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Mushroom and Leek Chicken Rice Stew

Chicken Rice Stew with Leeks + Mushrooms

Chicken Rice Stew with Mushrooms and Leeks
April is here at least! The trees in our yard are full of fluffy blossoms. The days are getting longer. And I’ve been spending a little time each afternoon basking in it all as I ride my bike. Spring is wonderful! It’s also time for this month’s #EatSeasonal roundup. This month I’m sharing a recipe for Chicken Rice Stew with Mushrooms and Leeks that was inspired by new favorite show, A Chef’s Life, on PBS. I started watching a few weeks ago and after the first episode, I was 100% hooked.

The show features Chef Vivian Howard and her husband, Ben Knight, who have moved back to Vivian’s (very small) hometown in Eastern North Carolina from New York City to open a restaurant. Together they have a set of twins, two restaurants, and all the stress and excitement to go along with it. Each episode is centered around a seasonal ingredient that Vivian weaves throughout the ever-changing menu at their main restaurant called Chef and The Farmer.

In another life, I think I would have really liked to have been a chef. I dream of going to culinary school sometimes still. But I guess I have the best of both worlds in that I don’t have that pressure and stress of running a restaurant, but I get to cook and experiment all I want (and eat!) at home. (more…)

Blood Orange Asparagus Salad

Blood Orange Asparagus Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing 

Blood Orange Asparagus Salad-9

Well, we’ve already gone through several pounds of asparagus in the past few days. I really resisted the urge to jump up and down when I saw fresh asparagus at the grocery store last week. It was like seeing a long, lost friend. Sure, asparagus might be available year round in some places, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to taste good. No, spring is the really the only time to really enjoy asparagus. The stalks are tender, juicy, and sweet – just how I like it. None of that wooden, stringy stuff you can buy in November. Eating foods that are in season means that you can get excited like that and really appreciate and savor the available produce. I realized that I needed to stop obsessing about peaches being gone in October and embrace the pears and apples. And wow – I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated and enjoyed citrus as much as I did this winter. This Blood Orange Asparagus Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing highlights the changing of the seasons.

Blood Orange Asparagus Salad-4Blood Orange Asparagus Salad-3

It’s time once again for the monthly #EatSeasonal roundup! I love seeing what my friends come up with each month. You can see what is in season for March on Vintage Mixer or by clicking on the image below, and follow along using #EatSeasonal on Twitter, FB, and Instagram.

March Eat Seasonal

March 2015 Eat Seasonal Recipes

Check out these recipes featuring March produce:

A Zesty Bite – Whipped Lemon Ricotta Open Faced sandwich
Well Plated – Curried Broccoli Chickpea Hash
Climbing Grier Mountain – Baked Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Artichokes with Blue Cheese
Completely Delicious – Roasted Asparagus and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Bless this Mess – Spinach and Mushroom Marinara with (or without) Meatballs
Cookie and Kate – Greek Broccoli Salad
Kitchen Confidante – Baked Eggs with Asparagus and Peas
Vintage Mixer – Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Cafe Johnsonia – Blood Orange Asparagus Salad with Ginger Miso Dressing
Kelley Mountain Mama Cooks- Avocado and Mango Salad with Citrus Poppyseed Dressing
Oh, Sweet Basil- Creamy Garlic Lemon Butter Pasta
Foodie Crush – Spinach, Leek and Bacon Quiche

March is sort of the changing of the guard when it comes to spring produce. We’re at the tail end of citrus and a few other things, but it’s just the beginning for others like peas and asparagus. It varies, of course, depending on where you live. In any case, to me spring means salads. Lots of salads to use up those new, tender greens and spring veggies. I didn’t use leafy greens for this salad because I wanted it to be all about the asparagus. I kept it raw, but sliced the stalks into thin rounds. Each bite has a refreshing, bright crunch. I added avocados and blood oranges to play off the other flavors and textures. I love the juicy, tartness of citrus in salads. Avocados are usually available year-round, but this time of year they are supposed to be particularly good. (Confession: it’s really hard for me to find good avocados in Boise, so I make do with mediocre ones. Sigh.) (more…)

Raw Cauliflower Couscous Salad

Cauliflower Couscous Salad

Raw Cauliflower Couscous
I love the month of March. It means spring is on its way, though the winter here in Boise was not too bad. It means my birthday is around the corner and I’m trying really hard not to think about getting older, but hoping I’m getting wiser. Ha! I’m excited to see my lawn turning green and buds starting to form on the branches of the trees in our yard. Spring makes me smile. This Cauliflower Couscous Salad also makes me smile because a) it’s incredibly fresh and delicious, b) it’s Healthy with a capital ‘H’, and c) it’s colorful and I love pretty food.

Raw Cauliflower Couscous-3

This salad is actually based on one from a favorite book on my shelf called, Fresh Happy Tasty: An Adventure in 100 Recipes by Jane Coxwell. I reviewed the cover recipe about two years ago and it’s remained a favorite ever since. I make some version of this salad once a month or so because I adore it. The original recipe uses cooked quinoa as the base. I’ve swapped that out for cauliflower “couscous” which is equally delicious, but lower in carbs and calories. (Not that quinoa isn’t healthy.)

If you’re a fan of crunchy, raw salads, this is one you’ll love. It’s loaded up with raw celery, carrots, cucumber, apple, a handful of fresh mint and a spicy jalapeño. For the cauliflower adverse, rest assured that the flavor is very mild and it’s a great way to eat your veggies without feeling like you are.  (more…)