Spring Recipes!


Spring is here. Flowers are everywhere, & so are the weeds. We have been busy cleaning up the flower gardens & planting veggies. My Sage & Thyme ‘drowned’ in the epic rain we have had in the Pacific Northwest. The other herbs did okay & are coming back. I have decided to try growing the sage & thyme in pots in my herb garden this year. Hopefully with well draining soil they will winter over better. I am so ready for the fresh salad greens & veggies that I have been looking on line for some new recipes. Here is what I found 🙂

One of the websites that I continue to go back to for recipes is Elena’s Pantry.  I like the way she writes & her recipes are delicious. She has a tab that says “Special Diets”. If you click on a diet that you are interested in, there are recipes for it. I chose this recipe from her latest Cinco de Mayo Newsletter, because I know many of you eat turkey & it is very simple.

Green Chili Turkey Burgers May 17th: “These 7-ingredient Green Chili Turkey Burgers are a super popular paleo recipe. Made with ground turkey, green chiles, cilantro, onion, cumin, chili powder, and salt, my loaded paleo burgers are stuffed with spicy goodness! Better yet, they are an absolute cinch to throw together. 


  • 2 (4 ounce) cans diced green chilies, drained
  • 1 pound ground turkey ~You can also use vegan chorizo, ground seitan or even beans.
  • 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon celtic sea salt


  1. In a medium bowl combine turkey, chiles, cilantro, onion, cumin, chili powder, and salt
  2. Form into 8 patties
  3. Grill 4-5 minutes per side
  4. Serve

I encourage you to read about Elena & her health journey. Very inspiring.

Summer or Spring rolls have to be the ultimate healthy dish. I have several recipes that vary according to country of origin & taste. Once the veggies are prepared along with the noodles, tofu or fruits they are simple & go together quickly. Our favorite Thai restaurant in Oregon has these available all year; much to my delight.

Minimalist Baker has several variations. Click on the recipe to see step by step photos of preparation.

RAINBOW SPRING ROLLS WITH GINGER PEANUT SAUCE  30-minute spring rolls filled with a rainbow assortment of fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs. So fresh, crisp and served with a spicy-sweet ginger peanut sauce! A satisfying, quick and healthy meal.

Author: Minimalist Baker, Prep time: Total time: 

Cuisine: Thai, Vegan, Serves: 8



  • 7-8 rice spring roll papers ~Easy to find in any store. They look like pale tortillas 🙂
  • 1 beet, skin removed and finely grated
  • 1/2 yellow and red pepper, seeded, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe mango, cubed*
  • 1 large bunch mint leaves
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, cut from stems
  • OPTIONAL: 8 ounces extra firm tofu, 1 cup cooked quinoa, or 8 ounces cooked vermicelli noodles
  • 1/2 cup salted natural peanut or almond butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce (GF for gluten free eaters)
  • 2-3 Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup (add to taste)
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
  • hot water to thin 
  1. Prep veggies and set aside for easy assembly. For the beets, I used this mandolin
  2. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan or kettle and set aside to cool slightly for cooking rice papers.
  3. Prepare peanut sauce by adding all ingredients except water to a mixing bowl and whisking. Add hot water 1 Tbsp at a time and whisk until desired consistency is desired (should be pourable but thick). Set aside.
  4. Add hot water to a large shallow dish (I used a skillet) and submerge a rice paper to soften for about 10-20 seconds. If you let it go too long or if your water is too hot, they will get too fragile to work with.
  5. Once soft, transfer to a clean, slightly damp surface (I prefer a wooden cutting board), and gently smooth out into a circle.
  6. Add carrots, peppers, mango, beets, and a healthy handful each cilantro and mint (and any other desired fillings). Fold bottom over the fillings, then gently roll over once and fold in the side to seal, then roll until completely sealed. Place on a serving plate and top with a room temperature damp towel to keep fresh.
  7. Repeat process until all toppings are used – about 7 or 8. Serve with dipping sauce and sriracha, if desired.
  8. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a couple days, though best when fresh.

Notes: *I added mango in my spring rolls and while delicious, I found that their acidity ate through the rice paper lining overnight! So if you’re making these in advance, leave out the mango, yo!

