After the chilly winter months, there’s nothing more refreshing than the sight of fresh spring fruit and vegetables. Crisp lettuce, brightly colored rhubarb and fresh asparagus help liven up any meal. Spring is one of the best times to get in the kitchen and prepare a healthy plant-based recipe. When you are experimenting with seasonal produce that is ripe and fresh you can turn a simple salad or side dish into something extraordinary, brimming with flavor. Here are four recipes that highlight spring produce.
In a medium-size saucepan heat olive oil, onions, and garlic over medium-low heat until fragrant and translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the pumpkin purée, thyme, cumin, ginger, and ground pepper. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add vegetable broth and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 additional minutes. Remove pot from heat and stir in maple syrup and heavy cream. Using an immersion blender purée soup until it reaches your desired consistency. If you don’t have an immersion blender let the soup cool for 10 minutes then transfer contents to a food processor or blender. After the soup is puréed only heat contents on low heat, so it doesn’t boil. The cream separates if the liquid gets too hot. Serve the soup warm with pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top.
In a food processor or blender add garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1 tablespoon Olive Oil. Pulse blend the contents until smooth. Stop to scrape sides as needed. Add kalamata and green olives. Pulse blend again until smooth. Scoop contents into a serving bowl. Top with paprika and olive oil. Add additional sliced olives if desired. The mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week if covered or in an airtight container.
Olive hummus goes great with seasonal sliced vegetables and Clearly Organic corn chips.
Choose cranberries for Vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. Eat them as a snack or throw them in a salad like the recipe below!
Dressing: 1/4 cup Olive oil 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons agave nectar 1/2 teaspoon dried dill 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salad: Two 15oz cans Best Choice Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained 2 Celery stacks diced 1 carrot shredded 1/2 cup Best Choice dried cranberries 1/2 cup Best Choice Pecans finely chopped 1/2 cup diced red onion 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, vinegar, agave, dill and red pepper flakes to make the dressing. Set aside so the flavors come together.
In a large bowl, mix all the salad ingredients together, then mix in the dressing.
Let chill in the refrigerator for one hour before serving. Can be served as is or spooned into lettuce leaves to make wraps.