3 Easy and Delicious Spring Dishes to Celebrate the Season

The asparagus in the market is looking really good lately. And have you noticed that the price of strawberries has been going down in the last few weeks? Wonder why? Of course, many factors go into the quality and pricing of produce at the market, but one of the most important is– seasonal availability. When local crops are in season, it’s cheaper and easier to get them to market at the peak of freshness, so they are less expensive and better tasting.

For those of you in the northern hemisphere, it’s springtime (finally!), and that means that local farms and gardens are getting their first harvests of asparagus, peas, lettuce, arugula, spinach, radishes, strawberries, and other early fruits and veggies. It’s the season to eat a bit lighter, to shed a few extra pounds after the winter, and get outside to enjoy the sun. In this article, my team at UpWellness shares some nutritious and delicious spring season recipes. Enjoy!

-JL

The air is getting warmer, plants are busting their way up from the ground toward the sun, and the birds are full of cheerful songs. It is that vibrant time of the year when everything is coming back to life, and you too may feel more alive than you have in months. It’s time to feed your body what it needs to head into this new season.

Here are some easy-to-make dishes that celebrate this beautiful season and all of its color.

Spring Fried Rice

This delicious dish celebrates spring ramps.

What’s in it

  • 1 bunch ramps (about 5 ounces) or 2 bunches scallions, white and green parts separated
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½-inch piece ginger, peeled, grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 3 cups leftover cooked rice or other grain
  • ½ bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces on a diagonal
  • 1 cup shelled fresh or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) liquid aminos.

How to make it

  1. Cut the ramps in half and slice the greens into 1” pieces.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the ramps, shallot, chilies, and ginger. Stir and cook until fragrant and soft.
  3. Add the beaten egg and stir to break up. Cook until it is just set.
  4. Add rice, and toss the dish together. Cook until rice is crisp.
  5. Mix in the peas, asparagus, and three-quarters of ramp greens, toss.
  6. Cook until all veggies are soft, about five minutes.
  7. Add liquid aminos and toss to coat.
  8. Divide the rice on plates and top with the remainder of greens.

Pea Pancakes

  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1 pound pods) or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus more for skillet
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, melted

How to make it

  1. Cook peas in a small saucepan of boiled and salted water until they are tender. Drain.
  2. Puree the eggs, cottage cheese, flour, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth. Transfer batter to a medium bowl and stir in the peas and 4 scallions. The batter should be thick but pourable; stir in water by tablespoonfuls if it is too thick.
  3. Oil a skillet and add batter ¼ – cupfuls at a time. Spread out to 3-inch-4-inch rounds with a spoon.
  4. Cook pancakes until they bubble on top – about 3 minutes.
  5. Flip and cook until they are brown on the bottom and the centers are cooked through.
  6. Serve with butter and scallions on top.

Beet and Ricotta Hummus

This hummus is as delicious as it is beautiful.

What’s in it

  • 1 baseball-sized red beet, scrubbed
  • 1 15½-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • ⅓ cup tahini, well mixed
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup ricotta
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) sea salt
  • 10 cranks freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil (for serving)

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Wrap beet in foil and place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Roast until the tines of a fork slide easily into the center of the beet. This will take 60-70 minutes. Let it sit until it is cool enough to handle.
  4. Put chickpeas tahini, lemon juice, ricotta garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander into a food processor and process until smooth.
  5. Rub the beet with a paper towel to remove the skin – it should come off easily.
  6. Cut off the beat end and cut into 8 pieces. Add these to the food processor. Process until smooth – about 2 minutes.
  7. Taste the hummus and season if necessary.
  8. Transfer to a shallow bowl and top with mint and poppy seeds, drizzle with oil.
  9. Chill in an airtight container.

Yummy…are you ready for spring?

-The UpWellness Team

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