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 8 spring roll with dipping sauce and NO added protein sources (tofu, quinoa or otherwise). Serving size: 1 roll with dipping sauce Calories: 226 Fat: 8.9g Saturated fat: .8g Carbohydrates: 23gSugar: 6g Fiber: 4g Protein: 6g

VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS WITH CRISPY TOFU 30-minute Vietnamese-inspired spring rolls with fast crispy tofu and a savory-sweet almond butter dipping sauce. Flavorful, crisp, delectable, and so fresh and perfect for spring and summer. Author: Minimalist Baker

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: 

Cuisine: Vegan, Vietnamese, Serves: 4 (8 spring rolls total)


Spring Rolls

  • 1/2 cup each julienned carrots, red pepper and cucumber
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 4 ounces vermicelli or rice noodles (the thinner the better)
  • 8-10 Rice Spring Roll Papers
Almond Butter Dipping Sauce
  • 1/3 cup salted creamy almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce (GF if gluten free)
  • 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar, agave or honey if not vegan (depending on preferred sweetness)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • Hot water to thin
Crispy Tofu
  • 8 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and thoroughly dried/pressed
  • 4 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2.5 Tbsp almond butter dipping sauce
  • 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar or agave nectar
  1. Start by preparing rice noodles in boiling hot water for about 10 minutes (read instructions on package), then drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat and cut pressed tofu into small rectangles. Toss in 3 Tbsp cornstarch and flash fry in ~3 Tbsp sesame oil, flipping on all sides to ensure even browning – about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  3. Prep veggies and prepare almond butter sauce by adding all sauce ingredients except water to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add enough hot water to thin until a pourable sauce is achieved. Adjust flavors as needed (I often add a little more chili garlic sauce and brown sugar).
  4. To add more flavor to the tofu, transfer ~2.5 Tbsp of the sauce to a small bowl and add an additional Tablespoon each of soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar (or agave) and whisk to combine.
  5. Add tofu back to the skillet over medium heat and add “sauce/glaze,” stirring to coat. Cook for several minutes or until all of the sauce is absorbed and the tofu looks glazed, stirring frequently (see photos). Set aside with prepared veggies and vermicelli noodles.
  6. To assemble spring rolls, pour very hot water into a shallow dish or skillet and immerse rice paper to soften for about 10-15 seconds.
  7. Transfer to a damp cutting board or damp towel and gently spread out edges into a circle. It may take a little practice, so don’t feel bad if your first few attempts are a fail!
  8. To the bottom third of the wrapper add a small handful of vermicelli noodles and layer carrots, bell peppers, cucumber, fresh herbs and 2-3 pieces of tofu on top (see photo). Gently fold over once, tuck in edges, and continue rolling until seam is sealed.
  9. Place seam-side down on a serving platter and cover with damp warm towel to keep fresh. Repeat until all fillings are used up – about 8-10 spring rolls total.
  10. Serve with almond butter sauce and sriracha or hot sauce of choice. I like to mix mine and go dip happy.
  11. Leftovers store well individually wrapped in plastic wrap, though best when fresh.
Notes: *Inspired by the lovely Heidi at Foodie Crush

Nutrition Information: Serving size: 1 roll with dipping sauce Calories: 274 Fat: 12g Saturated fat: 1.5g Carbohydrates: 25gSugar: 3.6g Sodium: 172mg Fiber: 1.5g Protein: 6.5g

***Instead of frying tofu or tempeh, I bake it in the oven. I either put it in unadorned or I toss the slices or cubes in a small amount of olive oil with spices. I place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet & bake it at 450 for 30 minutes. Tastier than fried & healthier. 

Show~Me~The Yummy, Healthy Spring Recipes ~Lots of good recipes here. Most of them have shrimp or chicken. The recipes are such that you can substitute the meat or fish with turkey, tofu, or beans if you are so inclined. Here are a couple of examples.

Shrimp Avocado Salad: So, you guys, here ya go, the best, most refreshing, crazy flavorful snack/lunch/dinner: Shrimp Avocado Salad. 

ALMOND BUTTER ENERGY BITESThese Almond Butter Energy Bites are SO healthy and delish. They’re nutty and rich from the almond butter, chewy from the oats, and sweet from the maple syrup and dark chocolate chips!

HEALTHY TURKEY TACO CHILI This Healthy Turkey Taco Chili comes together in just over 30 minutes! It’s healthy, gluten free, loaded with veggies and lean protein, and absolutely delicious! ~This recipe would be wonderful with vegan chorizo or beans!

