I am a sucker for rituals—of the morning variety, the self-care variety, and the weekend kind as well. My Sunday morning trip to the Hollywood Farmers' Market is one of my favorite weekend rituals. I meander through the kiosks, say “hi” to the oyster guys, and grab a cup of coffee to sustain me through my errands. It’s taught me a lot about produce—how to pick the good ones, and most importantly, what’s in season. Thankfully, my Angeleno market is pretty laid back, but if you try and buy produce out of season, say in France, you’ll get a harsh side eye. They truly believe in eating food that's in season—which is one of the elements of the macrobiotic diet—and we think they’re onto something.
Do you know that saying “eat the rainbow”? Well, it’s a perfectly easy way to incorporate seasonal fruits and veggies into your every day, and whip up something quick. The more colors you’re getting into your dish, the more vitamins and minerals your body will benefit from. I say give it up for seasonal bounty and try the 15 vegetable recipes that will even give carnivores food envy. Cue zucchini carpaccio.
The Recipe: Vegetarian Cassoulet with Mushrooms and Chard
The Seasonal Ingredient: This meatless take on a Francophone favorite calls for farmers' market finds, like chard and leeks. The French use leeks like we use onion—it’s incredibly healthy, detoxing, and adds to the full-bodied flavor of this dish.
Pro Tip: Phoebe Lapin of Feed Me Phoebe recommends canned cannellini beans to cut down the cooking time of this dish, so “you can make it as a homey weeknight meal.”
Why We Love It: I have such a soft spot for French provincial comfort food. These dishes are designed to share with the ones you love, and forfeiting the classic meat doesn’t compromise this dish one bit. Santé.
The Recipe: Zucchini Carpaccio
The Seasonal Ingredient: Why not start to imagine refreshing meals surrounding this vibrant squash? We suggest slicing them paper thin and dressed in lemon and herbs.
Pro Tip: Alejandra of Brown Sugar and Vanilla wants you to let your creativity in the kitchen flow with this one and "use this recipe as a guide.” Taste test as you go to dress it to your personal preference.
Why We Love It: This recipe is a mere 10 minutes from beginning to end, so you can spend the rest of your time languidly enjoying al fresco.
The Recipe: Meyer Lemon Veggie Bowl
The Seasonal Ingredient: This bowl is like an edible ode to warmer days. The red bell pepper, zucchini, and summer squash create a medley of colors that remind us just what an artist Mother Nature is. The Meyer lemon is the true MVP of this dish, though—that citrus sweetness brings it home.
Pro Tip: This recipe calls for wild rice, but you could easily switch in your base preference, be it quinoa or lettuce.
Why We Love It: This recipe is incredibly easy to throw together as a side dish, always gracing your table through the spring and summer. Feel free to play around with ingredients as they come in and out of season.
The Recipe: Roasted Beets with Blood Orange and Yogurt
The Seasonal Ingredient: While blood oranges are more prevalent in winter, you can also find them at your favorite market orchard stands in early spring. They make for a wonderful sweet contrast to vegetable salads like this one.
Pro Tip: Kayla Howey of The Original Dish is putting her "salt, fat, acid, heat" skills to the test with this dish. She prompts you to be daring with your flavors here. She suggests "a little vinegar for acid and some sweet honey."
Why We Love It: Blood orange season may be one of my favorites. I love how versatile this citrus is, but it’s only a brief time you’ll find them on shelves. This salad is such a good way to incorporate them into dinner.
The Recipe: Turmeric Honey Roasted Carrots and Radishes
The Seasonal Ingredient: Carrots are synonymous with springtime, and they’re one of the most beneficial veggies to bring into mealtime. Paired with turmeric, you won’t even realize what good it’s doing for your body while you munch away.
Pro Tip: Howey reminds us how much salt you need when roasting vegetables, so “don’t be skimpy” when seasoning them.
Why We Love It: I love how versatile carrots can be—they seem to taste good with just about anything, but the honey really is a good match.
The Recipe: Butternut Squash Noodles in Sage Brown Butter
The Seasonal Ingredient: Butternut squash is more seasonal to the summer months, but it sometimes pops up at our favorite produce purveyors earlier, during spring. This vegetable is like a chameleon and can morph into just about anything. This time, it becomes your pasta stand-in of choice. Drizzled with olive oil and tossed with sage, there's nothing fresher.
Pro Tip: This is a super quick dinner to throw together on the fly. The squash noodles only need “about 5-7 minutes” to roast, according to Boulder Locavore’s Toni Dash. Then, simply combine with sauce and serve.
Why We Love It: I eat a lot of pasta, so when I come across a lower-carb version, I am all for giving it a try. This one is so easy and delicious, even picky eaters that turn their noses up at veggies will want a bite.
The Recipe: Roasted Broccoli Quinoa Salad
The Seasonal Ingredient: There are masses of broccoli in the produce aisle, ready to roast, steam, or dip raw into your Greek yogurt dressing. This recipe, however, calls for the broccoli to be roasted and laid over a bed of kale and quinoa for a super filling salad.
