Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Let's Celebrate: Spring Food Recipes!


Lately, I've been doing quite a few posts about Spring (HERE, HERE and HERE).  I guess it's no secret by now that it's probably my favorite season.   In the Spring, nature comes alive, and I feel like I do too. Spring inspires me and I always feel so much growth and promise after the cold winds of winter have ceased. Eating local foods that are currently in season is an easy way that we can live connected to our Earth. Our local climate provides the exact foods that our bodies need to endure each specific season. We are after all, a part of nature ourselves so it's important for our health and wellbeing that we sync our lives up to what is going on in nature.

One of my very first readers (that I didn't previously know in person), Magda had asked me some of my favorite Spring recipes. She unknowingly inspired something really cool for the future of The Empowered Way.   In an effort to promote the beauty and importance of eating seasonal food, The Empowered Way will host quarterly "feasts" or potlucks that coincide with the 4 seasons!! How fun is that!?

Last Saturday we kicked off the first ever "Spring Foods Feast" I invited some of the coolest peeps I know for the initiation- sadly, a few good friends couldn't make it.. you know they were in Thailand, or Gyeong Ju, or preparing their Master's thesis, or being awesome musicians.. the standard excuses.

So, I gave my guest just a few criteria for their recipes:
  • The food has to be seasonal or have a seasonal item as the star of the entree.
  • The food must be as "whole" as possible.
  • The food must not contain any animal products.
As I suspected, they took on the challenge and passed with flying colors! I'm pretty lucky to have such supportive/ great cooks/ awesome people as friends. Here is some radiant pics I took while preparing for them to come over.. even if you hate vegetables, these pics will leave you drooling.

Lots of chopping, slicing and rinsing
The textures and colors!

Can't you taste the freshness of Spring!
Tiny and beautiful sprouts
Can you believe these colors! This is not photoshopped! GORGEOUS!
Steamed spinach and lentils and peas- OH MY!

Just wait until you see what the fresh and seasonal ingredients can make.

Spring Feast Recipes

First thing is first. SHOTS!!!!!!!!!!!
That's right! SHOTS! For those of you that know me, you know alcohol is not my thing. But I found something better and before anyone could eat, they had to take these drinks down in one gulp. 
What is it you ask? Well... I guess it's the opposite of alcohol, really. This is a liver detox juice that was made from that gorgeous pic above of the purple cabbage, lemon and celery. I also added some Asian pear for some sweetness. These tasted PHENOMENAL... but maybe I'm partial. ;)

Spring Liver Detox Juice
2.5 Cups of Purple Cabbage
4 Stalks of Celery
2 Cups of Asian Pear
Half of a lemon (peel and all)
Directions: 
* Put everything through your juicer and garnish with sprouts. The ones I used were a tad spicy for added cleansing effects.


APPETIZERS

A crowd pleaser!!!! This has everything you CRAVE in a dip. No one will ever know it's vegan!!


          TIPS FOR AVOCADOS:

  • To find out how to select and cut an avocado, check out this video HERE
  • Notice that the pit was left in with the avocado dip? Leave it in with your avo mixture (guacamole, etc) and it will not turn BROWN! It's magic. This dip was made the night before taking this pic if you can believe it! Thanks Ashley and Careena for sharing this tip!




Mindy came to our potluck on the way out of the country, but she STILL managed to bring this incredible dish!! She is also an avid photographer and AMAZING yoga teacher! Check out her websites HERE and HERE! Is there anything she can't do!?


MAIN COURSES


When heating oil to a high temp, try to always use Coconut oil (as shown here). It is the only heat safe oil that doesn't get damaged when heated. This tabouli is pictured garnished to perfection with tomatoes, cucumbers, and dried tomatoes.



You really can't go wrong with these! Don't worry about getting the measurements for the filling 100% perfect. Add whatever you want, as long as it's not too watery, it will work! I garnished with dried dill.



Meagan says that the balsamic vinegar in this recipe is the "secret".  It really adds dimension to this incredible recipe! Aside from being dynamite in the kitchen, she is an avid traveler and writer. Check out her awesome book HERE- she wrote about her YEAR journey through Thailand! 
And her blog can be found HERE as well!


I also added thin Thai noodles to the Spring rolls, they added a nice texture variant but aren't needed. Also, add anything fresh with lots of colors in the wrap. No need for a recipe!

    TIP: To work with rice paper the most effectively, I've found this easy method. Get a bowl of [not quite boiling] water and stick in your rice paper perpendicular to the counter. Spin it like the steering wheel of a car until the little patterns on the paper are almost gone. You will have a totally manageable piece of rice paper that is ready to go!

I served the rolls with a sweet & sour and a peanut ginger dip. Recipes to come in the future.


DESSERT


Our friends Kristie and Adam had a busy day ahead of our potluck, so they stopped by and got some awesome cherries and pistachios before coming! They were the perfect end to the meal!!!


WOW! We had such a great time at the potluck! ANDDD... we had LEFTOVERS for our 6 Year Anniversary picnic the next day (PICNIC PIC)! I'm already looking forward to our summer feast! I want to possibly make it BIGGER next time, but I have NO IDEA how I'm going to be able to make little recipe cards for everyone... SHEW! That took a while! Thanks so much to everyone that came out to help me celebrate the beauty of the Spring bounty!



What are some of your most favorite recipes to cook in Spring?
Also, let us know if you try any of our recipes! We'd love to hear from you!!

Love and Greens,
Meg

PS- I want give a shout out to the folks over at "Skip to My Lou". They've created this awesome recipe card maker! You can type everything in online and print it out! They have a few options to choose from! Check it out HERE!

4 comments:

  1. Meg, I make rolls using the Vietnamese roll rice paper, as well. The difference is I put mango pieces inside and serve it with a thai peanut sauce.

    Everyone's dishes look awesome. I'll be trying some of these recipes soon! The french lentil soup will probably be first :-)

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    Replies
    1. Mango inside sounds INCREDIBLE!!! I made a peanut sauce, but I didn't have room for the recipe!! hahaha
      How do you make your peanut sauce?

      Let me know if you try that soup. It was PHENOMENAL! One of the best soups I've ever had!

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    2. Yes, you should try it with some mango :)

      The peanut sauce I make contains peanut butter, fresh lime juice, water, and rice vinegar. I think that's it. How do you make yours?

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  2. Wow great post, Meg! And what a great meal! I'm so happy that I was able to be a part of such a lovely day. Let's do it again soon!

    ReplyDelete