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10 of our favorite spring recipes 

We like to try and eat pseudo-seasonally. When fall rolls around I crave warm, savory things, the winter brings a longing for the richest foods I can get, and in the summer it's all grilling, all the time. The spring, for us, tends to be about lightening things up—fresh citrus flavors and bright spring colors. All within reason, of course. We actually use our grill year round, and the crockpot, too, because it is possible to make a good, summery meal that will be ready for you when you get home from the lake, or the zoo, or wherever, and I rely on my crockpot at least once a week year-round also.

I am not the world's most inventive cook. I know my way around a kitchen well, both with the tools and the ingredients, and when pressed I can assemble an edible meal from whatever's on hand, but coming up with unique recipes is not my thing. We are adventurous eaters, though, and I love to scour the web for interesting recipes and add them to my collection. But we also have several favorites to fall back on and as we cycle through the year I find that recipes correspond to specific seasons, meaning they are requested, or I make them, more often in "their" season. These, then, are some of our favorite go-to spring meals gathered from some of go-to recipe sites.

Artichoke Heart Frittata (NYT Cooking)
Frittatas can be made into just about anything, but I love making this one when the artichokes start arriving in spring. I've made it into a crustless quiche before, too, by adding spinach, a few more eggs, feta cheese, and baking it.

Grilled salmon and asparagus with garden dressing (from Better Homes and Gardens)
Delicious on the grill, or if you suddenly find it raining, can also be done in the oven, this recipe is exactly what it says. It's the asparagus that makes it springy, but also the green garden version of tartar sauce you make too go with it. This recipe can be made a lot lighter by using Greek yogurt instead of mayo, and I've often substituted dill for the tarragon. Delicious with a side of lemon pearled couscous.

French potato and green bean salad (From NYT Cooking)
This is a beautiful salad that really has nothing to do with spring except that it feels like spring to me, and sometimes I've made it with asparagus instead of green beans. It can be eating as a side dish or as a vegetarian meal (it makes an especially good picnic lunch), or even add bacon if you'd like. Yum.

Cabbage and kale slaw (side salad from
This colorful salad combines winter veggies (kale and cabbage) with a citrus dressing. I have made this recipe without the Maple syrup and balsamic vinegar before. I have also substituted lemon juice for the lime juice, or left out the carrots, or added sliced almonds. There are lots of fun things to be done with this recipe.

5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Asparagus skillet (from Pinch of Yum)
They had me at 5 ingredients, and again at skillet, which usually means only one pot to clean. The title ingredients speak for this dish. It's bright like spring should, and warm like you want it to be. I have paired this with oven roasted redskin potatoes.

Asparagus, egg, and bacon salad (from Skinny Taste)
More asparagus, I know. It's a spring staple here and Jon and I love it. Calvin doesn't, however, and I have made all of these recipes subbing beans for asparagus when necessary...still pretty delicious! This one makes a good side dish or a wonderful small dinner or lunch.

Crockpot corned beef (from Skinny Taste)
Because it wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day without corned beef, and because I love my crockpot. I often make this recipe without the parsnips. Even better, I'll make it as a soup, still in the crockpot.

Crockpot Caribbean pot-roast (Taste of Home)
There's nothing particularly springy about this recipe, but it's a great crockpot meal with a slightly lighter taste while still being warm and filling on a slightly colder spring day.

Spiralized Mediterranean beat and feta bake (side dish from Skinny Taste)
Beautiful spring colors make this warm, juicy, baked side dish the perfect accompaniment for a festive spring party. It's a thick, hearty dish, too, and really fills a plate with spring joy.

Summer vegetables with sausage skillet (me!)
This is pushing the boundaries of spring a bit, but the reason I include it here is that it's all the summer goodness we usually grill (bratwurst, sweet pepper, onion, or fill in the blank with your own favorites), sliced into bite sizes and sauteed inside on a rainy late-spring day. Perfect.


What's for breakfast? Smoothies

I’m not really what you would call a morning person. I like being up early, I just don’t like getting up early, and once I’m up it takes me a considerable amount of time, and at least one cup of coffee, to really find my feet. So on weekdays, when Jon needs to get out the door to work and our own morning subjects are calling us, we want breakfasts that are quick to make, and easy to clean up. 

For a long time that placed us securely on the cereal with milk and fruit team, but I always felt a measure of guilt about that. We avoided the traditional sugar cereals and I scoured nutrition labels to find the highest protein, lowest sugar options, but we were still starting the day heavy with carbs and were often hungry before the first hour was out. Various egg dishes solved those issues, but were more time and energy than we had on our busiest mornings. Then smoothie recipes started popping up on my Pinterest feed. Problem solved. 

Easy to make, quick to clean up, sugar free, high in protein, and surprisingly filling—smoothies, some of them at least, hit all my check points for breakfast necessities.

To speed up the breakfast routine, I assemble several smoothie bags that we keep in the freezer. On each bag I write the smoothie name, the ingredients that are in the bag, and the ingredients that need to be added (we wash and reuse the bags to cut down on waste). In the morning we add the liquid, the yogurt, and the bag contents to the blender. Breakfast!

To keep costs down we buy our frozen fruit, bananas, and spinach from Costco. Sometimes I buy overripe bananas from the regular grocery store.

Everything except the liquids and yogurt go in the bags. I slice the bananas to make things easier on the blender.

Clean up is as easy as running a squirt of soap and hot water in the blender, popping our glasses in the dishwasher. 

Our three favorite recipes:

Banana Bread Smoothie (adapted from Gimme Some Oven)
Servings: 3
In the bag:
2 1/2 bananas
1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch salt
Added in the blender:
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt (I use non-fat)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Breakfast Energy Smoothie (adapted from
Servings: 3
In the bag:
2 cups mixed berries
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 handfuls spinach
Added in the blender:
2 cups good orange juice
1 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (I use non-fat)
1 tsp vanilla (optional)

Blueberry Power Bowl (adapted from
Servings: 3
In the bag:
1 1/2 bananas
2 cups blueberries
3 handfuls spinach
1/2 cup oats
Added in the blender:
2 cups good orange juice
1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt (I use non-fat)