Martha Stewert, Our Favorite Spring Recipes ~I chose asparagus recipes to show you.

Asparagus, Peas, and Radishes with Fresh Tarragon To save time, the asparagus in this bright salad can be cooked, cooled, dried, and then wrapped up and refrigerated up to a day in advance.

  • PREP:


  • 3 pounds asparagus, tough ends discarded, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons butter ~You can substitute Olive Oil 
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) radishes, greens discarded, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

DIRECTIONS ***I never boil vegetables. I steam them because they retain more of their nutrients.

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water, and line a baking sheet with a double thickness of paper towels.

  2. Add asparagus to pot; cook until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. With a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, transfer to ice bath. Let cool completely, then transfer to prepared baking sheet and pat dry. (Wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to 1 day.)

  3. In a large pot with a lid, heat butter over medium. Add asparagus and peas. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are heated through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in radishes and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Asparagus, Leek, and Gruyere Quiche This spring dish is made richer with Gruyere — an aged Swiss cheese with a nutty flavor that tastes great with eggs.


  • 1 tablespoon butter ~Substitute Olive Oil.
  • 1 leek (white and light green parts only), halved and thinly sliced, then well washed
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 bunch (1 pound) asparagus, tough ends removed, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 large eggs ~It is richer with whole eggs but I use 2 whole eggs & 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups half-and-half ~I substitute an unsweetened nut milk for half of this.
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Our Favorite Pie Crust, fitted into a 9-inch pie plate, well chilled  ~I like to use organic Phyllo Dough sheets layered as the crust. If you prefer a traditional crust, then substitute coconut oil for the butter.
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (4 ounces) ~When making a quiche, always put the cheese in first on the crust. It keeps the crust from becoming soggy. 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in lowest position. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium. Add leek and asparagus; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes; let cool.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Place pie crust on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese; top with asparagus mixture. Pour egg mixture on top.

  3. Bake until center of quiche is just set, 50 to 60 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Epicurious, Spring Recipes  ~Lots of yummy recipes for Spring on this site; including asparagus recipes 🙂 The recipe that I found intriguing was:

SPRING PEA BUTTER WITH SHALLOT AND LEMONThis creamy compound butter is packed with bright spring flavor. Spread it on toast, stir into pasta, or slather on grilled lamb chops for the springiest meal ever.

YIELD: Makes about 1 1/2 cups, ACTIVE TIME: 15 minutes, TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/3 cups fresh shelled peas (from about 1 pounds pods) or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, divided ~ I don’t use butter. I wonder if coconut oil would work. Must try.
  • 1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


1. If using fresh peas, cook in a medium saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, about 3 minutes (if using frozen peas, do not cook). Drain, transfer to a bowl of ice water, and let sit until cold, about 3 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

2. Melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Add peas, pepper, lemon zest, 1 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/2 cup butter; pulse until just combined.

Do Ahead: Pea butter can be made 3 days ahead; cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.

Mother Earth Living Food & RecipesOne of my favorite magazines. The online recipes had one for salmon. The salmon could be substituted with either tofu or tempeh. 

Harvest Garlic: Lemon-Mustard Salmon Here’s a quick and easy way to prepare salmon with gourmet appeal.


• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon stone-ground mustard
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon thyme
• 6 salmon fillets (about 1 1⁄2 to 2 pounds total)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, mustard, honey, oils and lemon thyme; set aside.

2. Coat a large baking pan or sheet with cooking spray. Place salmon fillets, skin side down, in pan. Liberally brush each fillet with sauce. Bake, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve and enjoy. ~I use parchment paper.

Contributing Editor Kris Wetherbee tends her herbs in western Oregon. 

Another substitution for meat & fish, besides tofu, tempeh,or beans are mushrooms. My favorite are Cremini. They are related to the Portobello mushroom. They hold their shape & are “meaty” like the Portobello; also less expensive. The Portobello, marinated & used as a veggie burger are fantastic!

On the Show~Me~The Yummy website is this gourmet recipe for Portobello Mushroom Burgers. If you aren’t into this much work, there is a more simple recipe that follows this one.

Portobello Mushroom Burger: This Portobello Mushroom Burger is vegetarian, healthy, can be gluten free, and is topped with caramelized onions, a homemade basil pesto, and goat cheese!

