Hallelujah! We’re two days from the official first day of spring. I’m so happy for more sunshine and longer days. Winter makes me crave hearty, cheesy dinners, and I’ve had enough! Seriously, my pants are snug.
I’m transitioning to more light, fresh meals, and I bet you are looking forward to those, too. Somehow it has been ten months since my cookbook, Love Real Food, hit the shelves last May. So, I thought I’d highlight some of my favorite spring-y recipes from the book.
If you already own Love Real Food, I have loved reading your reviews and your kind notes about the book. I sincerely hope it’s become a go-to cookbook in your kitchen. You might see one of these recipes with fresh eyes now that the weather has changed, and I hope it inspires you to cook a new recipe.
If you don’t have the book yet, I’ll admit that I hope these recipes entice you to get a copy. I poured all of my energy into the recipe testing, writing and photography for this book for over a year, and I’m over the moon by the feedback. Over 400 five-star reviews on Amazon and counting!
I still absolutely love every single recipe in the book, and you can browse 10 recipes that are particularly spring-y below. Find more information about the book here (including a video trailer that shows the inside of the book).
Kale and Quinoa Salad with Crisp Celery, Plumped Cranberries, and Lemon Dressing
This kale salad is simple, redeeming, and delicious by design. It’s a great picnic salad, or more realistically, a great pack-for-work or dinner-after-indulgent-vacation salad. (Page 59)
Moroccan Roasted Carrot, Arugula, and Wild Rice Salad
Middle Eastern flavors collide with Minnesota-grown wild rice in this hearty roasted carrot salad. It’s like they were meant to be together all along. (Page 62)
Creamy Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Tomato Pasta Salad
This simple pasta salad is basically a big bowl of my favoritethings—whole-grain pasta, goat cheese, lemon, and arugula. It’s a wonderful potluck side and packs great for picnics. (Page 75)
Green Goddess Kale Salad
Now this is a garden salad! This chopped kale salad wonder is crispy, chewy, and zingy all at once. It’s full of fresh-from-the garden flavors, including carrots, cucumbers, radishes, and a creamy, herbed avocado dressing. (Page 67)
Fresh Sesame Soba Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce
These spring rolls are stuffed with crisp, fresh veggies and served with the most irresistible peanut sauce. Rice noodles are common spring roll fillings, but I opted for soba noodles instead, which are made with buckwheat flour. They add some nutritious, nutty flavor to the rolls. (Page 98)
Fresh Greek Nachos with Herbed Tahini Sauce
Freshly toasted pita wedges, topped with a simple Greek chickpea salad and drizzled with herbed tahini sauce, are seriously nacho-like. The tangy tahini sauce offers the same level of indulgent, creamy texture and rich flavor as gooey nacho cheese, without the cheese coma. (Page 116)
Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach
Restaurant-style fettuccine Alfredo never fills me up, no matter how much I eat. This variation actually does, since it’s made with whole-grain pasta, spinach, and cashews, which combined offer fiber, plant-based protein, and healthy fat. (Page 154)
Roasted Broccoli, Bell Pepper, and Tofu Bowl with Peanut Sauce
Where to begin? This abstractly Asian dish features tender, caramelized roasted veggies, crispy pillows of cubed tofu, and an insanely tasty peanut sauce, which I want to slather on just about everything. (Page 175)
Sweet Potato–Black Bean Veggie Burgers with Cabbage-Pepita Slaw
These veggie burgers are a sublime combination of sweet and spicy, thanks to the roasted sweet potatoes and spicy seasonings. My favorite way to serve them is with quick guacamole and a crisp slaw. (Page 177)
Coconut Fried Rice with Edamame
This untraditional, vaguely Thai fried rice dish transforms leftover rice, tender edamame, and basic veggies into a weeknight dinner that I crave constantly. While coconut in fried rice might seem surprising, the large coconut flakes turn savory and lightly crisp once golden. It makes this dish even more fun and satisfying. (Page 182)