Vegan Carrot Waffles from the Love and Lemons Cookbook

Beyond spring being a wonderful time of year due to weather and produce, it’s also a great time for new cookbooks. There are so many wonderful cookbooks coming out this spring that it’s hard to know what to share. However, The Love and Lemons Cookbook is one you should definitely add to your list. These carrot waffles are the creation of Jeanine and just one of the many recipes I have on my list to try from the cookbook. The waffles are crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, all without any dairy or eggs. Jeanine hit it out of the park with these waffles (and carrots were the featured produce ingredient in this week’s newsletter!) Read more and see the recipe.

Spicy Snow Peas and Quinoa

In terms of spring peas, I tend to buy snow peas the most. Their slight sweetness is second in my book to the fact that there’s no shelling involved- everything is edible. They serve as a great snack raw or sauté quickly for the perfect meal. These spicy snow peas are a favorite spring lunch of mine and work perfectly with the quick cooking quinoa. Read more and see the recipe.

Pea Pasta with Goat Cheese Sauce

About once a week we have a pasta night. It’s usually the night where we’ve had a long day and don’t want to put a lot of thought into dinner. We boil a few noodles, throw a sauce together and before we know it, dinner is ready. While we eat a type of pea pasta year round (I always seem to have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer), it comes into heavy rotation when fresh peas are available. The peas work well with the basil and goat cheese, plus they require little in the way of cooking. This meal really takes just about as long as it takes to boil the pasta which means you have dinner in less than 20 minutes. Read more and see the recipe.

Buttered Radishes with a Poached Egg

Every time I see French Breakfast radish at the market or store, I get excited. Hands down, they are my favorite variety of table radish. They are more smooth with less bite than the other varieties, are wonderful raw, and butter is a perfect companion, hence these buttered radishes. Serve them over toast, top your favorite grain, or add to a simple salad. This is also when quality butter is helpful as the butter flavor will play a large roll in the overall dish . Read more and see the recipe.

Cold Noodle Salad with Cabbage

This cold noodle salad is another great for road trips and picnics meal. It’s next to no-cook as I love the crispness from the vegetables that are slightly marinated in rice vinegar and tamari. There’s room for riffing on this recipe but I hope I can convince you to try somen noodles. They are fast and soak up all the good flavors from the sauce and vegetables. Read more and see the recipe.

Lentil Broccoli Bites with Lemon Cream Sauce

I’ve thought quite a bit about what I would serve if I ever open a restaurant (what I daydream about). Recently, the first things that always comes to mind are these broccoli bites. I make the base (these lentil bites) every other week with a variation based on what I’m making. Sandwiches, snacks, and a main course are just a few ways. These broccoli bites are a variation of which I’m particularly proud. The broccoli and almonds are perfect with the lentils and the cream sauce turns this into a show-stopping, decadent meal. This would definitely be on my restaurant menu but for now, I’ll just share the recipe. Read more and see the recipe.

Pea Potstickers with Cabbage and Ginger

Post sponsored by Cascadian Farm. See below for more details.

When I was writing the Easy Vegetarian Kitchen, it took me a bit to solidify the 50 base recipes because there were so many choices. I tried to keep things easy (since it’s in the title), but one of the recipes I knew I wanted to include: potstickers. They look hard but it’s all about the pleating and once you do it a few times, it becomes muscle memory. These pea potstickers are a favorite of mine because I almost always have a bag of frozen peas in the freezer (just as healthy, easy to use, and baby friendly!) These potstickers are great for dinner or a great movie snack. Read more and see the recipe. Have a dumpling party and make a bunch- they freeze well!

Quick Cabbage Salad with Peanuts

As the weather gets warmer, I start to plan out picnics for spring and summer. Living in Northern California affords us picnics in mountains and beaches, so we try to hit both as often as we can. I’m most excited about picnic foods or really any food that travels well. This cabbage salad will be on the menu quite a bit. It’s easy to throw together, packs well, and can pair well with so many other meals. Peanut oil is something that I don’t always have on hand but will use primarily is salads and as a finishing oil. Read more and see the recipe.

Chipotle Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Hemp Dressing

Post sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. See below for more details.

It’s about this time of year that I have a couple of squash left in storage. I find it less appealing to eat more squash when I start to see asparagus as the market, but this butternut squash salad is a good mix of winter and spring. I love fresh greens that are perfect from the cool weather and very herb-forward flavors like this hemp dressing. More and more I’m enjoying the idea of making a meal vegan, then adding non-vegan items as I like. This dressing is creamy thanks to the hemp seeds and is a lovely pair for the spice from the chipotle roasted butternut squash. The dressing makes more than needed but you can use it throughout the week on side salads or grain bowls. Read more and see the recipe.

Chickpea Burgers with Spinach

While I have my favorite veggie burger, these chickpea burgers were due for an updating. They are simple, delicious, and have a texture I love in veggie burgers: crunch on the outside, soft on the inside, and don’t fall apart when cooked. These burgers come together rather quick and cook up just as fast. I prefer pan frying these burgers in a bit of oil (helps the crispy outside) but you can also grill them. If you’re looking to make a big batch for use throughout the month, go through the baking process, separate them with a bit of wax paper, and store in an airtight container in the freezer. Read more and see the recipe.

Broccolini Flatbread

I will forever be a proponent of ‘throw something together’ cooking. A good chunk of these meals, while inspired by other recipes and travel, come from a place of ‘what’s in my house right now.’ Some time ago I posted a pita pizza with broccolini on instagram and realized that it was really a recipe I should share. I like to keep my flatbreads simple: a solid vegetable topping, a bit of flavor, and cheese- no sauce needed. This broccolini flatbread is easy and a lovely presentation. Read more and see the recipe.

Kale Risotto with Farro

When it comes to kale, I’m rather picky about how I prepare it. I’ll only eat it raw on occasion and when it’s cooked, it can’t be overly soft. This kale risotto sits in the middle on my kale scale, making it perfect. I’ve tried numerous grains in risottos and I keep coming back to farro. Pearled farro provides just the right amount of chewiness while creating a bit more warmth in the overall dish. Also, now is a good time to try your hand at making your own ricotta! Read more and see the recipe.

Asparagus Salad with Turmeric Tahini Dressing

Post sponsored by Frontier Co-op. See below for more details.

I eat a fair amount of salads throughout the year but during the spring, I eat salads nearly every day. This asparagus salad combines all of my favorites: roasted vegetables, a hearty grain, a scoop of salty cheese, and an easy homemade dressing. Frontier asked me to share how I cook with purpose and one of the ways is that we connect with our food and make homemade when we can. Beyond being better in flavor that store-bought, homemade foods help to keep us mindful of what we are eating.

Over the years, M has picked up a few of these homemade items and one that he will gladly do time and again is make dressing. It’s one of the easy ways for he and I to make a meal together (I chop, he shakes). This particular dressing, in my opinion, makes the salad. The turmeric works well with the tahini and ties in perfectly with the roasted asparagus and Kamut. Plus, it gives you one more way to use tahini outside of hummus making! Read more and see the recipe.