Weather & My Favorite Spring Vegetables

From the title you can probably gather, I don’t have a recipe for you today.  That isn’t to say I don’t have recipes, oh do I have recipes, they just aren’t quite ready for you yet.

But I didn’t want to leave you with nothing this fine Friday so I thought I would highlight some of my favorite spring vegetables that are starting to make their way to the produce section.  First, can we just talk about the weather?

Good.

In the span of about oh… an hour and a half, there has been rain, snow, rain/snow (or wintry mix if you like that better) and full on sun.  Now don’t get me wrong, I understand it’s spring in Chicago so I fully expect bi-polar weather but this is getting a little ridiculous.  I would like to wear my cute spring clothes now.  I would like to put my boots away for good.  I would like to not need five different coats for the weather in ONE DAY.Weather & My Favorite Spring Vegetables | Life Healthfully Lived

I mean, come on!  I married a meteorologist!  Shouldn’t he be able to fix this stuff?  But noooooo.  He gets all technical and scientific and tells me, “That’s not how this works Katie.”  Whatever.  I think he’s just being lazy.  With all his fancy degrees he should be able to make spring weather be better.  Especially for his loving and adoring wife who cooks him delicious meals and tries to make dessert for him most nights… I’m just sayin’

Ok, weather rant over on to my favorite veggies!Weather & My Favorite Spring Vegetables | Life Healthfully Lived

I know that most produce is available year-round so we’ve kind of lost the touch for eating seasonally.  But just because something is available year-round doesn’t mean we should eat it year-round.  Fruit and vegetables just taste so much better when they’re in season and they’re also cheaper.  Cheap tasty food is always going to be better than expensive bland food in my book.

CauliflowerWeather & My Favorite Spring Vegetables | Life Healthfully Lived

If you haven’t noticed lately, I’ve been kind of having a thing with cauliflower.  I turn it into rice, stuff taquitos with it, make mac n’ cheese with it, roast it, turn it into a creamy sauce…. It’s like a magic vegetable that can be anything and do anything.  It’s in peak season now, so pick up a few heads and make whatever you want.  Seriously.

Parsnips

These are technically in season from fall to the beginning of spring but during the winter months, they can be kind of puny and woody tasting.  I like spring parsnips cause they’re sweet and they taste amazing roasted.  You can also puree them and make a delicious mash or soup.  If you like carrots you’ll probably love parsnips.

SpinachWeather & My Favorite Spring Vegetables | Life Healthfully Lived

Give me green things!!! After winter, I’m always grabbing the greenest fresh produce I can.  Spinach (the ones in bunches that are covered with dirt, not in the plastic bags) start hitting the shelves and I can’t help but always grab a bunch.  I eat them raw in salads or wilt them a bit for soup or turn them into pesto or make lasagna with them.  No matter how you prepare them, a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice go a long way.

Leeks and OnionsWeather & My Favorite Spring Vegetables | Life Healthfully Lived

While I might not take a big bite out of a raw leek or onion, they enhance pretty much the flavor of anything you make.  Leeks are great in soup or stews and onions go in everything.  The spring varieties are a little sweeter and they are great caramelized.

Asparagus

Yes, your pee might smell funny but it’s worth it when you have roasted asparagus with a lemony cream sauce and pasta.  Even just roasted asparagus on its own is delicious.  And if you’re a meat-eater, my mom wraps two or three asparagus stalks with some prosciutto and roasts it and everyone goes nuts for it.

Watercress

Ok, so I have never tried watercress (that I know of) but it is like one of the top healthiest foods out there and it starts showing up in the spring.  I haven’t seen it on the shelves just yet, but I’m going to try some when I do find it.  It’s always good to try new fruits or vegetables that way you never get bored of your food!

So those are some of my top picks for spring plus one newbie that I want to try.  What are some of your favorite spring vegetables?

I hope you have an awesome weekend and that the weather by you isn’t as crazy as it is here!

 

Dance Parties, Blind Superheros, And Other Things I’m Loving

Today’s post is gonna be short, sweet, and fun.

I spent most 3 moms and 4 generations of yesterday at my parent’s house making food and hanging with my momma for Mother’s Day.  You guys.  My mom?  She is the bees knees.  I know everyone thinks that about their moms but it’s especially true in my case.  She is the most amazing person ever and I am so lucky that I got to be her daughter.  Not that I really had any choice in the matter, but you get what I mean.  I hope you did something nice for your mom yesterday.  I mean she did kind of give birth to you and then put up with you for 18 or so years and you probably still go over there and eat all her food so the least you could do is tell her you love her and maybe get her some flowers or something…. Ok moving on.

Here is a random list of things that are making me happy these days:

Warm weather: Spring has finally sprung in Chicago It’s still a bit sketchy around here temperature wise, but last week we did have some days that reached the 80’s and it was GLORIOUS.  I am waiting for the day when the weatherman says “but cooler along the lakefront”, and it doesn’t mean crying while walking into a 30 mph, 40 degree northwind.  Soon….

