By: Chef Cindi Avila
Oh spring, how I love thee. There are so many things I love about spring. The warmer weather invigorates me. It allows me to get out and about more and enjoy long walks through the city. I also love seeing green come back to all the trees in Central Park and the flowers starting to bloom. Then, of course, as a Chef I love the fact that spring brings about some of my favorite vegetables to cook with.
Browse the green market in the winter (if you can find one) and you are left looking at a lot of apples and squash. I love apple cider as much as the next person, but that can get a little boring. Then boom, the sun shines, the temperature goes up and the green market gets a whole lot more colorful. Beets, carrots, sweet onions, leeks and more. With vegetables like this springing up, the possibilities for dishes are endless.
How about putting a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat? Cut a package of Lightlife Soy Tempeh into cubes and add it to the pan. Next cut up your favorite spring vegetables and add them to the pan, too. After it’s all nice and golden, add a pinch of salt. Then dig right in. The fresh flavors will come through and give you a nice energy boost.
Different areas of the country offer different types of veggies this time of the year, so it’s really about going out there and getting what looks best to you. Since the vegetables will be so fresh and crisp, it’s best to keep your dishes simple so that the vegetable can really be showcased. Always remember your protein, though. It can be something as simple as the recipe below:
Spring Pasta with Lightlife Smart Bacon®
1 16 ounce package rotini pasta (cook according to package)
1 5 ounce package Lightlife Smart Bacon (diced)
½ cup garden peas (out of shells, boiled for 5 minutes)
1 spring onion (cut into thin slices)
1 cup morel mushrooms
¼ cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons garlic
Parmesan Cheese (vegan or regular)
Directions: In large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onions and stir every minute or so. After 3 minutes, add mushrooms, Smart Bacon and garlic. After five minutes, add peas and remaining olive oil. Add pasta and salt (to taste). Sprinkle with parmesan and serve immediately.