Spring has Sprung and if you are like me you are loving the longer days and the warmer weather! Spring is a great time to put fresh ingredients in your kitchen and revive your exercise program. Here are some tips and recipe to get your Spring Cleaning started!
Depending on where you live there are certain fruits and vegetables that are in season. The easiest way to know what is in season is to shop at a local farm or farmers market.
Here is a general list of spring fruits and vegetables:
Asparagus, Apricots, Artichokes, Arugula, Beets, Carrots, Cherries, Fava Beans, Grapefruit, Scallions, Leeks, Peas, Radishes, and Spinach.
Need a refreshing change to your exercise program? Spring is a great time to take it outdoors! Find a local park or trails to walk or jog and enjoy the early signs of nature waking up from it’s winter nap. Check out your local community college or programs for dance classes, yoga, or pilates programs. After all, summer is just a few weeks away and that means shorts, tank tops, and bathing suit weather!
One of my favorite spring time dishes that JB makes is risotto with fresh vegetables. The risotto is made from Arborio or Carnaroli short grain rice and is a great way to get more grains into your diet. We make ours vegetarian but feel free to add Shrimp, Scallops, or a side of Grilled Chicken.
Risotto with Spring Vegetables
1 cup of Arborio Rice
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1/2 cup of Peas
1 Head of Broccoli
1 Bunch of Asparagus
1/2 White Onion
Handful of Baby Carrots
2 cups of Vegetable Stock (Bouillon Cubes or Cans can be found at Grocery Store)
1. Dice the white onion, separate broccoli crowns from stems, slice the zucchini in half lengthwise then thinly slice into half moons, slice baby carrots to similar width as zucchini, cut the tops off asparagus. Set all cut vegetables aside with peas.
2. In a pot bring two cups of vegetable stock to a simmer.
3. In a deep saute or sauce pan add olive oil and risotto and on low heat toss the risotto in olive oil to coat. Once it is coated add one cup of stock to the sauce pan and bring to a simmer, let the risotto continue to cook on low heat, as it thickens and absorbs the liquid, add another cup of stock, repeat this process until the risotto is cooked thoroughly.
4. In a small saute pan cook onions in tablespoon of olive oil until soft, add zucchini, asparagus. Add fresh cracked black pepper to vegetables as they cook.
5. Once risotto is soft add the raw peas, broccoli, and carrots and mix in. Then add the cooked onion, zucchini, and asparagus. Combine all ingredients and let simmer. Add pepper to taste.
* If the risotto becomes to thick add a small amount of water as needed. Risotto releases starch during the cooking process which gives the rice it’s creamy texture.
Serve in 4 bowls and enjoy!