The start of meteorological spring may not be a signal to brush off our gardening tools and dig deep into the earth to plant your favorite veggies and flowers. It is, however, a signal that even in colder climates the first vestiges of local harvests will begin to appear. If you’re itching to visit a local market for fresh produce (or plant your own garden), you may also be craving some recipes to use your delectable finds in. These 6 recipes will get your kitchen humming in the right direction.
Creamless Asparagus Soup
When the soil reaches about 50 degrees, tender stalks of asparagus begin to poke through the ground. The emergence of this early crop is as much a spring ritual as the appearance of tulips and daffodils in our flower beds. Yet even as we’re plucking stalks from the earth, the air temperature may still lend itself to “soup and comfort” style dishes. That’s where recipes like The Spruce’s Creamless Asparagus Soup come into play. Creamy, warm, and loaded with spring’s bounty, this dish is a sweet balance of the seasons in a bowl. This recipe does include butter, but as the author notes, you can easily substitute olive oil or another favorite dairy-free alternative if you’ve avoiding milk-based products.
Asparagus and Chickpea Casserole
Casseroles can be a lifesaver for a busy household. You can prepare your dish ahead of time and just pop it in the oven to bake in that small window between the business of the day and the schedule of meetings, classes, and activities of the evening. They can be one-pot wonders that reduce the time it takes to clean up after. Finding an allergy-friendly casserole, however, can take a little effort. This Asparagus and Chickpea Casserole from Fat-Free Vegan is one to consider. The dish is dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free on its own. Some quick, and easy substitutes – like swapping out wheat flour for an allergen-free thickening agent – will make this one safe for a number of different allergy families.
Bacon Pea Lemon Pasta Salad
As the weeks begin to stretch from early spring to mid-season, sweet and snappy pods fill the upward stretching vines of peas. While these legumes are delicious in their own right, they’re also a wonderful complement in a number of dishes. For example, the advent of alternatives that make pasta possible for those allergic to wheat or living with Celiac, to ensure dishes like this Bacon, Pea, Lemon Pasta Salad from Allergy Awesomeness. Because the recipe uses vegan mayo and nutritional yeast to achieve it’s cheesy tasting, creamy sauce, the dish is free of the top 9 allergens just as it’s written.
Split Pea Soup
Whether you enjoy a bowl of soup as a full meal or a warm cupful for a side dish, you’ll want to consider putting this Yellow Split Pea Soup from Go Dairy Free to use. The dish makes good use of a number of vegetables, as well as toasty spices like cumin and coriander to create a soul-warming dish that’s perfect for spring or any other time of year.
Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
Why leave dessert out of the spring produce menu planning? Although botanically rhubarb is a vegetable, cooking it down releases a sweetness that makes it the perfect pairing with strawberries in a number of different dishes. This Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler is free of the top 9 allergens as written. You can customize it to meet your family’s specific needs and tastes by experimenting with different starches, flour mixes, and milk substitutes.
Got a few bits of rhubarb and strawberry left? Cut up a 2 inch piece of rhubarb into small pieces. Slice up a strawberry (or two or three) and a lime. Place your diced and sliced fruit into a quart-sized jar and then add about two cups of water. Let the mixture sit overnight. You can tweak the taste (and quantity) of this refreshing drink by adjusting the fruit-to-water ratio.