I’ve been feeling a little bit stuck with cooking this month, not really having a proper season to work with. Firmly wedged between winter and spring, tired of winter food, yet knowing that the first bites of spring are still quite a few weeks away…ahh..life in Toronto :) So how about some ideas for these in-between weeks? I’ll share mine, and if you’re in a similar place, I’d love to hear yours! I think we can all use a boost of inspiration right about now.
Ideas for Winter –> Spring Eating
Grow some sprouts! You can do this year-round, from the comfort of your own kitchen. I tend to forget about sprouts until I start craving the fresh + crunchy greens in the beginning of spring. If you’re not sure how to grow sprouts, youtube is your friend. It’s easy, I promise. Oh, and speaking of sprouting…if you have garlic or onion bulbs that are going all sprout-y, you can put them in a glass of water or a cup of soil to encourage the greens to grow.
Eat your root veggies raw. Since winter food is still around, I guess we should make the best of it, right? While cooking root veggies in the winter-time just feels right, now’s a good time to transition to raw if you’re tired of roasting and stewing your roots.
Embrace the seasonal imports. While in Mexico, I rediscovered my love of the luscious and creamy ataulfo mango. Eating local is great, but it gets rough this time-a-year, and I feel SO lucky to have the availability of seasonal produce from all over the world within a 5 minute walk from my house. Ataulfos are going strong in Mexico right now, and while they do taste better there, the ones here are still pretty damn good. Oh, and citrus is still hangin’ in there :) I recently found blood oranges with fresh leaves still attached!
You didn’t think that I was going to give you tips without putting them all together in a delicious recipe, did ya? Of course not… I already gave it away with the title and featured image. So here are the the spicy peanut carrot noodles that I promised. This is definitely one of the better things I’ve cooked lately. C’mmmon spring!
- 2 Tbsp. peanut butter (or sub. almond butter)
- 1-2 tsp. thai curry paste, or to taste - see note!
- 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- ~3 Tbsp. water
- 1 large or 2 medium carrots, noodled (about 3 cups) - see note!
- 1 ataulfo mango
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 cup sunflower sprouts
- 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds, toasted
- chile flakes, to taste
- 1/2 a fresh lime
- Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients except for water, until creamy and smooth.
- Add water, 1 Tbsp. at a time, until a creamy dressing-like consistency is reached (I used 3 Tbsp.). Set aside or refrigerate if making in advance.
- Use your hands to coat and gently massage the carrot noodles with 2 Tbsp. of the dressing.
- Arrange dressed carrots on a plate and top with the rest of the ingredients.
- Serve drizzled with the rest of the dressing and fresh lime.
This Thai curry paste is, by far, my fav! It’s pretty mild, as far as Thai curry pastes go, but is so full of flavour. Get to know your curry paste and adjust to your own spice preference when making the dressing. It’s better to add a little less and kick up the heat with chile flakes at the end.
I use this little tool for the carrot noodles, but a fine julienne with a mandolin or your knife (if you have the patience) should also work.