Its been a long weekend of gardening and for the first time in the last two weeks I missed posting yesterday and hardly cooked a thing the past few days, so I’m scrambling a bit for posts this week. For those of you keeping an eye on my Meatless Monday posts, here is a wrap-up of some previous meatless dishes from the past week you may have missed and links to some other great bloggers you should check out.
Now is a good time to stop at your local farmer’s market, farm stand or grocery that carries local and regional vegetable to find inspiration for your weekly meal planning (and possible garden planting). Lettuces, strawberries, early herbs, asparagus, cool weather crops like broccoli and kale, or over-wintered vegetables (roots!) are generally available now.
We are still enjoying roasting vegetables in the oven, (and looking forward to getting a new grill in the next few weeks). You can roast asparagus, winter vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, sweet potatoes and hard skinned squash which are often still available this time of year. New carrots, beets, turnips and radishes will be available in the next few weeks – all appropriate for roasting in the oven. Roast extra vegetables or use leftovers as a topping for the fresh spring greens and baby lettuces that are often the first spring veggies available from the farm.
Pick up some carrots to use in this past week’s French Friday recipe Quiche Maraichere as well as some greens or asparagus as a side. Use the quiche base (a baked custard) and add locally available vegetables like young onions and asparagus to create your own version. Make it crustless like mine if you are pressed for time or just want to skip the crust.
The other French Friday bloggers each had their own take on the dish Yummy Chunklet uses a whole wheat crust, Mary Hirsch at Lights On No Brakes makes it easier with a purchased tart shell (plus some great descriptions of her winter home in a Colorado small town), Betsy at A Plateful of Happiness renames it “Confetti Quiche” and has some tips on whole grain crust, Trevor at Sis Boom Blog has the epiphany that what seems ordinary is elegant, and Geraldine Saucier at Taste the Food admits she had some doubts (as I did) but the end result is great.
If you are looking for a new idea for dessert or breakfast, check out my post on chocolate chia seed pudding. Chia seeds are high in fiber, create a gelatin-like thickening property to liquids they are added to (chocolate milk substitutes, almond milk, fruit juices, for example), and have a number of nutritional benefits. Chia seeds as an ingredient are very flexible – they can be mixed into individual servings or larger batches to serve a family. In the fridge right now is an experiment in breakfast chia. More on that later in the week.