Nothing tastes better than those first few meals in springtime – Light, bright, and delicious. These recipes range from chicken to salads, to vegetarian and keto dishes, and take advantage of spring produce without demanding your entire evening to prepare. Try them all out this season, and spend less time doing prep work and scrubbing dishes and more time enjoying the sunsets.

10-Minute Trader Joe’s Stir-Fry Dinner

Image & recipe courtesy of Brit & Co.

Simply throw a bag of colorfully crunchy veggies on the stove, toss pre-cooked rice into the microwave, cut up delicious sriracha tofu to go on top, and dinner is served!

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 bag Trader Joe’s Stir-Fry Vegetables
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s Sriracha Baked Tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1-2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce
  • 1 package Trader Joe’s frozen Organic Brown Rice
  • A pinch of sesame seeds, for serving (optional)

Directions

  • Heat coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add frozen vegetables. Cook until hot, about 8 minutes. Halfway through, add salt and pepper to taste, plus garlic, stirring frequently. When vegetables are done, add tofu and sauce to the pan, stirring until the tofu is warm. Remove from heat.
  • Meanwhile, heat up rice according to package instructions.
  • Serve the tofu-vegetable mixture over rice. Top with sesame seeds or additional sauce, if desired.

Spring Vegetable Paella

Image and recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

You don’t need a paella pan to make paella; any large frying pan will do. Serve this paella hot, at room temperature as-is, or topped with toasted sliced almonds!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup drained, sliced jarred pimientos, chopped (1 4-oz. jar)
  • 1 tomato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 cups rice, preferably medium grain
  • 3 cups canned, low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off and discarded, spears cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 6 ½-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • 2 cups drained and rinsed canned cannellini beans (1 19-oz. can)

Directions

  • In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the pimientos, tomato, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the salt, turmeric, and rice. Add the chicken broth, water, and parsley and bring to a boil. Continue cooking over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, about 7 minutes.
  • Stir in the asparagus, peas, artichokes, and beans. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes before serving.

Tuna Melt

Image and recipe courtesy of Delish

As spring rolls in, you’ll find yourself craving one of these. So why not learn how to make it yourself?

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 6-oz. cans tuna
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 dill pickles, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 slices bread, such as sourdough
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 8 slices cheddar cheese

Prep time 15 min

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  • Drain tuna then add to mayonnaise mixture. Use a fork to break up tuna into flakes. Add celery, pickles, red onion, and parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Butter one side of each bread slice. Top an unbuttered side with approximately 1/2 cup of tuna salad, 2 to 3 slices tomato, and 2 slices of cheese. Top with another slice of bread, buttered side facing up. Repeat with remaining ingredients and place on a large baking sheet. Bake until cheese is melty, 5 to 8 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Image and recipe courtesy of Delish

This buffalo chicken salad has it all. It’s the best way to eat your buffalo chicken wings, covered in a homemade ranch dressing, with all of our favorite sides. Bonus, no saucy orange fingers!

Fresh and won’t weigh you down. What more could you need?

INGREDIENTS

For the Chicken

  • 1 cup buffalo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3 breasts)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper

For the Salad

  • 4 cups chopped romaine
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 Persian cucumber, cut into half-moons
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese crumbles

DIRECTIONS

  • Make the chicken: In a large bowl, combine buffalo sauce, honey, lime juice, garlic powder, and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper. Reserve ⅓ cup marinade. Add chicken to remaining marinade and toss to coat. Let marinate 30 minutes at room temperature. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Remove chicken from marinade, letting as much marinade drip off as possible, and add to skillet. Cook until golden, 6 minutes, then flip and brush chicken with reserved marinade. Continue cooking until no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes more. Place on a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes, then slice into strips.
  • Meanwhile, make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, and buttermilk. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Assemble salad: In a large bowl, toss together romaine, spinach, celery, carrots, cucumber, avocado, red onion, tomatoes, and blue cheese crumbles. Top with chicken and drizzle with dressing just before serving.

