Hey guys, it’s spring.
I go for a walk in the forest everyday with my little babe. Even though he’s too young to even know he has feet, I still take time to point out the buds growing on branches, cherry blossoms opening, and explain how the earth is waking up from its wintry slumber. I think that this year, more than ever, I’ve relished the unfolding of this season because I am seeing it for the first time in so many ways. It’s pretty cool stuff.
I’ve been looking forward to this post for a very long time now. Since I wrote about eating simply and not trying to impress everyone all the time, the idea of Abundance Bowls has really got me jazzed. And you too, as I take it. It seems like we are all hungry for realistic eating these days, and to me that means fast, fresh, and flexible. This Abundance Bowl, like the last one I posted, is just that, taking advantage of seasonal produce and the fresh flavours of now. Living in the moment, and eating in the moment go hand in hand after all.
I think peas are a rather underestimated vegetable, considering they are veritable storehouses of essential vitamins and minerals. That’s right. A measly ½-cup serving provides more than 20 percent of the RDA for vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese! True! Peas are a also good source of iron, folate, vitamin B1, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, and copper. You’ll be getting a serious dose of soluble fiber too, which helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar.
Peas offer up some heart-healthy vegetarian protein, providing a whopping 9 grams per cup. They are not a complete protein however, so make sure to combine them with a whole grain, like quinoa as I’ve done here, to ensure you are getting the complete essential amino acid profile.
If I can find fresh peas in their pods, I like to shell them and eat them raw. If you prefer to steam them, do so right in the pot of quinoa. Simply place them on top of the quinoa about 3-4 minutes before it’s finished steaming, cover again with the lid until they are tender. So easy! If you can only find frozen peas, place them in the pot of quinoa about halfway through cooking the quinoa so that they thaw and cook – this shouldn’t take more than 8-10 minutes. Frozen peas contain about 10-15% fewer vitamins than their fresh counterparts, which isn’t too bad for such a convenient food! If frozen peas are all that is available to you, use them anyway – they are still super good for you.
If the last Abundance Bowl proved anything to me, it’s that you people really love sauce. For reals. Well, here’s a simple one I’ve been digging lately: a garlicky-dilly-creamy yogurt sauce that compliments peas and asparagus like nobody’s business. I’ve also been drizzling it over crisp greens, sprouts, various grains and open-faced sandwiches. If you’re not into dairy yogurt, soak some cashews and blend them up instead, the results will still be delectable.
The other accoutrement in this sublime springtime bowl of mine, is Quick Pickled Radishes. I think it’s essential to have an acidic hit in all recipes, whether it’s a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or a handful of brine-y capers, so these zesty pink medallions definitely fit the bill. I love the spiciness of radishes, but find that they can be slightly overwhelming raw. When pickled, they still have bite, but it’s more vinegar-y than earthy. These are delicious on sandwiches with creamy avocado, with eggs in the morning, tucked into tacos and folded into salads. I like to pile them up on the side of whatever I’m eating and ceremoniously add them to each bite. The very easy recipe below makes more than you’ll need for four servings of The Spring Abundance Bowl, so enjoy discovering the yumminess they bring to all sorts of meals.
And if you don’t have a particular ingredient on hand, or if you’re just not into one of them, improvise! Think of the recipe here as a guideline and put your own spin on it.
Spring Abundance Bowl
1 cup quinoa, soaked if possible
1 tsp. sea salt
1 bunch asparagus (approx. 20 spears)
2 cups shelled peas (frozen are fine if it’s what is available to you)
2 spring onion
1-2 ripe avocado(s)
sprouts of your choice (I chose pea sprouts, but any kind will work)
1 organic lemon
1 batch Yogurt-Dill Dressing (recipe below)
1 batch Quick-pickled Radish (recipe below)
1. Rinse quinoa well, drain and add to a pot with 1 ¾ cup water (2 cups if not soaked) and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer until water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Zest 1 lemon into the pot, fluff with a fork and set aside.
2. While the quinoa is cooking, prep the vegetables. Grill or steam the asparagus. Shell the peas (if you want to steam them, add them to the pot of quinoa 3-4 minutes before cooking time is up). Slice avocado and spring onion. Make dressing.
3. To serve, place ¼ of the cooked quinoa in a large bowl, add all veggies as desired, including the pickled radish, drizzle with dressing and a squeeze lemon juice. Season to taste. Enjoy.
Not sure how to cook quinoa? Check out my video, here.
Makes about 1 cup
2/3 cup / 150ml goat or sheep yogurt
1 clove garlic, finely minced (use a microplane for best results)
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. liquid honey or maple syrup
a few pinches sea salt
water to thin as necessary
1. Whisk all ingredients together and add water to thin to desired consistency. Season to taste. Store leftovers in the fridge for 3 days.
Quick Pickled Radishes
Makes a full 1-liter jar
1 lb. / 500g radishes
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. maple syrup or liquid honey
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 liter (4-cup) jar with tight fitting lid
1. Remove the stem end of radishes, and slice them into very thin pieces. Set aside.
2. In a measuring cup, combine vinegar, water, maple syrup, and salt. Stir well to dissolve salt.
3. Place a handful of radish at the bottom of the jar and add a few peppercorns and one clove of garlic. Continue to stack the radishes, peppercorns and garlic until you’ve reached the top of the jar. Pour the liquid over, completely covering the contents of the jar, discarding any leftovers. Place an airtight lid on the jar, and place in the fridge. Can be enjoyed 24 hours later, for up to three weeks.
I hope you’re all enjoying the warmer weather, longer days and brighter light as much as I am. Gosh, it’s good to see green all around again, in the forest, in the field and on the table. Let’s celebrate the abundance of spring and be grateful for everything that lies ahead! We made it! Wahoooooo!
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Show me your bowls on Instagram: #springabundancebowl