Foodie Friday | Spring Meal

Oh my yes....Spring is here. If you're not in the good 'ol 'Burgh then you may not know that Spring came early for us this year; about 2 months early (woo hoo!) Before we could turn around twice there were little buds-a-sprouting everywhere. Soooo happy to see the mild weather set in. I love the changing of seasons because it brings in a new round of seasonal foods to play with all over again. In the winter my most favorite foods are winter root vegetables; to me there is nothing more flavorful you can do to any winter root vegetable than roast it. Mmmmmmmmm....little bit of olive oil, salt & pepper to taste, 350 degrees in your oven for about an hour. Simply delish: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, red potatoes....the list goes on.

When it comes to Spring and Summer, I love the change to sweet and bright foods. Berries, peppers, asparagus, avocado (my true addiction), onions and don't even get me started on herbs (for the love of basil, my true weakness).

So what's for dinner? Well, when Spring and Summer hit I find myself keeping things fresh and light. Lots of raw stuff, lots of color and not so much cooking.

Here is what I had around me when I saw an amazingly easy and tasty recipe on Eat, Live, Run:

And here is what I made with that (I forgot to include the hummus in the photo above):

Probably one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten, right there, above these very words: roasted garlic bread, hummus, ripe avocados mashed, roasted tomatoes (slice thick and toss with salt, pepper, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast for 40 minutes at 375). A.m.a.z.i.n.g.

And this was the perfect side dish: corn and bean salad.

~1 bag of frozen corn (or when it's in season, roast the corn with the husk still on. Just toss them in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes or until the husks get a little golden brown. Leave it cool a little, husk it, slide a knife down it cutting all the kernels off....this is the most tastiest) ~A whole bunch of baby tomatoes sliced in half ~One ripe avocado cut into small pieces ~1 can of black beans ~Diced red onions (as much as you like...I like it heavy) ~Juice of 1/2 of one lemon ~Good drizzle of olive oil ~Handful of chopped cilantro ~Salt & pepper

Toss it all together, mix and enjoy!

We're still getting Ella to try new things and she's usually willing but even if she likes something, the first few times she'll stick her nose up at it. So we just keep giving it to her till she likes it but I'm not opposed to making her something a little different. We started Ella off on tofu, brown rice, fresh veggies and fruits but when she went to preschool she got introduced to all kinds of wonderful things like burgers, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets...etc. Thankfully the fruits and veggies stuck with her (she can eat anyone under the table when it comes to fruits and veggies so watch your plate or it will disappear) but tofu, brown rice and exotic things like avocados took a back seat. So for her I keep it simple. I try to incorporate what we're eating but maybe something else that she considers "fun" what you see below. A delicious sweet potato sandwich. She gets a kick out of this because who in their right mind eats a sweet potato sandwich? Well...we do. Just a little of this:

Boil and mash, add in some Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread (don't be would never know the difference between this and regular butter. And it's not "fake"'s expeller-pressed oils, and the good ones like olive oil, safflower, canola...etc) and some unsweetened almond milk and you get this:

She couldn't have been happier with this. And the BEST part of this meal is that all I had to cook were the roasted tomatoes and boil the sweet potatoes. Easy peasy japanesey (yes...I did just say that).

And here is the result:

And there was enough mashed sweet potatoes left over for Ella's lunch the next day for school. We heated it, put it in her thermos, packed bread and spoon so she could spread it on and there isn't anything easier than that.

And there ya have it! Easy, delicious and we even ate outside on our patio. Sweet perfection.