For families who grew up living out of their big gardens, the first sign of spring was a supper that included radishes and bread and butter. You could track your garden’s progress by what was on the table at mealtime. Little green onions in cream and vinegar, salad greens and asparagus (along with rhubarb) meant early summer. Time to get green — deliciousness that’s low in calories and high in nutrition.

Field Greens with Oranges, Strawberries and Cinnamon Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup orange juice

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

1 teaspoon ginger, ground

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 package (6 ounces) field greens

2 seedless oranges, peeled and sectioned

2 cups strawberry, halves

1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

— For the Vinaigrette, mix all ingredients in small bowl with wire whisk until well blended.

Just before serving, toss greens with oranges, strawberries and pecans in large bowl. (Or divide among individual serving plates.) Drizzle with Cinnamon Vinaigrette. Toss lightly to serve.

Garlic Pepper Roasted Asparagus

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 8

2 pounds medium asparagus (about 35 spears), ends trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt-free garlic pepper seasoning

— Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus in single layer on foil-lined 15-by-10-inch baking pan. Drizzle asparagus with oil; roll to coat. Sprinkle with seasoning; roll to coat.

Roast 10 minutes or until asparagus are tender-crisp, turning once.

Per serving: Calories: 47; sodium: 2mg; fat: 3g; carbohydrates: 3g; cholesterol: 0mg; protein: 2g; fiber: 2g.

Lemon Herb Asparagus

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

1 pound fresh asparagus, ends trimmed

2 tablespoons lemon herb seasoning

3 tablespoons butter, melted

— Cook asparagus in boiling water in large uncovered skillet on medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain well. Place on serving dish.

Stir seasoning into melted butter. Pour over asparagus.

— Per serving: Calories: 105; sodium: 518mg; fat: 9g; carbohydrates: 4g; cholesterol: 23mg; protein: 2g; fiber: 2g.

Broccoli with Bacon and Toasted Almonds

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 6

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, coarse ground

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 slices bacon, chopped

8 cups broccoli florets (about 1 pound), cooked

2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

2 tablespoons freshly shredded or shaved Parmesan cheese

Mix Italian seasoning, pepper, garlic powder and salt in small bowl; set aside.

Cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon with slotted spoon; set aside. Add cooked broccoli to skillet. Cook and stir until heated through.

Sprinkle with seasoning mixture, bacon and almonds; toss to mix well. Top with Parmesan cheese. (Use a swivel peeler to shave a wedge of Parmesan cheese into thin curls over the broccoli.) Serve immediately.

— Per serving: Calories, 107; sodium 254mg; fat: 7g; carbohydrates: 6g; cholesterol: 9mg; protein: 5g; fiber: 3g.

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Ginger Honey Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 6

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons orange juice

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1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground

2 containers (10 ounces each) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup pecan, halves or pieces, toasted

— Mix honey, orange juice, soy sauce and ginger in small bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Set aside.

Place Brussels sprouts in large skillet. Add 1 inch of water; bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain.

Melt butter in same skillet on medium heat. Add Brussels sprouts, salt and honey mixture; toss gently. Cook until heated through. Sprinkle with pecans before serving.

To toast pecans: Place pecans in single layer on baking sheet. Bake in 350-degree oven 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly toasted.

— Per serving: Calories, 175; sodium, 400mg; fat 11g; carbohydrates, 15g; cholesterol, 10mg; protein, 4g; fiber, 4g.

Rice with Asparagus, Mushrooms and Toasted Sesame Seed

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Makes 4 (1-cup) servings.

1 cup Arborio rice

3 tablespoons sesame seed

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 package (8 ounces) sliced cremini (baby bella) mushrooms

1/2 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

— Bring 6 cups water to boil in large saucepan. Add rice; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, 12 to 15 minutes or until rice is tender with a little bite in the center, stirring occasionally. Drain rice, reserving 1 cup of the liquid. Return rice to saucepan. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat large skillet on medium heat. Add sesame seed; cook and stir 3 minutes or until golden. Immediately pour out of hot pan to avoid over-toasting.

Heat oil in same skillet. Add garlic; cook and stir on medium heat about 1 minute. Add mushrooms; cook and stir about 5 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. Add asparagus; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender-crisp.

Stir vegetables, Parmesan cheese, toasted sesame seed and salt into rice. Stir in reserved liquid, 1/4 cup at a time, until desired creaminess.

— Per serving: Calories: 262; sodium, 562mg; fat, 14g; carbohydrates, 23g; cholesterol, 10mg; protein, 11g; fiber, 2g.

(McCormick Foods)

Reach Karen Herzog at 701-250-8267 or karen.herzog@bismarcktribune.com.

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