It doesn’t really feel like it today—it’s currently 49 degrees and depressingly gray in NYC—but spring has officially sprung, people!!!
Yesterday was sunny and warm(ish), and I spotted many a bare leg and shoulder on my daily pilgrimage to Westside Market. New Yorkers are nothing if not enthusiastic about donning their seasonal duds, even when it’s not quite appropriate, which never ceases to amuse me. Personally, this kid’s a few weeks away from showing any skin (I’m afraid of blinding passerby with my ghostly limbs and am still waiting on a some pesky stress eczema to GTFO….too much information?), but you better believe I’m celebrating the arrival of sun and early spring produce like it’s my job. Because it is.
For me, spring eating is all about light meals with a comforting twist. Naked season is on the horizon, and that means scaling back our slightly more indulgent winter habits in a way that feels manageable, not restrictive. A little less meat and potatoes, a little more greens and seafood, if you catch my drift. I for one am very excited about the transition, and I’m hoping the dozen awesome recipes below will help you get on my level.
So, without further ado, let’s talk things to cook this spring…
Domesticate ME!’s Favorite Recipes for Spring:
Matcha-Colada Smoothie Bowl. Like spring break for yo’ taste buds, this nutrient-packed tropical smoothie bowl is guaranteed to get you all kinds of fired up for cold breakfast season. Get as creative with your toppings—that’s the whole point of smoothie bowling—but don’t feel obligated to spend 20 minutes arranging them weird blog lady-style. Unless you want to…#youdoyou
Rosti Potatoes with Melted Leeks and Goat Cheese. Words can’t really do this giant, crispy hash brown stuffed with sautéed leeks and creamy goat cheese justice, but I’m going to use my favorites anyway: glorious, life-changing, and mind-blowing. It’s a delightful anytime meal, especially with an egg on top.
Lemon Chicken Quinoa Bake with Asparagus and Fontina. If you’ve yet to take this springy casserole for a spin, there’s no time like the present, friends! As far as quinoa bakes go, this one is relatively light and bright (heyo, lemon zip!), and it reheats like a dream—perfect for sassy desk lunching.
Zucchini Noodle Salad with Spicy Almond Dressing. Speaking of sassy desk lunches, this veggie noodle salad is one of my seasonal go-tos. Just keep the dressing separate until you’re ready to eat so the zucchini noodles don’t get all watery. If you still refuse to purchase a spiralizer (why?!), you can simply shave your veggies into ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Easy.
Seared Scallop Tacos with Spring Mango Salsa and Avocado Cream. Spring Taco Tuesdays are my favorite Taco Tuesdays for a reason.
Moroccan Chickpea and Carrot Salad. This easy vegan salad is one of the most versatile staples in my current repertoire. Eat it as is, over greens, as a lettuce wrap with some hummus or tahini dressing, or on top of avocado or labneh toast! Put an egg on it! Serve it as a side! Bring it to a potluck! The possibilities are awesome and endless.
Cauliflower Rice Bowls with Spring Vegetables and Arugula Pesto. As I said, with naked season rapidly approaching, I find it best to eat large bowls of vegetables as often as humanly possible. Bonus points if they’re really, really ridiculously good-looking.
Spicy Asian Salmon Salad. This is the epitome of a “smart and pretty” meal. And the super easy salmon is straight fire, so keep it in mind for busy weeknights, even if you just want to serve the fish with a simple vegetable and/or whole grain side.
Lettuce Wraps with Five Spice Flank Steak and Peanut Sauce. I find lettuce wraps to be the most exciting way to help shed the “winter layer,” and these flavor-blasted Asian beauties are a personal go-to. (p.s. Dude Dieters, you’ll dig this recipe.)
Lemon Orzo Soup with Spring Vegetables. Bright and comforting, there’s no better winter-spring transitional meal than a big bowl of this soup with plenty of shaved Parm and some crusty bread. FYI, it freezes well, so I recommend making a double batch and freezing half for future busy/lazy days.
Shaved Vegetable Salad with Farro and Maple Roasted Pecans. If you’re a texture lover, this uber crunchy spring masterpiece is right up your alley. Given it’s multi-colored visual appeal, I highly recommend it for fancy brunching/lunching (Easter! Mother’s Day! Bridal/Baby Showers!) and outdoor soirées.
Cucumber-Mint Sparklers. It’s spring, dammit! POP BOTTLES.