New shelves/decorations:  Adam and I have been upping our apartment decor and I am loving it.  We got a new kitchen table, some shelves, a new storage unit for behind our couch, new curtains, and Adam built these awesome yoga mat holders.  They were really easy to put together and then I painted them with some chalkboard paint and he mounted them onto the wall.   Because our apartment is small it helps to have organization and anything that we can get off the floor helps.  We still have a few more things that we would like to get (new lights) but I’m quite pleased with how things are shaping up!

Yoga mat holders Homemade Yoga Mat Holders

New storage from IKEA New shelf from IKEA New Shelf from IKEA

Plantains and tea:  For the longest time I was obsessed with my Plantain Porridge.  Then one day I was totally done with it.  Like didn’t want to look at or eat another plantain at all.  Then a few weeks ago I saw them sitting in the grocery store and I picked up a few.  They sat on my counter while I thought about what to do with them.  On a whim I sliced them up, covered them with a little coconut oil and put them in the waffle maker.  They were SO good.  Waffle makers are like one of the best appliances because you can make anything in them.  I have made eggs, hash browns, sandwiches, waffles (duh), and now maduros (fried sweet plantains). Moral of the story?  Make all your meals in a waffle iron.  I also found a new tea I’ve been enjoying, Good Earth Tropical Rush.  It’s a green tea with all these fruity flavors like mango and lemongrass and it reminds me of summer and makes me happy.  Maybe if I drink a lot of it summer will get here faster….

Singing and dancing like a buffoon:  This isn’t a new thing for me but I like to have afternoon concerts/dance parties in my apartment.  I pretty much turn on Pandora really loud and sing and dance like nobodies business.  Except for maybe my neighbors since they have to hear/possibly see me dancing through the window.  But they shouldn’t complain because I sing and dance like a pro and they should be thankful for the entertainment.  I mean who else is going to blast Barry Manilow’s Somewhere In The Night and dance with their cat?  No one that’s who.  You’re welcome judgey neighbor across the hall.

Daredevil on Netflix: Daredevil on Netflix  If you’re not good with violence DO NOT WATCH THIS SHOW.  It’s like Game Of Thrones level violence.  There were some scenes that I had to close my eyes at but I am really loving this show.  My dad is a huge superhero buff and all my life I have grown up watching any and every superhero movie or show and this is one of my favorites.  I was a little hesitant at first because it seemed like all it was going to be was fighting porn with no storyline but that changes dramatically in the second half of the series.  I think what I love most about it is that the hero and the villain both want the same thing, to improve their city, but they go about it in completely different ways.  I like my heroes to have a little bit of a dark side/conflict and Daredevil definitely has that.  Plus the dude is blind and kicks serious butt.  If you have Netflix go watch it now.

Ok that’s enough rambling from me.  What did you do this weekend?  What things are making you love life right now?

Have a super Monday!

Dawson Update

Sorry for the lack of regular posts here on the blog.  It has been a busy past few weeks and the blog has been pushed to the side for the time being.  But don’t worry, once the craziness of our move and Adam’s new job has died down I will have plenty of time to devote to writing posts and giving you guys recipes!

I thought that I would drop in today and give you a quick update on what’s going on here in the Dawson house.  If you recall my husband, Adam, was offered a job at Aon Benfield in Chicago.  Once we found out and talked about it, we decided to make the move to Chicago and thus begun our search for a new apartment.  Luckily it didn’t take that long and we found a great place in the Lakeview area of Chicago.  We both fell in love with the area and the variety of things that are available to us there.  It’s also a short commute for Adam which is pretty much one of the main reasons we were moving.  We signed the lease and will be moving towards the end of May.

Now, I’m not sure how familiar many of you are with downtown living, but it tends to be a little bit of a smaller space.  Our new apartment is a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, with a living room/dining room and kitchen.  While it is not super tiny, it is a lot smaller than our 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, home here in Sycamore.  So we have been slowly going through our things and downsizing to only the essentials.  At times, I look around and start to panic and think, “There is no way that we will be able to fit into this new space!”  But I know that once we actually make the move and get everything organized, it will all work just fine.  It’s also nice to get down to the bare essentials, sometimes we get so bogged down with “stuff” that we think we need but we really don’t.  While I may hate moving, it does help to keep us from becoming pack rats because who wants to move a bunch of useless things? Not I.

Stuff we really don't need...

Stuff we really don’t need…

I have also been feeling my way into the health and nutrition arena of the world to see where I can fit in and start my own career.  There are numerous programs to become certified in a variety of things, so I’m not worried about finding the right fit.  I am finding that I am most passionate about the food/nutrition side of things and have been leaning towards continuing my education in that sense.  While I have nothing definite yet, it is exciting to plan my own future and think about what I really want to do.  After the move I will be able to devote 100% of my time to pursuing that and I can’t wait!

That’s pretty much all the excitement that is going on in my little corner of the world.  Thankfully it seems that the weather is slowly turning to spring here in the midwest and it has been a little warmer.  I really do love this time of year when I go outside and can actually smell things like trees and grass and flowers.  It’s also nice to not have to put on 6 thousand layers just to walk to the car and not freeze to death.  Hopefully it stays this way and we can finally enjoy spring!  I hope that you all have a great week and I will talk to you soon!

Beautiful morning for a spring time run!

Beautiful morning for a spring time run!