I have been counting down the days for longer hours of sunshine, warmer weather, spring flowers and the garden season! And I wanted to celebrate spring with you by providing a Garden Party Themed Menu which includes seasonal produce available coming soon at local farms near you!

Seasonal Spring Menu

Some take home gifts and décor are as important as a spring food menu!

Setting the mood and party favors are a big part of the fun with this party. I hand painted a few garden stakes and got packages of seeds for my guests. A few small terra cotta pots with a geranium would also be a very awesome take home. Some hand cream for gardeners dry hands would also be a great take home. Tuck all of it into the little flower pots and tie raffia around it! I have some vintage watering cans that also look very cute for decorations with cut flowers! I love this little rabbit and baby chick vase with a few tulips and Lenten roses.

You can even ask your guests to dress up in vintage party outfits if there are daring!

For the menu, I wanted it as fresh and local as possible. It turned out to be very colorful also! I used shrimp for my kebobs but you could substitute meat or meat alternative instead of seafood.

Spring Garden Party Menu

Lemon Rice Salad with Spring Vegetables

Blackened Shrimp Kabobs with Mushrooms and Asparagus

Gluten Free Mini Strawberry Tartlets

Spring Vegetable Salad with Rice

This salad is so colorful with radishes, carrots and snow peas. And it just tastes like spring!

Lemon Rice Salad with Spring Vegetables

I love the little radish roses to garnish this lemony salad. I also used some whole snow pea pods and large slices of carrots along with some fresh dill sprigs! You can vary the vegetables of this salad based on the season! For a variation: Thinly sliced green olives with pimentos would look great and taste awesome in this also but I did not use them. Basmati rice would also be great for this!

Makes 8 servings

3 cups cooked jasmine rice (made according to directions

1 bunch of spring radishes (I used 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes for the salad and made radish roses for the remaining ones for garnish)

1/2 cup carrots sliced on the diagonal (I garnished with a few on the top)

1/2 cup thinly diagonally sliced snow peas (I saved a few for the top of the salad)

1/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup lemon juice from one lemon and 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Pinch of sugar

2 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh dill (1-2 tablespoons chopped for salad and a few large sprigs for garnish)

Cook jasmine rice according to directions and let cool. While rice is cooking chop radishes, carrots, snow peas and green onions. Squeeze and grate lemon. In a mixing bowl, add rice and add lemon juice, salt, pinch of sugar, olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Stir well. Lightly toss in the vegetables and dill. Add salad into a serving bowl. Garnish and serve. Can chill in refrigerator up to two days before serving and it still holds up great.

Spring Vegetable Shrimp Kabobs

Spring vegetables, shrimp and blackened seasonings make a delicious combination.

Blackened Shrimp Kabobs with Mushrooms and Asparagus

I love these shrimp kabobs with spring vegetables drizzled with olive oil and a spicy seasoning. They taste just right!

Makes 6 shrimp kabobs

6 bamboo kabob sticks

16 medium to large shrimp

12 mushrooms

6 asparagus spears, cut in half

1-2 tablespoons of blackened seasoning mix (I used 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon crumbled thyme, 1/4 teaspoon dried basil, and some freshly ground pepper but I did double this to make it highly seasoned )

Olive oil

Salt to taste

Thread 2 pieces on shrimp on each kabob followed by half of an asparagus spear and mushroom. Repeat with shrimp, asparagus and mushroom. On a cookie sheet, add the kabobs. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and half of seasoning. Place low on broil and cook until shrimp is pink and opaque. Flip over sprinkle with rest of blackened mix and cook until the other side is pink and not opaque.

Sweet Little Strawberry Tart

Made with gluten free crust and spring strawberries with a little orange essence!

Gluten Free Mini Strawberry Tartlets

The gluten free cookie crust is light and crumbly. The strawberries and orange taste great together. Add the topping soon before serving because the topping can make the crust a little soggy. They can hold up for an hour or two after making.

Makes 6 servings

Cookie Crust

1/4 cup of butter softened

1/2 cup tapioca flour

1/2 cup nut flour

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, mix flours, salt and sugar. Mix well. Cut in softened butter. Divide dough into 6 balls. On a cookie sheet, add parchment paper and flatten the 6 balls into a cookie shape. Bake for about 8- 10 minutes until slightly browned around the edges. Take out and let cool right on the sheet. Add strawberry topping.

Strawberry Topping

1/2 cup thinly sliced strawberries

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/3-1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 teaspoons orange zest

1-2 tablespoon sugar

In a small sauce pan, add sugar and orange juice. Carefully mix the cornstarch. Heat and constantly stir until the liquid thickens. Take off stove and allow to cool well. Toss in the strawberries and mix. Add the strawberry topping over the cookie crust. Drizzle any additional sauce to the tartlet. Garnish with some orange zest.

I hope that this spring celebration menu will inspire you to get real creative with this weather change. As a registered dietitian nutritionist living in Asheville, I enjoy sharing some of my favorite recipes in my kitchen for you to make in yours. I am so glad that you stopped by! You can also find additional spring celebration recipes from my friends at the Recipe Redux below.

Seed packets, garden markers and great food make a party to remember.

Get your garden celebration going with some of these gift giving ideas!




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