Quinoa Vegetable Soup with Kale

This quinoa vegetable soup makes great leftovers for lunch! It's easy to make and good for you, too. cookieandkate.com

Cookie couldn’t be happier about the change in seasons. She chases the bunnies out of the backyard every time I open the back door and pulls me through the neighborhood during our recommenced evening walks. I don’t mind. Forsythia is on fire and the magnolia trees are blushing. I love this time of year.

vegetable soup ingredients

Since our early spring weather has been mostly wonderful, I’ve been trying to embrace the rainy days that bring more green to my world. I didn’t even grumble when I ran into the grocery store during a downpour a few days ago, dodging puddles in ballet flats. Celery mission: complete.

I got to work on this homemade vegetable soup when I got home and it warmed me right up. I’m hoping the leftovers will carry us through the remaining rainy days and all the muddy paws that come with them.

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Green Goddess Hummus Sandwich

Healthy, hearty and fresh hummus sandwich - cookieandkate.com

What’s a girl to do when she’s working on freelance projects all weekend and has a big bowl of green hummus in the refrigerator? Hummus sandwiches, that’s what! I’m not big on sandwiches in general. It just seems like most vegetarian sandwiches are more bread than anything else. This healthy, hearty, fresh hummus sandwich gets one enthusiastic stamp of approval from your resident sandwich skeptic, though.

We start with some lightly toasted, sturdy whole grain bread. Spread both sides generously with herby green goddess hummus (or your favorite store-bought variety). Top with crisp cucumber, some fresh green lettuce and tangy pickles. Place the second piece of bread on top. Lunch is served.

sliced red onions and carrots

I couldn’t resist complicating the pickles part of the equation. (I’m particular about my pickles like I’m particular about my sandwiches, which is to say that I’m pretty particular in general.) Most pickles are far too salty. I think they’re trying to make up for all the flavor lost while those pickles sit on the shelf, waiting for us to take their said pickled selves home only to be forgotten in the shadowy nether regions of the refrigerator.

This sad pickle conundrum is easily solved with homemade quick pickles. Man, they’re good! You can quick pickle all kinds of vegetables. Think radishes, cabbage, fennel, shallots, beets, onions and carrots. The thinner you slice the vegetables, the quicker they soak up the brine.

These onion and carrot quick pickles are ready in under thirty minutes. They go great on sandwiches, tacos, salads, toasts—basically on anything that could benefit from a salty, crispy, vinegary punch.

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Green Goddess Hummus

Extra creamy, homemade green goddess hummus! Ready in 8 minutes. cookieandkate.com

Here she is. The creamiest, dreamiest, greenest homemade hummus I’ve ever met. My standard for great hummus has risen over the years and reached a new height in Israel last fall, naturally.

Store-bought hummus is hit or miss and homemade hummus is usually disappointing. It tends to be too thick and bumpy to compare to the cloud-like hummus that I adore at Middle Eastern restaurants.

I’ve tried various tricks for making creamy homemade hummus over the years, like peeling the chickpeas (who has time for that?) and warming the chickpeas to release starch (which then produces a weird layer of skin on top as the hummus cools).

creamy herbed hummus

I finally found a method that works, and oh man! It works. Credit goes to Inspired Taste for this stroke of genius, which I stumbled upon during my most recent search for hummus tips.

Here’s the trick: just blend the tahini and lemon juice into creamy oblivion before you start adding the remaining ingredients. That’s it! Tahini is often kinda lumpy and gunky right out of the container, so cutting it with lemon juice and whipping them together produces a light-as-air consistency that carries through to the finished product.

I’m busy daydreaming about all the creamy hummus flavors I can whip up at home now, but I should probably tell you about this one first. It’s the best homemade hummus I’ve ever tasted. I borrowed the fresh herbs from classic green goddess dressings and whipped them into the hummus for a spectacularly green and equivalently flavorful hummus.

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Thai Green Curry with Spring Vegetables

Simple, vegetarian Thai green curry recipe featuring asparagus, carrots and spinach! cookieandkate.com

Show of hands: who drank too much Guinness last night? Not me. I took it easy with Cookie and ate some green curry for dinner. Maybe I was sampling from the wrong region, but it seemed festive enough. I’ve been on a vegetable-packed coconut curry kick lately—they’re just the perfect transition food for this time of year.

carrots and asparagus

This curry is based on my old Thai green curry recipe. I loved the base recipe for that dish (I learned how to make it at a fun cooking class), but I was never quite satisfied by my choice of mix-ins. So here we are, three years later, with an improved and extra-green version. This time, I opted for asparagus (snow peas would also work), carrots and wilted spinach.

I skipped the tofu altogether and found the dish to be plenty hearty without it. If you want to add tofu, though, I’d suggest baking it first and adding it with the coconut milk. I served my curry over rice (again), but I bet quinoa would be an interesting alternative. Let me know how you like it!

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15 Healthy Green Recipes for Spring

15 healthy green recipes for spring - cookieandkate.com

Spring weather! It’s finally here. I’m jumping ahead of the calendar by a few days, but my nose tells me (achoo) that spring has arrived. I’m celebrating by sharing fifteen of my favorite green recipes. You’ll find hearty green salads, of course, some fun green pasta dishes, soup and more.

I’m still buzzing after a great weekend, so I’m going to keep this short. Just wanted to share a few housekeeping things before I go:

1. I’m a dummy. I spent hours redesigning my email subscription and forgot to tell you all about it! Click here to subscribe to my new posts by email and see what I’m talking about.

2. Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your feedback and comments? I gathered so much inspiration from your go-to vegetarian recipes that you shared with me in the comments last week. You guys are brilliant!

3. Are you following along on Pinterest? I have a board for spring recipes, plus some new boards for salads and more.

4. Ali wrote about our experience working remotely for a month in Austin over here. We’re already scheming up a return trip.

Simple, fresh and filling black bean tacos! - cookieandkate.com

No. 1: Fresh Arugula and Black Bean Tacos with Pickled Radish and Feta
Easily gluten free and vegan

Spicy arugula and black beans with tangy quick-pickled radishes. Love these!

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Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas

Fresh grapefruit margaritas with a spicy kick! cookieandkate.com

I am so excited about the change in seasons. It’s warm outside! Daylight savings is back! Light is streaming through my windows and I’m having so much fun capturing the rays and shadows in photos. I thought we could celebrate with some sweet and spicy margaritas. I know, I know, I was just going on about detoxing, but grapefruit is in season and it’s bursting with vitamin C, so that counts for something, right? Right.

grapefruit margaritas ingredients

When we were in Austin, I found grapefruits on special at HEB (six for a dollar!), which kick-started my grapefruit cocktail streak. Grapefruit, while not my favorite of the citrus family, is fantastic in cocktails. It really cuts the taste of alcohol and plays nicely with tequila, gin, vodka and whiskey.

I’m evidently on a mission to post every fruity margarita possible, so here we are with spicy grapefruit margaritas. They aren’t too far off from my fizzy serrano-spiced palomas, but they’re delicious in their own right. I muddled a tiny slice of jalapeño in my margaritas for some kick and mixed some chili powder into the salt mixture that goes around the rim.

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