It's kind of tough to decide what to cook this time of year. The weather's definitely getting warmer, but it'll be a few weeks before all of our favorite spring produce will be popping up on market stalls. In times like these, we turn to citrus: it's been plentiful all winter, and, combined with the first green shoots of spring, it adds just the right amount of brightness to the lighter dishes we're craving for Meatless Monday.
Start things off with a fresh and tangy salad filled with Mexican-inspired flavors. A base of quinoa, corn, black beans, and greens is topped with red onion, avocado, fresh orange segments, and vibrant, herbaceous cilantro. A bright citrus dressing with lime, orange, and just the right amount of spice is the perfect finishing touch.
Fennel is one of the first veggies to appear in early spring, and we're celebrating its arrival by serving it with wedges of pink grapefruit and fresh, peppery watercress. Pink radishes add a bit of color and piquant crunch, and a vinaigrette sweetened with just a hint of agave adds the smoothness this salad needs.
Traditionally, couscous is served with warm toppings like stewed vegetables or meats. This vegan couscous is quite a bit lighter, offering the perfect combo of sweet and tangy flavors, with orange juice, ume plum vinegar, dried apricots, fresh ginger, pine nuts, and carrot, all tossed into a whole wheat couscous base.
Asparagus are another early arrival on springtime market stands. We love using the season's first pencil-thin shoots in this pasta dish, with a zingy lemon and white wine sauce. A generous amount of garlic and shallots season this match made in heaven – serve it with a glass of the same wine you used in the sauce for the perfect ending to the first day of the week.
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