Spring Things

The weather in Boston has been less than delightful the past week or two, despite that it’s now late April.  Last week it was pretty frigid, extremely windy and in the 40’s.  However, yesterday we got a glimpse of the sunny days to come with morning sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s!  Even though it got cloudy later in the day and threatened rain, the temperature stayed comfortable, which was a big relief to me (I hate being cold!).  Today is much the same; cloudy but mild.

Anyway, enough small talk.  Whether or not the weather cooperates, it’s spring, people!  And that means it’s time for fresh produce and love.  It also means that it’s almost summer, the time of year when for all intents and purposes I follow a raw diet because there is just that much fabulous produce available!  But I digress.

Lately I’ve been loving me some zucchini and summer squash.  I made a couple of random yet tasty dishes with these recently.

One night I was “using up” so I tossed some cut-up zukes and squash into a sautee with onions, garlic, chickpeas, and olive oil.

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Then I mixed it all into a pot of whole wheat couscous that I’d cooked in vegetable broth that needed using.

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Sorry for the dark picture…the evening lighting in my apartment sucks

This was so friggin’ easy and versatile.  I ate it as pictured above the first night, but when eating as leftovers, I topped it with mushroom spaghetti sauce.  True to form.  I love sauce.  Like whoa.

And so, a few days later I made my own sauce that was comprised of spring vegetables: zucchini, squash, and red bell pepper.

Stop light
It’s a stop light!

Then, I browned them in a stock pot with garlic and olive oil:
browning

Once the veggies had a nice caramelized look to them, I added jarred mushroom spaghetti sauce and a bunch of spices (chili powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic salt, oregano…I am not very specific about these things) and let it simmer.  While it cooked, I had a very typical A. Cook appetizer…

Appetizer
Garlic dill pickles and kalamata olives…salty heaven!

Finally I cooked up some elbow macaroni and vegan meatballs and tossed it all together in a bowl.  The result: veggie-filled, warm, spicy goodness.

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Dinner!!

In case anyone is curious, these are the meatballs I used:
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I always keep a bag of these in the freezer. You can get them at Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s makes a version of them now as well.  I prefer the ones pictured, personally.  The price is pretty comparable and I find that the Nate’s brand are softer when heated, whereas the TJ ones sometimes have hard bits around the edges.

In other news (and H can testify to this), over the last week I have been consuming obscene amounts of green vegetables, namely spinach, kale, and broccoli.  (Lucky for Mr. Asparagus, though unlucky for me, he is never on sale for under $4/lb. anywhere in Boston and that is the only reason he has been spared from my insatiable green appetite.)  But seriously, I can’t get enough.  And that, my friends, is how I know it’s springtime!

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