed and mashed
  • 4 strips turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1 cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons organic pastured cream
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee

Add bacon to the cauliflower and mix in onions, garlic, cream and butter or ghee and saute until done.

Coleslaw with Caraway and Sunflower Seeds
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 small head green cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or coconut yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Place cabbage and carrots in mixing bowl. Combine yogurt, seeds, mustard, and lemon juice. Toss cabbage and carrots with yogurt mixture to cover thoroughly. Serve chilled.

Collard Greens and Turkey Bacon
Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 4 slices turkey bacon, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 pounds collard greens, stems removed, cut into strips
  • 1 cup chicken broth

Cook bacon in skillet until browned. Add scallions, cooking and stirring until almost brown. Add garlic, cook and stir about one minute. Add sea salt, cumin, dash of cayenne and vinegar;

stir and simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the collard greens and chicken broth. Bring back to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally until the greens have wilted. Sprinkle a little extra vinegar on top if desired.

Lemon Ginger Zoodles
Serves 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup tamari
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Zest of 1 lemon

Rinse and peel zucchini. Run each through a spiralizer to make zoodles. Set aside. Heat coconut oil in large skillet on medium. Add ginger, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté for two to three minutes. Stir in vegetable broth, tamari and lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally for two minutes. Turn off heat. Pour sauce over zoodles and mix gently. Top with sliced scallions. Sprinkle with lemon zest.

Ravishing Radishes

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1 pound radishes, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

Melt butter or ghee in a large skillet on medium heat. Sprinkle sliced radishes with water and add to pan. Add sea salt to taste. Stir and cook until water is evaporated and radishes are crisp-tender. Turn off heat. Sprinkle with walnut oil and garnish with parsley.

Smart Sauces

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Makes 4 1/4-cup servings

  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded, quartered and roasted
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
  • 1/4 cup flax oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Blend all the ingredients until smooth. Use as topping for cooked chicken, beef or lamb.

Macadamia Mayo
Makes 20 1-tablespoon servings

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup macadamia nut oil

Combine the egg yolks, salt, mustard, and lemon juice, whisking constantly. Add in the oil slowly until the consistency is smooth. Store covered in the refrigerator.

Perfect Pesto
Makes 8 servings

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup flax oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 handful pine nuts

Use a food processor to blend all ingredients until smoothly pureed.

Cashew Crème Fraîche
Makes 16 tablespoons

  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, soaked 3 hours
  • 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 3 hours
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Flora-Key
  • Water to desired consistency

Combine nuts, lemon juice, salt, and Flora-Key in a blender. Gradually add water to form a creamy consistency. Transfer to a bowl and cover loosely with a cotton towel, then leave on the counter overnight to ferment. Store in the refrigerator.

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Visionary health expert Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, has always been a trendsetter. With millions of followers nationwide, she has the uncanny ability to pinpoint major health concerns and provide solutions years ahead of anybody else.

Highly respected as the grande dame of alternative health and award-winning author of 30 books, she single-handedly launched the weight loss/detox revolution in her New York Times bestseller The Fat Flush Plan. A Connecticut College and Teachers College, Columbia University graduate, Dr. Ann Louise was recognized as one of the top ten nutritionists in the country by Self magazine and was the recipient of the American Medical Writers Association award for excellence. She has been a popular columnist for First magazine since 2003.