The change happens suddenly. One day you crave hearty food that warms your body and soul and the next day you wake up to Spring. In Northern California it has finally arrived. Well, maybe winter never really came. But that’s another story. Let’s just say that when we planned our menu for St.Patrick’s we opted for a pesto pasta. When the actual day finally rolled around, I suddenly found myself opting for a lighter, fresher and more season-appropriate meal featuring leafy greens, shoots and fresh herbs in a perfectly Green Avocado Quinoa salad – an instant classic. Come and cook with us!
When eating seasonally, the locally grown vegetables help you adapt to your surroundings by connecting you with the rhythm of the changing seasons. According to macro-biotic diet basics, vegetables can be either contractive or expansive. Winter vegetables, mainly contractive, include carrots, kale, collards, broccoli, parsnip, rutabaga and turnip. They usually do all right with frost, some tasting even sweeter afterwards. Baking or slow-roasting them gives us stamina and vitality during the winter. Expansive vegetables on the other hand, including leaf lettuce, corn, green beans, cucumber and summer squash have a high water content that enables them to thrive in the heat. We can stay cool by eating them in the warmer months.
So my body was telling me what it wanted to eat that night. Out with the pesto pasta – although it always is a delicious meal – and in with the avocado quinoa salad paired with yet another green dish of asparagus and pea soup. The dark green vegetables in the salad included mustard greens, dandelions, watercress, pea shoots, escarole, and parsley. At least one serving of these dark leafy greens daily will enrich our diet with vital cholorophyll, iron, calcium, vitamin C, Vitamin A and our oh-so-beloved fiber. And their slight bitterness wasn’t even an issue.
The fact that we topped the salad with a healthy serving of avocado and a drizzling of lemony garlic dressing made it even more delicious. The crunchiness reminded me of Spring without being too bulky and still delivering a nice amount of fiber. And the avocado balanced the flavor spectrum adding creaminess to the salad. This one is worth a try! Come and cook with us!