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Spring is a great time to take a visit to your local farmers market. This is the time of year where much of your produce starts to be locally grown, which means fresher and better fruits and veggies! Some Spring Vegetables are: asparagus, spinach, chives, scallions, lettuce, artichokes, avocados, carrots, fava beans, fennel, peas and radishes. Spring vegetables provide some of the highest levels of vitamin K, iron, and phytonutrients.

Here is a list of some of our favorite springtime recipes to help you get into the mood.

Mixed Lettuce, Fennel & Orange Salad with Black Olive Vinaigrette

salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-tablespoon red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4-cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 medium navel or Valencia oranges
  • 10 cups mixed lettuces, (3 small heads), such as chicory, radicchio and leaf lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 heads Belgian endive, sliced
  • 2 fennel bulbs, sliced
  • pomegranate seeds, to garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS

To prepare vinaigrette: Whisk vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil. Stir in olives and parsley.

To prepare salad: Using a sharp knife, remove peel and white pith from oranges. Quarter the oranges; slice pieces crosswise. Just before serving, combine lettuces, endive, fennel and the orange slices in a large bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat well. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Tip:?Separate items can be made ahead and kept in fridge for up to 8 hours. Do not combine ingredients till you are ready to serve or the salad will get soggy.

Singaporean Asparagus with Ginger

asparagus

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for grilling
  • 1 Thai chili, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, plus about 20 thin matchsticks
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 1 hard-cooked egg yolk, mashed to a paste
  • 1/4-cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4-pound medium asparagus
  • 1 Chinese sausage link (2 to 3 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sauerkraut, squeezed dry
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced

DIRECTIONS

In a medium saucepan, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil. Add the Thai chili, minced ginger and half of the garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and swirl until melted. Add the egg yolk and whisk until blended. Add the cream, season with salt and pepper and simmer just until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan; oil the grates. Grill the asparagus, turning occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the asparagus to a work surface and cut them into 2-inch lengths. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1-tablespoon of oil. Add the Chinese sausage, sauerkraut, ginger matchsticks and the remaining garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and scallion and stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in half of the sauce. Transfer the asparagus to a platter and drizzle with the remaining sauce. Serve right away.

Spring Vegetable Stew

canstockphoto12136936

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4-pound thin white asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 cup shelled fresh cranberry beans (4 ounces or 1 pound in the pod)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 thin scallions, white and pale green parts only
  • 1/4-pound beech mushrooms (can substitute with other types)
  • Salt
  • 6 white turnips, about 2 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch-long sticks
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • One 6-ounce zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1-teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • One romaine heart, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons crme frache
  • 1-tablespoon small chervil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives

DIRECTIONS

In a medium pot of simmering salted water, cook the asparagus over moderately high heat until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the asparagus to a bowl. Add the cranberry beans to the water and simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain the beans and transfer to the bowl. Meanwhile, in a medium enameled, cast-iron casserole, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the scallions and cook over moderate heat until barely tender, about 1 minute. Transfer the scallions to the bowl with the asparagus. Add another 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil to the casserole. Add the mushrooms, season with salt, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until lightly browned and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to the bowl. Heat the remaining 1-tablespoon of olive oil in the casserole. Add the turnips and carrots, season with salt and cook over moderate heat for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the stock, cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup of the stock, cover and cook until the turnips and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes longer. Add the zucchini and 1/2 cup of the stock and simmer until the zucchini is just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of stock to the casserole along with the lemon zest, lemon juice and lettuce and cook, stirring, until the lettuce just wilts, about 20 seconds. Stir in the crme frache. Add the asparagus, beans, scallions and mushrooms to the stew. Simmer briefly, until heated through, about 30 seconds. Top with the chervil and chives and serve.

Spring Pea Falafel with Marinated Radishes and Minted Yogurt

falafel

INGREDIENTS:

MARINATED RADISHES

  • 1-tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
  • 1 bunch red radishes, thinly sliced

FALAFEL

  • 1/2 cup dried green split peas
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1-tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1-teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2-teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4-teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1-tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

MINTED YOGURT

  • 1/2-cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1-teaspoon sumac (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

FOR SERVING

  • 1-tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-cup pea shoots or watercress
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

DIRECTIONS

In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the shallot and thyme and cook over moderately low heat until the shallot is softened, about 4 minutes. Add the honey and vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes. Let cool. Put the radishes in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. Working in 2 batches, grind the split peas to a powder in a spice grinder. In a food processor, pulse the thawed peas a few times. Add the ground split peas, onion, flour, parsley, garlic, coriander, cumin, baking powder, cayenne, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of salt and process until thoroughly combined. Form the mixture into 12 falafel patties using a scant 1/4-cup per patty. Refrigerate the falafel until firm. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, mint and sumac and season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 400. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the falafel patties in two batches to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until browned, crisp and heated through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the falafel to a cookie sheet. Warm up all of the patties in the oven, about 4 minutes. Drain the radishes; discard the thyme sprigs. Spoon the minted yogurt onto plates and top with the radishes and the falafel. Scatter the sesame seeds, red onion and pea shoots all around, drizzle with the lemon juice and serve.

If you have a green thumb why not try growing your own vegetables? Gardening can be a great workout too. See our article: Spring Garden your way to better Health

 

Recipe Sources: Eating Well, Food and Wine

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