we're not talking about yellow tea towels and robin’s egg dish rags!
it’s the perfect time of year to take spring cleaning into your refrigerator and pantry. now that the sun is warming the earth and seeds are sprouting, farmer’s markets are bursting with brilliant colors and textures that deserve to make it to your table this season.
soups become salads. hot becomes cold. heavy becomes light.
warm creamy grains, starch laden tubers and frozen vegetables have had their turn, but it is time for fresh, light, crisp and green! the rich, warming spices in curries, stews, chilis and roasted dinners need to be pushed to the back as you bring in fresh herbs like thyme, basil, mint and parsley. make space for a variety of fresh fruits like citrus for zests, berries for compotes and the fruity flavor of coconut oil as it usurps olive oil once more. now that you have set the stage for spring cooking, playing out the perfect meal becomes a whole lot easier!
not many grains or seeds work as well as quinoa for a base in a cold salad. use white or red, or even a mix, as the base for a cold pad thai dish sans pasta of course. this is a great palette to add in the deep purple of cabbage, bright green of sugar snap peas, brilliant orange in carrots and the ardent red of a bell pepper.
throughout the season, continually keep the iconic spring rainbow on your plate!
for the adventurous, consider experimenting with the innocent and subtle flavors of flowers, like the sweet flavor of zucchini blossoms or the slightly spicy flavor of calendula petals. try hibiscus in your drinks or lavender in your desserts.
enjoy a monochromatic meal with a fully green plate! layer spicy arugula, astringent spinach and delicate bibb lettuce with lightly sautéed asparagus, peas and artichoke. top with crisp green scallions, sweet fennel fronds, fresh mint, parsley and basil. for a dressing that doesn’t overwhelm the variety of flavors, stick with citrus. grapefruit juice, orange juice, coconut oil, lemon zest and fresh pepper make a light vinaigrette.
nothing says spring more than breaking out the grill! this is the perfect time to experiment with all the lush spices of warm days and whip up a marinade to take the most delicious vegetable to the next level. grill up large portabellas, sliced peaches and poblano pepper strips to make a veggie burger no one will forget! skewer your favorite summer mushrooms, peppers, onions and fresh pineapple for a savory appetizer. grill up crisp, tart apple slices, like pink ladies or granny smiths, top them with vanilla cashew cream and cinnamon for an impressive and simple dessert.
when you just want to take it easy, whip up a quick cold plate. slice half an avocado and a handful of cherry tomatoes, top with a little salt and pepper, add a few olives, a handful of fresh nuts and a bag of i won organics chips. lunch is served.