Spring has almost sprung, and although we’re still waiting for those first tips of green to poke through the ground, we still gotta eat our veggies. I’m a little jaw-weary of root veggies and winter squash though, and so will shake things up with a vegan veggiepalooza quinoa fried rice, springy leeks baked with salmon and a side of (yes, imported) sugar snap peas, and even a wintry turnip… baked with chicken and lentils into an easy and hearty one-dish meal.When the weekend rolls around, we’ll celebrate with tacos and a movie.
Brooke’s self-proclaimed veggiepalooza doesn’t rely on a bountiful farmers’ market; much of its heft comes from frozen veggies, along with fresh, and some tahini for a nutty flavour that brings it all together. Quinoa provides protein – or go beyond vegan and add a scrambled egg, some shrimp or a few scraps of leftover roasted chicken.
Quinoa Fried Rice
Photo credit: Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen
This is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, one pot winter meal. It’ll warm you up from the inside out, with a spicy kick. (Totally under your control, of course.)
Spicy Chicken and Lentil Succotash
Photo credit: Dan of Dan’s Good Side
An onion’s far more subtle cousin, the leek pairs well with seafood, and is wonderfully mellow when baked. Aimee suggests enjoying it with a side of couscous and steamed sugar snap peas.
Photo credit: Aimee of Simple Bites
This classic quiche is infinitely versatile – use it to use up any veggies that are getting close to (or past) their prime; Kelsey uses spinach, but kale or chard would work as well, or sauté peppers, zucchini, onions, whatever you like or is in season. This simple pie may become a weekly standby; it’s delicious at room temperature or cold, so is perfect for those nights when everyone is coming and going. Leftovers are perfect for breakfast or lunch.
Photo credit: Kelsey of The Naptime Chef
Swap pizza night for taco night – a favourite around our house. Braised pork makes a flavourful alternative to the usual spiced ground beef; set it out family-style with taco shells or flour tortillas, grated cheese, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce – all the fixins you like on your tacos. It’s a perfect setup for a party, or dinner in front of a movie. Best of all, it makes enough pulled pork to serve a large crowd (party time!) or you can freeze the leftovers for another round of tacos, or add barbecue sauce and serve on soft buns with slaw.