Free Meal Plan: 5 Meals from the Garden

Things are starting to grow! Fields of asparagus outside the city are ready for harvest, and spinach is popping up all on its own in the raised beds in our back yard. I’m diving right in, starting to use ingredients as they become available – at their brand-new, green and growing peak.Such a relief to have access to fresh veggies after a long winter – and it’s only going to get better from here! Hopefully the family will share my enthusiasm when it comes to eating their greens.


free meal plan spinach ravioli recipeEveryone around here adores ravioli – and it’s a great way to get the kids to eat their spinach. I also love the process of making them from scratch, and enlisting little fingers to help after school. I enjoy spending time in the kitchen – especially when I can throw the windows open and let the sun shine in.

Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli

Photo credit: Brooke of Cheeky Kitchen


free meal plan chicken salad grapes asparagus recipeI adore cold chicken salads – and what a brilliant use of fresh asparagus! Sweet, juicy grapes are a delicious addition too, This salad looks perfect for a spring picnic.

Curried Chicken Salad with Grapes and Asparagus

Photo credit: Jan of Family Bites


free meal plan Halibut kale mango salsaThe kale isn’t quite up yet, but I still pick it up every week from the produce section. I may try swapping spinach here, or rainbow chard. My 6 year old is a mango fanatic – and loves fish – so this combination should be a hit. Bonus: the mint in my back yard is flourishing already too!

Halibut and Kale with Mango Mint Salsa

Photo credit: Amy of Family Feedbag


free meal plan pasta primavera recipeThe official pasta of spring (primavera), this classic makes perfect use of all that is springing up in my garden. It’s an easy throw-together dish for those days when I might not have as much time to cook as I’d like.

Pasta Primavera

Photo credit: Cheri for Simple Bites


free meal plan .lentil spinach salad tomatoes feta recipeA smallish, healthy dinner early means we can go out later for pizza, wings, or whatever it is we’ll be craving on the patio.

Lentil and Spinach Salad with Roasted Tomatoes and Feta

About the Author:

Julie Van Rosendaal is the food and nutrition columnist on the Calgary Eyeopener on CBC Radio One, the author of five best-selling cookbooks, with a sixth - Alice Eats, the Wonderland Cookbook having just been released in October. She's the food editor of Parents Canada magazine and a freelance writer, contributing to local, national and international publications including Swerve, Avenue, Western Living and Readers Digest. She is also co-host of It’s Just Food on the OWN television network, and writes and is the photographer for her award-winning food blog,, which documents real life in her home kitchen in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, Mike, and 8 year old son, Willem.

One Comment

  1. maeve May 28, 2012 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    This is a great site Julie

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