Now that the weather is warming up, most of us don’t want to spend exorbitant amounts of time in the kitchen. The sun is shining longer into the evening, the kids are involved in spring sports, and let’s face it: The last thing we want on busy weeknights is to spend a lot of time in front of a hot stove! The great news is that lots of delicious veggies spring into season over the next few months, making it simple to put together easy dinners that are healthy and taste great, too! Here are a few recipes made with spring vegetables to keep in mind:
- Asparagus Pasta Asparagus has a bit of an acquired taste, but I know that my kids have always loved it! Try to buy thin stalks, as they’re more tender and less stringy than the thicker stalks. You can simply wash them and serve them raw with dip, or you can roast them in the oven or on the grill. Sprinkled with olive oil and salt and roasted in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, asparagus is delicious! One very simple meal is to start boiling pasta, and trim the ends off of your raw asparagus. Use a vegetable peeler to “shave” the veggie into ribbons, lengthwise. When the pasta still has two or three minutes left to cook, put the asparagus into the water with the noodles. Drain when done, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and shave some fresh Parmesan cheese over the top.
- Turkey and Spinach Burgers Nothing says springtime like burgers on the grill! You can make yours a bit more healthy by using ground turkey, either by itself or mixed half and half with ground beef. Chop up a big handful of fresh baby spinach leaves and mix them into the meat. Add an egg, a chopped onion, and several mushrooms, finely chopped. Mix it all together and form into patties before grilling. These are so flavorful! Serve on buns with more raw baby spinach leaves, sliced tomatoes and sliced onions, if you like them. Your family will be getting all of those vegetables without even knowing about it!
- Green Bean Salad Once green beans are in season, we always make a big green bean salad. I parboil the beans for about 3 to 4 minutes, just to make them slightly less crunchy, then cool them by running cold water over them. Add chopped tomatoes, sliced onions and some light Italian salad dressing. You could also add raw snowpeas if you want to! Throwing in a can of chickpeas adds protein to the salad, so serving it with crusty bread can turn it into a light lunch. You could also serve with roasted new potatoes, another springtime favorite, to make the meal a bit more hardy.
These meals are kid-friendly and help kids to get used to incorporating different spring vegetables into their meals! Other springtime veggies to try include artichokes (just boil them until tender), spring peas and radishes (try slicing thinly and adding to salads). Don’t forget about fresh strawberries, which are also in season this time of year, and a favorite of kids everywhere!