If you’ve been smiling at the warmer weather forecasts, grinning at the flowering trees, and popping allergy pills like crazy, you too may be enjoying spring. You know what else is fantastic in the spring? Asparagus. When you aren’t dodging water puddles, realizing you forgot your umbrella in the car, and debating on how to dress when it’s frigid in the morning and downright hot in the afternoon, you should be eating asparagus. It’s in season right now, and its crisp green goodness is the perfect addition to any springtime meal. If you’re looking for a simple and quick way to prepare your asparagus– this Lemon Roasted Asparagus is just about as easy and delicious as you can get.
A few weeks ago, I found myself watching, in complete suspense, episode after episode of “The Great British Bake Off.” (Keep it coming, BBC!) At one point, everyone in the show had to tackle the tricky ‘pear pie.” Have you seen photos of (or maybe even eaten) these pretty poached pears wrapped in puff pastry? Apparently, mastering these little beauties is more difficult and time consuming than it appears. After seeing everyone on the show struggle with pear pie after pear pie– poaching pears, cooling them down and glazing them, and then oh so carefully wrapping them in puff pastry– I had little desire to make my own. It did, however, most definitely cause me to start craving the un-glazed and pastry free Poached Pears with Cardamom.
If you, like me, are welcoming spring with open arms, and have abandoned steaming bowls of soup and other winter-esque foods until cold weather returns, you may find yourself scrambling to remember how to cook lighter and fresher meals. In between swapping out heavy sweaters and boots for rain coats and t-shirts, you, like me, may end up at the market, staring at all the fresh spring produce. It’s possible you’ll fill your grocery bags with all the fresh vegetables you can find, and then find yourself staring at piles of asparagus, avocados, bell peppers, and tomatoes, unsure how to proceed. Yes, you could make a salad– salads are delicious– but salad every single day could be boring. Plus, it’s still chilly at night, and a little warmth would be nice. Try making these Buffalo Cauliflower Wraps. They’re filled with roasted, flavorful cauliflower, and piled up with whatever fresh veggies you want.
The grass is green again, flowers are blooming, and the vegetable section at the market is beginning to look healthier and more vibrant. That’s right- it’s spring! It’s time to put away that slow cooker, and remember how to use your vegetables in something other than soup. One veggie-centric recipe I love devouring is Baked Eggplant Parmesan. Fairly often, this dish is served with fried eggplant and more cheese than vegetables. I prefer to bake the eggplant, use a little less cheese, and throw in a few extra veggies.
Have you tried making your own veggie burgers? Veggie burgers and bean burgers are fairly easy to find pre-made, so you might have written off making your own. That said, the pre-made frozen patties can range anywhere from ‘highly tasty and fairly nutritious’ to ‘bland hockey-puck-like-disks that require cheese and toppings to mask the flavor (or lack there-of).’ Plus, anyone who eats pre-made veggie burgers on a normal basis can probably relate to the struggle of trying to pry apart the little frozen disk-like patties that have, inevitably, become fused together in the package. (If, dear reader, you happen to work for a veggie burger mogul, please recommend separating the patties in the packaging. Please.) Instead of buying your burgers pre-made, try making them yourself! These Quinoa Bean Burgers are incredibly easy, quick, and delicious. Best of all, they only have 9 ingredients!
Oh, the Sloppy Joe. This messy, tomato sauce and beef sandwich was a school lunch favorite, and honestly, that alone should probably convince me to never touch it again. I do, however, remember it fondly, and was thrilled when I saw a vegetarian chickpea version on the menu at a local cafe. As delicious as their sandwich was, it didn’t taste like a Sloppy Joe– the sauce was different. To make a more accurate vegetarian Sloppy Joe, you could, of course, just go buy a can of Manwich and add chickpeas. Yes, you could do that. However, if you’re trying to avoid the dreaded High Fructose Corn Syrup, as well as pre-made food with hard-to-pronounce ingredients, you might prefer to make your own sauce. This vegan Chickpea Sloppy Joe is delicious, simple, and takes about 15 minutes start to finish.