Pro Tip: Brittany Mullins of Eating Bird Food says to roast the kale with the broccoli to get it a little crunchy. It's "like having kale chips in your salad,” she writes.
Why We Love It: The mix of broccoli and kale is a powerful one, giving you extra doses of fiber, antioxidants, iron, and vitamin C—on top of being delicious, of course.
The Seasonal Ingredient: Living in California, you would think avocado was endlessly in season, but its high times are spring and summer—so those are the best times to load up your avo toast. Charred corn salsa is the perfect topping we didn’t know we were missing.
Pro Tip: “Don’t overcomplicate it,” writes Krista Rollins of Joyful Healthy Eats. And she's right. It’s just bread topped with avocado, but the satisfaction of this breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) is in its simplicity.
Why We Love It: This ingredient list calls for gluten-free bread, and I love seeing recipes that you can simply edit based on your food preferences. Want gluten? Go for it. Can’t eat it? Follow the recipe.
The Recipe: Best Ever Broccoli Cheese Soup
The Seasonal Ingredient: Yes, we are big fans of broccoli around here. On days when you want to feel that comfort of a creamy warm bowl of somethin’, opt for this broccoli cheddar cheese soup.
Pro Tip: Tiffany Azure of Creme de la Crumb has a specific caution to make when it comes to the cheese used in this soup. “Do not use pre-shredded cheddar,” she advises. It's “tossed” in a powdered coating that melts differently than the kind you freshly grate by hand. Good to know.
Why We Love It: I’m the biggest supporter of a big old bowl of soup. It doesn’t even have to be cold out for me to crave it. This one is a great take on cream of broccoli, with a cheesy twist.
The Recipe: Lemon Parmesan Roasted Asparagus
The Seasonal Ingredient: This dish is one of my very favorites to repeat all spring long with fresh-from-the-market asparagus—not the dinky thin kind from the grocery store, but those really thick ones that roast perfectly.
Pro Tip: This side is incredibly easy to make, with only five minutes of prep. Then, it’s into the oven while you set the table, and voila! It’s ready to serve.
Why I Love It: I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy this side dish, or any entree it doesn’t pair well with. On nights when you’re stumped for a well-rounded family dinner menu, throw this one on the roster.
The Recipe: Spicy Vegetarian Cabbage Soup
The Seasonal Ingredient: Cabbage is wonderful in that it can absorb flavor so well. This recipe is the perfect example of that—it quickly takes on the cumin, ground pepper, and cilantro to create a robust spoonful.
Pro Tip: “Feel free to just use whatever you love,” or have on hand, says Gimme Some Oven’s Ali Martin. She goes on to give you the green light on skipping any ingredients you aren’t fond of or don’t have in the fridge.
Why We Love It: Aside from the cabbage, this recipe is diverse in ingredients, from tomatoes to Yukon gold potatoes and even beans. It’s brimming with good-for-you elements that make the perfect go-to lunch. Meal prep, anyone?
The Seasonal Ingredient: Collard greens are one of spring’s most overlooked offerings. They are, in fact, easy to apply to many vegetable-based meals, including wraps like this one. They can have a bitter taste, but paired with the tahini sauce and pistachio falafel, all the tastes culminate into a Middle Eastern-style delight.
Pro Tip: If you’re not a soy eater, Wu Haus’s Alison Wu has a solution: “Swap the tempeh for two cups of chickpeas.” No one should be left out from enjoying this dish.
Why We Love It: This is a new one for me, but if you’re in the same boat, don’t be put off by how fancy it sounds. The directions are smooth, it’s easier than it looks, and it's insanely tasty.
The Seasonal Ingredient: Those carrots are back, and this time they're sitting pretty next to heirloom green lentils, drizzled with za’atar dressing to make for a mix of aromas that will transport you.
Pro Tip: This ingredient list continues to pleasantly surprise you as you read through it, but the true kicker is Wu’s final piece de resistance—a fresh mint garnish. We oblige.
Why We Love It: I adore this escapist take on mealtime. From the wild rice to the herbs, it’s a completely new take on a simple roasted carrot. Be prepared to wow dinner guests.
The Recipe: Asparagus Gratin with Gruyere Panko
The Seasonal Ingredient: This is a treat-yourself take on asparagus, as it’s opulently matched with creamy gruyere and whole grain mustard.
Pro Tip: For an even richer, cheesier experience, Natalie Mortimer of The Modern Proper says to sprinkle extra parmesan on top with the parsley and toasted panko “if you are feeling crazy." Get wild, we say.
Why We Love It: You’ll think you stumbled into Sunday dinner in the French countryside.
The Recipe: Butter-less Alfredo with Peas
The Seasonal Ingredient: Not to be forgotten, peas are also a gift of the spring season. Classically seen in Italian summertime fare, they add a sweetness to salty, savory bites like these.
Pro Tip: Dana Shultz of Minimalist Baker topped her alfredo with said peas, which she “steamed and lightly seasoned” for the desired effect of a warm, home-cooked meal.
Why We Love It: This reminds me of the pasta my mom used to make every time it was warm enough to eat out on the patio. It brings me back, and the minimalist ingredients are easy for rookies like myself.
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