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 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)
Stumbled upon your black bean and sweet potato enchilada recipe yesterday — absolutely LOVED it so here I am at your site, and just ordered your book. Thank you so much!
Thanks for the support, Cynthia!
I’ll take one of everything PLZ. THX.
I know, right! Thank you, Lee.
“Creamy Arugula, Goat Cheese, and Tomato Pasta Salad” was the first salad I made from your book. It was so freaking delicious! It tasted even better the next day.
I think I am going to try “Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach” next!
Thank you, Kate!
I love when recipes are even better the next day! Almost makes you want to wait to eat them right away, but you just can’t. :)
I need to make the sesame soba spring rolls – they look so good! I’ve really enjoyed your cookbook – I’ve cooked many successful recipes from it :)
Hi Kate! I looove your recipes – I normally would download your recipes to a meal planning app AnyList where it divides my grocery list etc & makes meal planning simpler – Do you have an ebook where I can still do that? Congrats on the recipe book – I just don’t do hard copies & would love to keep using your recipes!
Hi Katie! Thanks for the congratulations, it was a labor of love that is for sure. The cookbook comes in a kindle version, if that helps!
Hi Kate, I purchased your book on Amazon when it came out, it’s wonderful. I have several diet issues that prohibit me from using much salt; I have to minimize my use of most foods that are green and need to avoid gluten. In spite of all of that I am cooking lots of things from your book. I really enjoy and appreciate your notes at the bottom of the pages also. Thanks so much for the wonderful recipes!
I appreciate the support, Penny! I’m glad the the notes are helpful. :) I want to make sure I can provide what most are looking for.
I love your spices and different ways of putting them together…I recently was eating to much raw veggies and all the greens…My tummy needs them to be slightly cooked….but the flavor is wonderful….I made a ginger past olive oil ving. dressing…wonderful….thank you..shelley
The kale and quinoa salad with the lemon dressing has become a staple in our home. I love that we can make it on Sunday and bring it to work for lunch all week without it getting mushy and gross. I often make it with the honey mustard dressing in your cookbook, since that’s usually already in my fridge.
It’s become a staple in my house, too. I was excited to realize this weekend that the only change that it will need in order to be kosher for Passover is to omit the mustard from the dressing!
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Lauren.
Kate is my most single source for recipes!
She is the bomb!!
Awww, thanks Bill!
Thank you Kate! With Spring Break over, I needed a quick and easy menu refresh. Lo and behold, here it is! Thank you for sharing your outstanding recipes! Your cookbook is on my birthday list :) I cannot wait to make these, but I must confess – I am holding over one thing from winter: your sunshine dressing. It is the BEST!
Perfect timing! I’m glad it was the re-fresh you need. I love the sunshine dressing too. :)
I have tried MANY of your recipes and I have loved every single one. I bought 4 count em’ 4 of your cookbooks and gave them as Christmas gifts this past year and they too, love everything they have tried. Keep up the good hard work, we certainly benefit from it and, give a cookie a good scratch behind the ears from me.
What a great and generous gift! Thank you for the continued support, Cindi. Cookie will appreciate the scratch :)
I purchased your cookbook recently and tonight I made Sun-Dried Tomato Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach. It was absolutely delicious. My whole family loved it. I added sautéed shiitake mushrooms,but otherwise followed the recipe. The sauce is divine. Loved it and will definitely be making again.
Delicious! Thank you, Mary for your support. It’s great when you find a recipe the whole family loves!
I love this cookbook. I only wish I had gotten a hardcopy version instead of the Kindle one, but I didn’t want to wait for it to ship. Everything I’ve tried has been amazing. Next on my list is that sundries tomato fettuccine!
It’s a good one! Let me know what you think, Meghan.
I’m gonna make Roasted Broccoli, Bell Pepper, and Tofu Bowl with Peanut Sauce for sureee.
It has all my favourite ingredients<3
Great list! I would love to hear what you think.
Love your book, just made the roasted broccoli, sweet potato, salad with chipotle balsamic dressing for the first time last night and it was super tasty! I used mizuna for the greens because it is what I had from the market and some slow-roasted tomatoes I had leftover instead of sun-dried. Also left off the cheese cuz I am vegan. Still amazing :) I am planning to buy my mom a copy for mother’s day!
Thanks, Lacey! That’s such a great idea for a mother’s day gift.
Hello! Am I missing something or is this opportunity to visit your 10 spring recipes only available if we purchase your book? Usually we can print a recipe but I am not seeing anywhere to do that.
They are recipes that are in my Love Real Food cookbook! :)
I am in love with your cookbook! Just got it, but have made a few things so far, including these veggie burgers tonight. I almost skipped the slaw because I was short on time, but I made it and was so glad I did, because it totally made the recipe! Delicious!
Thank you, Janice! I’m glad you didn’t skip it either.
