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Veggie Blog Weekly Feature: Spring is officially here, let’s celebrate with local vegetables!

With Spring officially arriving in Ontario this past Tuesday, March 19th, this week’s blog features some lighter Spring inspired dishes. As the weather warms up (hopefully) many of us start to crave lighter, cooler dishes with the return of our favourite Spring vegetables!Fun Fact: Spring equinox is a little earlier this year. Usually, it's March 20 or 21, but because it's a leap year and February gets an extra day, the season moves up a little on the calendar. 😊After a strange and warmer than normal Ontario Winter let’s see what Mother Nature brings us for Spring! Either way we know our vegetable crates will be filled with deliciousness!





Spinach CouscousCreated By: ChatelaineCouscous gets colourful with a shot of leafy greens! Simply stir in puréed spinach to your cooked couscous and it’s ready to serve. Serve with your favourite protein for a delicious lunch or dinner.

Ingredients:2 tsp vegetable oil2 garlic cloves, minced1 1/2 cups pearl couscous1/4 tsp salt2 cups vegetable broth4 cups spinach, puréed1 TBSP finely grated fresh ginger2 green onions, sliced diagonally

Instructions:1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high. Add oil, then garlic. Cook until garlic is fragrant, 30 sec.2. Add couscous, salt and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 min.3. Stir in spinach until combined. Keep covered until ready to serve.4. Fluff just before serving.


Carrot, Date and Feta SaladCreated By: Food Network Kitchen

Packed with antioxidants, carrots add crunch and natural sweetness to this dish. This salad gets better as it sits. Makes an easy and delicious lunch on those busy days or a light side dish to add to your dinner.Ingredients:3 medium carrots2 TBSP roughly chopped fresh cilantro1 1/2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil2 tsp honeyKosher saltJuice of 1 lime1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese2 TBSP chopped toasted almonds2 TBSP finely chopped dates

Instructions:1. Thinly slice the carrots into ribbons using a vegetable peeler or mandolin, including any remaining "stubs" of carrot. Soak in ice water until the ribbons firm up and curl, about 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

2. Whisk together the cilantro, olive oil, honey, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lime juice in a medium bowl. Add the carrots along with the feta cheese, almonds and dates, and toss until evenly combined. Serve immediately, or let the salad marinate a bit before serving.

Glazed CarrotsCreated By: Melissa D’arabianA delicious side dish for an easy Spring meal.

Ingredients:1/2 cup chicken broth1/2 cup water1 TBSP unsalted butter1 TBSP packed light brown sugar1/2 tsp ground cumin1/2 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning3/4 pound carrots, cut on the bias into coins


1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice2 tsp minced fresh parsley leavesFreshly ground black pepperInstructions:1. In a small skillet, combine the broth, water, butter, brown sugar, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the carrots, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until just tender, about 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Uncover the pan and let the liquid cook down until it reduces to a glaze, about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss the carrots to generously coat them with the glaze. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.


Spaghetti with Baked Brie, Mushrooms & SpinachCreated By: Carolyn Casner

Melted Brie cheese coats pasta and roasted veggies in this vegetarian pasta dish. White balsamic vinegar adds tang and a hint of sweetness in this easy weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:8 ounces mushrooms, thickly sliced1 cup halved and thinly sliced onion¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil3 large cloves garlic, minced1 ¼ tsp Italian seasoning½ tsp salt½ tsp ground pepper1 (8 ounce) wheel Brie, top rind removed8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti4 cups coarsely chopped spinach2 TBSP white balsamic vinegarInstructions:1. Preheat oven to 375°F.2. Toss mushrooms, onion, oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper together on a large rimmed baking sheet. Move some vegetables aside and place Brie on the baking sheet. Bake until the vegetables are tender and the cheese is hot and melted, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions. Place spinach in a large colander and drain the pasta over the spinach. Return the pasta and spinach to the saucepan. When the veggies and Brie are done, add them to the saucepan. Add vinegar and stir well, making sure that everything gets coated with cheese.



Spring Parsnip and Caramelized Onion PastaCreated By: Dishing Up the DirtA quick and delicious weeknight meal!Ingredients:8 ounces uncooked penne pasta1/2 cup dry white wine (or veggie broth/water)2 very large parsnips, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 3 cups worth)1 large yellow onion, diced4 cloves of garlic, minced5 cups fresh spinach1 TBSP chopped fresh thyme2 + TBSP olive oil1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakesSalt and pepper to taste

Toppings:Parmesan cheeseolive oilchopped walnutsadditional crushed red pepper flakes


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chopped parsnips with a little oil and place on a prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven until tender and lightly browned on all sides. About 20 minutes. Toss parsnips halfway through cooking time.

2. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat with a little oil. Add onion and cook until tender and slightly caramelized. About 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper flakes. Add wine and cook until liquid evaporates (about 3 minutes.) Stir in spinach and turn heat off.

3. Cook pasta in a pot of boiling water until fully cooked. About 8-10 minutes. Drain pasta.

4. Combine cooked parsnips and pasta with the rest of the veggies. Season to taste with parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil, walnuts, salt and pepper.


Simple Roasted ParsnipsCreated By: Katie WebsterA simple, sweet and savory side for your favourite protein. Roasting is a terrific way to prepare parsnips because it brings out their natural sweetness and caramelizes their sugars.

Ingredients:2 pounds parsnips1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil1 1/2 tsp herbs de province, Italian seasoning or other dried herb mix1 tsp kosher saltchopped parsley for garnish

Instructions:1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Peel parsnips and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with oil, herbs and salt in a large bowl. Spread out on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.

3. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are tender in the center and browned in spots on the outside, 25 to 35 minutes. Transfer to a platter or plates and garnish with parsley.



Recipes curated by Lauren

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