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5 Feel-Good Spring Recipes

5 Feel-Good Spring Recipes
April 19, 2020 welleum

5 Feel-Good Spring Recipes

Based on TCM

Roasted Asparagus

The best part about spring? Fresh fruits and veggies are back in season! In TCM, spring is a time of new life and growth. What better way to welcome the newness of the season than with feel-good food? 

According to eastern medicine, the best diet in the spring involves raw, fresh fruits and vegetables like beets, carrots, cucumber, seaweed, celery, mushroom, asparagus, spinach, onions, grapefruit, lime, and lemons. Seeds, nuts, and whole grains are also on the menu, along with honey and mint teas. We’ve rounded up five TCM-approved spring recipes to round out your seasonal menu, from healthy breakfasts, fresh lunch options, and even a citrusy mocktail! 

Kale and Spinach Quinoa Bowl

Kale Quinoa SaladGet your green on with this healthy bowl that’s perfect for lunch or dinner. It’s a leafy green spring dream when you combine the power of fresh kale, spinach, cucumber, and seaweed salad with hearty quinoa. We even threw a dash of color in with some crunchy carrots. Topped off with a light lemon vinaigrette, or green goddess dressing, this is a spring meal you’ll love – and your body will thank you for. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup dry quinoa

1 cup kale

1 cup of spinach

1 cucumber

2 large carrots

1 scoop pre-made seaweed salad (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Juice from 1/2 large lemon (1-2 tablespoons)

Salt and pepper 

Note: You can add edamame, beans, tomatoes or any other extras you’d like!

To start, cook your quinoa following the instructions on the package. When quinoa is cooked, you can opt to let it chill in the fridge or keep it warm. Then, dice up your cucumber and carrots. Prep your dressing mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Assemble your salad by combining the quinoa, kale, and spinach, and adding the carrots and cucumber. Toss with lemon dressing and top with a scoop of seaweed salad. 

Nuts & Seeds Granola Bars 

Granola Nut Seed BarsAs one of the most commonly suggested food groups for spring, we’re paying tribute to nuts and seeds with these easy, at-home granola bars. These are the perfect snack to bring to work, for after the gym, or to send with your kids to school. The best part? You’re getting as many nuts and seeds as we could reasonably include, weighing in at a whopping 6 different varieties. Talk about a power bar, right? 

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats 

1/2 cup raw almonds (chopped)

1/2 cup raw walnuts (chopped)

2 Tbsp chia seeds

2 Tbsp flax seeds 

2 Tbsp hemp seeds

2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

1 cup dates

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup creamy peanut butter 

Start by heating your oven to 350 degrees. Roast your oats, walnuts, and almonds for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown in color. While these ingredients are being toasted, place dates in a food processor and blend until they’re broken down into very small, doughlike pieces. Put oats, walnuts, almonds, dates, and all seeds in a large bowl. Warm up your peanut butter and honey using a small saucepan over low heat. This mixture should be fluid but not bubbling. Pour mixture into the bowl with oats, nuts, and seeds and mix thoroughly. Spread mixture into your parchment paper-lined pan. Using a flat, hard, surface, press down on the bars to pack everything together. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Cut into bars and serve, or store in an airtight container.

‘Hello Spring’ Grapefruit Cucumber Mocktail 

Cucumber MocktailAs the organ linked to the spring, one of the best things you can do this season is support your liver health. The best way to support the liver? Cut back on alcohol intake and boost your use of fresh fruits. Just because alcohol’s off the table, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a refreshing spring beverage. This grapefruit cucumber mocktail is the perfect way to say ‘Hello Spring’ while getting your fill of these two spring-oriented foods. Kick back in your yard or on the balcony and get some fresh air while you sip on this juicy mocktail. P.S. This could easily be a cocktail with the addition of your favorite alcohol. No judgement, we promise. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 ounces fresh pink grapefruit juice

1 cucumber

A handful of fresh mint

1 tsp. simple syrup

Soda water 

Chop your cucumber into slices (save one or two for garnishes if you’d like) and add 5 slices to your shaker along with the handful of mint. Muddle until the cucumber is broken down and the mint is fragrant. Juice your grapefruit if you haven’t already and measure out 3 ounces. Add ice, grapefruit juice, and simple syrup to the shaker. Shake vigorously, remove the top of the shaker, and pour contents into a glass. Add soda water to your preference and top with garnish. 

Farmer’s Market Fresh Fruit Parfait 

Yogurt ParfaitIn TCM, spring represents the season of new growth, which coincides with an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables coming in season. Take advantage of the bountiful natural nutrients by visiting your local farmer’s market. Eating raw, fresh fruits (particularly those with plenty of antioxidants) can give your immune system a boost and keep you feeling strong this spring. These parfaits are great for breakfast or an afternoon snack. They also make for an easy and healthy option for group brunches or events!

Here’s what you’ll need:

7-10 strawberries

5 mandarin oranges

1 cup blueberries

1 cup raspberries

2-3 cups of plain or vanilla yogurt

Granola (optional topping)

Honey (optional topping)

Chia seeds (optional topping)

Start by washing all fruits. Peel oranges and separate into individual pieces. Chop strawberries into bite-sized pieces. Spoon two-to-three hearty scoops of yogurt into a bowl and top with handfuls of berries and oranges. Top with a sprinkle of chia seeds, granola, and honey as desired. If sharing with a group, consider making a build-your-own parfait bar. Place each fruit-type in separate bowls with serving spoons. Arrange a bowl with yogurt next to the fruit and all topping options. Guests can pick and choose their favorite combinations to make their dream parfait. 

Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms with Lemon

Roasted AsparagusLooking for a healthy side dish that screams spring? Look no further, these roasted asparagus and mushrooms with lemon topping combines three TCM-recommended spring foods into one flavorful dish. Perfect to pair with chicken, turkey, or fish for a weeknight dinner or a spring celebratory meal. This asparagus and mushroom combination can be dressed up or down to match the evening’s mood. Even better, this side dish makes for an easy leftover to pack for tomorrow’s lunch – that is, if you and your guests don’t finish it all the night-of!

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 pound fresh asparagus

1/2 pound mushrooms

1 Tbsp. butter

1 teaspoon olive oil

1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

Trim the ends off asparagus and chop into approximately 1-inch pieces for ease of eating. Slice mushrooms into bite-size pieces. On medium-heat, melt butter and oil on a large skillet. Add asparagus and mushrooms and saute until tender. Mix in lemon, zest, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper before serving. 

What’s your favorite TCM-inspired spring recipe? Share with our community on social media.

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