Fried Rice with Spring Vegetables and Fried Eggs

Image and recipe courtesy of Delish

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch ramps (about 5 oz.) or 2 bunches scallions, white and green parts separated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½-inch piece ginger, peeled, grated
  • 1 large egg, beaten to blend
  • 3 cups leftover cooked rice or other grain
  • ½ bunch asparagus, sliced into 1-inch pieces on a diagonal
  • 1 cup shelled fresh peas (from about 1-pound pods) or frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) white or regular soy sauce
  • 4 Olive Oil–Basted Fried Eggs (for serving)

Directions

  • Cut ramp bulbs in half and slice greens into 1″ pieces.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high.
  • Cook ramp bulbs, shallot, chile, and ginger, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and just softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add beaten egg and stir to break up; cook just until set, a matter of seconds.
  • Add rice; toss everything together, then let cook without disturbing until rice begins to crisp, about 1 minute.
  • Add asparagus, peas, and three-quarters of ramp greens and toss, breaking up rice as needed. Cook until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes.
  • Add soy sauce and toss to coat. Give it a taste; you may want to add a little more soy sauce.

Divide fried rice among plates. Top each with a fried egg and shower with remaining ramp greens.

Keto Chicken Salad

Image and recipe courtesy of Delish

All chicken salads would benefit from crispy bacon, and this easy Keto version is the proof. The dressing is tangy, and with added avocado, it’s a perfect chicken salad!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • Butterhead lettuce, for serving

Directions

  • In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, red wine vinegar, shallot, and celery. Season with oregano, salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes.
  • Fold in chicken, bacon, and avocado.
  • Serve in lettuce cups.

Beet and Ricotta Hummus

Image and recipe courtesy of Bon Appetít

Ingredients

  • 1 baseball-sized red beet (about 6 ounces), scrubbed
  • 1 15½-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • ⅓ cup tahini, well mixed
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup ricotta
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated or smashed to a paste with the flat side of a knife on cutting board
  • 1 teaspoon (or more) kosher salt
  • 10 cranks freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Mint leaves, poppy seeds, and olive oil (for serving)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425°. Wrap beet tightly in foil and place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until the tines of a fork slide easily into the center of beet, 60–70 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile, process chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, and coriander in a food processor until smooth.
  • Using a paper towel, rub beet to remove skin (it should slip off easily and any staining to your hands will be temporary). Trim root end and cut beet into 8 pieces; add to a food processor. Process until mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with salt, if needed.
  • Transfer hummus to a shallow bowl. Top with mint and poppy seeds and drizzle with oil.
  • Do Ahead: Hummus can be made 4 days ahead; transfer to an airtight container and chill.

Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

Image and recipe courtesy of Cooking Light

Pesto is a great big-batch sauce for using a mix of herbs and greens, but it tends to turn an unappealing army-green if made too far ahead. Quickly blanching spinach and basil is the key to preserving the color without diluting the flavor. Then, you can ramp up the “green” level by adding fresh parsley. A little chopped tomato will add moisture and mild acidity. Be sure to press the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pesto to keep it from browning. A simple shrimp and asparagus pasta toss allow your pesto to shine! You could also use chicken breast, broccoli florets, or haricots verts for a similarly delicious result.

Ingredients

For the Pesto

  • 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • ½ cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 tablespoons chopped, toasted walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the Pasta

  • 8 oz. uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta
  • 1-pound fresh asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1-pound large fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup halved multicolored grape tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  • To prepare pesto, bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Add spinach and basil; cook 20 seconds. Remove spinach mixture to a bowl filled with ice water (reserve water in the pan); let stand 30 seconds. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Place parsley and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until finely chopped. Add spinach mixture and 2 tablespoons oil; process to combine. Place 3/4 cup pesto in a small bowl; place plastic wrap directly on pesto.
  • To prepare pasta, return water in a pan to a boil. Add pasta; cook according to package directions, adding asparagus during last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high until butter melts. Sprinkle shrimp with red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add shrimp to pan; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove shrimp from pan.
  • Add pasta mixture and reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons pesto, shrimp, grape tomatoes, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Divide pasta mixture evenly among 4 bowls.

Herbed Ricotta, Asparagus and Phyllo Tart

Image and recipe courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 12 (14- x 9-in.) frozen phyllo pastry sheets, thawed
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium asparagus spears, trimmed to a length of 6 1/2 in.
  • 1-ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Stir together ricotta, parsley, milk, thyme, garlic, and 3/8 teaspoon salt.
  • Place 1 phyllo sheet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Cover remaining dough to keep it from drying out.) Lightly brush phyllo sheet with oil, and top with another phyllo sheet. Repeat layers with remaining phyllo sheets and oil, reserving 1 teaspoon oil to brush on asparagus.
  • Spread ricotta mixture on phyllo stack, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange asparagus spears side by side over ricotta mixture. Brush asparagus with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Bake at 400°F until phyllo is browned and crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; top with shaved cheese.

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