Servings: 4 people, Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • Caramelized Onions
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter ~ Olive Oil
  • 1 yellow onion halved and sliced
  • 2 splashes white wine
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 whole wheat buns~ Your choice of bun
  • 1 (4 oz) log goat cheese softened
  • baby spinach
  • caramelized onions from above
  • 1/4 cup pistachio pesto or store bought, if preferred. ~There are a lot of wonderful organic pesto’s at the store.


Caramelized Onions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium/medium low heat. Once hot, add in butter.
  • Once the butter has melted, add in sliced onion and cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and caramelized.
  • In the last minute or two, deglaze the pan with a couple splashes of dry white wine. Cook until the wine has absorbed.
  • Set aside.

Portobello Mushrooms:

  • Preheat broiler (ours is at 500 degrees F).
  • Gently wash and dry mushroom caps. Place them ribbed side up on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
  • Brush half of the oil/vinegar mixture on the ribbed sides of the mushrooms.
  • Broil for 5 minutes.
  • Flip the mushrooms and brush on the remaining oil/vinegar.
  • Broil for another 5 minutes.*
  • Remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little salt.

Assembly for one burger:

  • Spread softened goat cheese on the bottom bun.
  • Top with spinach, then portobello mushroom.
  • Top that with some caramelized onions and 1 tablespoon of pesto.
  • Top with burger bun, repeat with the remaining burgers and enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

  • Some of the oil/vinegar will roll off the mushrooms and may start to smoke on the pan. Don’t worry…it’s totally normal!
  • After the mushrooms were cooked, Trevor cut the mushrooms to fit the size of bun we have on hand. This isn’t necessary, but makes for a really pretty presentation!
  • Gluten free? Make sure to use a GF bun! 🙂

From Food.com: Portabella Mushroom Burgers  ~Serves 4 people & yes, both spellings are correct. 


  • 4 large portabella mushrooms
  • 1cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 -4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 ounces sliced provolone cheese ~Optional
  • 4 whole wheat rolls ~Your choice
  • sliced tomatoes (optional)
  • romaine lettuce leaf (optional)
  • sliced grilled onion (optional) ~Or raw
  • Dijon mustard (optional ~When it comes to any mustard, optional is not a choice as far as I am concerned. Love mustard!


  1. Cut stems off of mushrooms and place smooth side up in a shallow dish.
  2. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare the marinade by whisking together the vinegar, oil, basil, oregano, and garlic.
  4. Pour the marinade over the mushrooms and allow to stand at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice.
  5. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  6. Place the mushrooms on the preheated grill, reserving the marinade for basting
  7. Grill mushrooms for 5 to 8 minutes per side, basting frequently with marinade.
  8. During the last 2 minutes of grilling, top with cheese.
  9. Serve with the whole wheat rolls and condiments of your choice.

Sounds so good! Texting husband to bring home Porobello or Cremini mushrooms 🙂

A new vegan website I found through our volunteer Dana Wylie: Wallflower Kitchen. I posted this fantastic recipe on the SDCRI Facebook page.

GUT-HEALING VEGETABLE BROTH (AND WHY IT’S BETTER THAN BONE BROTH) A nutritious, gut­ healing broth as a vegan alternative to bone broth. If you don’t like or can’t find any ingredients, don’t worry. Add what flavours you like and try to get as much variety and nutritional goodness as you can! 

Ingredients: Serves: 8

  • 12 cups (2¾ litres) filtered water
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or extra ­virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, quartered (with skins)
  • 1 garlic bulb, smashed
  • 1 chili pepper, roughly chopped (with seeds)
  • 1 knob ginger, roughly chopped (with skin)
  • 1 cup greens such as kale or spinach
  • 3-­4 cups mixed chopped vegetables and peelings (I used carrot peelings, red cabbage, fresh mushrooms, leeks and celery)
  • ½ cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 30g dried wakame seaweed
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos*
  • A bunch of fresh corriander or other herb of your choice (plus extra, to serve) (optional)
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast, for extra flavour and vitamins


  1. Simply add everything to a large pot. Bring to a boil then simmer, with the lid on, for about an hour.
  2. Once everything has been cooked down, strain the liquid into a large bowl.
  3. Serve immediately with some fresh herbs, for decoration or cool for later. 


  • It also freezes well.
  • Coconut aminos can be very salty, depending on what brand you use so taste before adding any additional salt. 

Until next week…Mary 🙂