Cassie Autumn Tran
Tofu bowls, vegetable fried rice, soba noodle spring rolls, and Greek nachos?! HOT DAMN, Kate, you are a miracle worker! I can’t decide which recipe I want to try first! All of these recipes look magnificent!
Ha, thank you!
Your cookbook is one of my new faves. When my oldest son came home from college and announced he was vegan, I started searching for recipes and your site always came up. The recipes are easy to follow and delicious–I ordered your cookbook and love having it to peruse. The photos are gorgeous–it’s my go-to at least 2x a week! I think tonight we’ll head to page 175, that just looks fabulous!
Thank you, Sheila! I’m glad the blog was a great resource as your son made the transition. I love to hear what you think about the recipes!
I absolutely LOVE your cookbook! I have bought it 3 times now for gifts for other people. Every single recipe is seriously amazing. My husband and I have made the switch to mostly eating vegetarian at home by working our way through your cookbook. The Roasted Broccoli, Bell Pepper, and Tofu Bowl with Peanut Sauce recipe is my favorite thing to make for lunches for work!
You’re so sweet, Laura! Thank you for spreading the love. :)
I just received your cookbook this week. I figured it was time after I have repeatedly made your banana bread from the blog literally 20 times. It’s my go-to recipe! I love the book so far and plan on making the granola and kale and quinoa salad this weekend. Thanks for creating such wonderful recipes, Kate!
Thanks for purchasing the book! I hope you love it. I bet you will. :) Thanks so much, Hannah!
I love, love, love this post! Your cookbook is amazing and I think that for me it is super helpful that you have provided seasonal suggestions for what recipes to go to at this time of the year. Please do similar posts for Summer Fall and Winter :)
Thank you, Deborah!
My boyfriend bought me the book this week ( I never shut up about it) first thing we made was the cauliflower soup. Our minds are blown. Amazing. Can’t wait to try more recipes. I even downloaded the app. Eating like royalty thanks to you!
I love it! Thank you for the wonderful support and words, Debra.
There hasn’t been a recipe that I have made hat I haven’t loved. Making Jessica’s marinated chickpeas right now. I tell everyone i know about your books and recipes I have loved them all the flavors, the ingredients, the photos, the time they each take to make. I love preparing vegetarian foods but sometimes my biggest problem is figuring out what to cook, now I have your recipes to guide me and I am thoroughly rejoicing. Thank you!
I’m happy to hear that, Kaz! Also, thanks so much for your support. Couldn’t do this without you. Enjoy!
The cook book looks beautiful. The pictures make each dish look delicious. Will have to order
It’s a good one! Thanks so much, Valerie.
I think I saw a recipe on your site that contained ground sumac. I didn’t print the recipe and now I’ve got the sumac and can’t find the recipe… silly me . Help please! Thanks so much
Hi Molly! Was it this one? Sumac is also awesome sprinkled on hummus, if that helps you use some more up. :)
I have made the Sun-Dried Tomato fettuccine Alfredo with spinach and the sauce always turns out super thin. How do I make it thicker? Should I use a food processor instead of the vitamix?
Hi Genevieve! I’m sorry to hear that. It should be nicely creamy. As long as you’re able to gain enough traction in your Vitamix (no cashew chunks), then I would definitely stick with the Vitamix. There are a couple of moisture variables (soaked cashews absorb some water, not sure if you’re adding more pasta water to get it to blend). I’d say use 1 full cup of cashews next time and it should be nice and thick.
I’m a long-time fan of your sweet potato and black bean veggie burger but just tried the roasted broccoli, pepper and tofu bowl. Wow! So good. As you say in the recipe, the peanut sauce really makes this dish extra! Have never been disappointed with any of your recipes. Thanks!
Hi Kate, I love your recipes but I wanted to point out something I think could be improved on. The descriptor “abstractly asian” for your tofu bell pepper bowl is somewhat reductive, and as a Chinese person, it feels like it’s attempting to lump all Asian cuisine together. Peanut sauce originates from Indonesia, and personally, none of my northern Chinese relatives eat it. I doubt someone would write “abstractly Black dish” because it sounds horribly reductive and so I encourage you to consider how the language you use when talking about recipes inspired by other cultures can either pay homage and respect to them or appropriate them. I’m a huge fan of yours so I just wanted to point this out when I saw it today in your cookbook. Thanks.
Hi Kira, thank you so much for your thoughtful note and I am so sorry that my description struck you that way. I hear you, and you’re right, it does sound reductive. I regret using those words together and won’t do it again. I’ve edited the post and wish I could revise the head note in the cookbook. Thank you again for bringing this to my attention. Hope you are warm and healthy on this cold winter day!
Thanks so much for your response. I really appreciate it. And I made your goat cheese polenta the other night. It was a huge hit! Sending warmth and health to you as well.