It's Meal Plan Mondays #11 and I'm back with more delicious recipes to help you plan your weekly meals! This week I'm thinking spring and I think you'll see that in the different elements in this weeks recipes.
The weather here is finally starting to warm up and it looks like it's going to stay warmer so I've been looking to add fresh produce to my meals. I know that everyone has different produce depending on where they live but I want to talk about a few of the ingredients that are available in my region in the spring.
Vegetable wise whenever I think of spring I think of asparagus, peas, radishes, ramps, and carrots. It's funny to think that ramps are such a popular vegetable now because as recent as several years ago no one wanted to touch them. They have a very strong smell and can only be found in Appalachia.
Surprise! That's where I live and you know when it's time for ramps because whenever you walk outside you can smell them. They have become super popular in soups and pasta dishes but they are not readily available. However, in my area you can walk out in the woods and pull them up yourself.
While spring vegetables aren't always my favorite I've found that I like asparagus if it's roasted or in pasta dishes. I enjoy peas in stew or pasta dishes.
As for spring fruits we've got rhubarb, strawberries, lemons, pineapple, and mangoes. Rhubarb is another ingredient that you can't find everywhere and that isn't readily available. I have the hook up there because my friend grows it in her garden and gives me a big haul every year. The tartness works so well in sweet desserts.
I often use strawberries in spring desserts, fruit salads, and in regular green salads. We use lemons in just about everything from salad dressing and soups to fish and meat recipes. Then I like to use pineapple for grilled kabobs or just in a fruit salad.
So this week a lot of my meal plan recipes include spring produce. For main meals I'm sharing a pasta dish with peas, a grilled cheese recipes with apples, and a unique twist on tacos. My side dishes include two different types of bread and a couscous salad.
Desserts this week include cookies with rhubarb in them, bread filled with coconut and pineapple, and mini pear cakes. Then I'm rounding out the week with a spring asparagus quiche, a favorite Maryland cocktail made with fresh oranges, and another cocktail made with blackberries.