How to Stay Vibrant this Spring

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By Alison Wickmann

The flowers and trees are coming back to life with their colors, and so is your plate.  Imitate nature by incorporating vibrant greens and soothing pastels for visual appeal and massive flavor for your dishes.

Colorful Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Colorful Veggie Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of butter lettuce (also called Boston or Bibb lettuce)
  • 1 ½ cups (12 ounces) edamame hummus (plain hummus is good, too)
  • 3 cups very thinly sliced crisp vegetables (I like 1 cup each purple cabbage, carrot and radish)
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ½ ounces soba noodles *
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced green onions (from about 1 small bunch)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, preferably black, plus a few more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce*
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the soba noodles.  Carefully remove about 12 intact lettuce leaves from your heads of lettuce, and set aside (save the smaller leaves and use them in a salad).
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sliced vegetables, vinegar and salt, and toss to combine.  Let the mixture marinate, tossing occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Cook the soba noodles just until al dente, according to package directions (usually about 4 minutes).  Drain the noodles, then return them to the pot (off the heat) and stir in the green onions, sesame seeds, if desired, and enjoy!

NOTES

STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: If you plan to have leftover lettuce wraps, store the individual components separately, and assemble just before serving (otherwise, the lettuce will wilt).

*MAKE IT GLUTEN FREE: Use gluten-free tamari (San-J brand is gluten free) and soba noodles (100% buckwheat).  Not all tamari and soba noodles are gluten free, so be sure to check the labels.

Inspired by Cookie and Kate.

 

Super Spring Salad

Super Spring Salad

 

Ingredients

  • 3 – 4 cups (100g) lamb’s lettuce (mache salad)
  • 10 – 12 tender asparagus
  • 10 medium radish finely sliced
  • 3 spring onions finely sliced
  • A handful of salad cress
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper
  • Edible flowers (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice the asparagus into ribbons. 
  2. For the dressing, whisk together in a small bowl the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper until you get a thick consistency.
  3. In a bowl place the lamb’s lettuce (mache salad), asparagus’ ribbons, radish, salad cress, and onions.
  4. Add the dressing, mix well and serve.

Inspired by Gathering Dreams.

 

Eat the Rainbow Spring Rolls

Eat the Rainbow Spring Rolls

Ingredients

  • Red pepper
  • Green pepper
  • Red cabbage
  • Carrot, peeled and finely grated
  • Rice or bean vermicelli
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Turmeric 
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 8 spring roll wrappers

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vegetables by washing them thoroughly and then cutting them into small pieces.  I used the slicing blade of my food processor to finely slice the bell peppers and red cabbage.  I hen I used the grating blade to finely grate the peeled carrot.
  2. Boil some water and add in the rice or bean vermicelli, soaking for as long as instructed on the package of your particular noodles.
  3. Meanwhile, heat some extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil in a frying pan and add in a  finely minced garlic clove. Once you have finished soaking the noodles, dain them and throw them into the pan with the oil and garlic.  Add a bit of turmeric, salt, adn peper, adn saute all of the ingredients together for a minute or two.
  4. Once you have prepared all of the colored ingredients, separate them into bowls to make it easier to put the spring rolls together.
  5. Dampen a clean cotton cloth and spread it out on your counter.
  6. Start placing the ingredients onto the wrapper.  I begin on the left side with the red peppers followed by the orange carrots, the vermicelli that has been seasoned with turmeric, the green peppers, dn then ending with some red cabbage on the left side.  Try to keep the ingredients in the center of the wrapper, leaving at least around an inch free on either side (and top and bottom).
  7. Continue forming rolls with the remaining ingredients and sere immediately or store in the fridge for later. 
  8. Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice.  I like to mix some soy sauce with a bit of lime juice and honey.

Inspired by The Things We’ll Make.

 

Cold Summer Zucchini Noodle Pasta Salad

Cold Summer Zucchini Noodle Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • For the salad:
    • 1 Ear of fresh corn, shucked
    • ½ tsp olive oil
    • 1 ½ lbs Zucchini, Spiralized with a blade b (about 2 large)
    • Sea salt
    • 1 ½ Oz Feta cheese, crumbled
    • ½ Cup Blueberries
  • For the dressing:
    • 2 Tbsp + ½ tsp Fresh lime juice (1 Large juicy lime)
    • 1 Tbsp Honey
    • ⅓ Cup Basil, very tightly packed (one .75 oz package)
    • ¼ tsp Sea salt
    • 4 tsp Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Pre heat your grill to high heat.  Rub the corn with the oil. Grilluntil charred on all sides, about 20 – 25 minutes, rotating every 8 – 10 minutes.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  2. Put the zucchini noodles in a strainer over a bowl and toss with a pinch of salt.. Let them sit while the corn cooks, so they begin to release their water, tossing occasionally.
  3. Once the zoodles have sat, press out as much moisture as your [sic] possibly can, and discard it.  Then, cover the zucchini noodles with paper towel and press out more moisture. Do this one more time.  It seems excessive, but it’s key to non-watery salad!
  4. Toss the zoodles with the feta cheese and blueberries in a large bowl.  Using a sharp knife, scrape off the grilled corn kernels and toss them in. 
  5. In a SMALL food process (mine is 3 cups) process the lime juice, honey, basil and salt until smooth and combined.  With the food processor running, stream in the oil until the dressing thickens slightly.
  6. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss evenly to coat.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving, so the flavors develop.
  7. DEVOUR!

Inspired by Food Faith Fitness.

 

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