Some unfortunate circumstances have forced me to take it easy. Rest, all day rest, is not something that comes naturally to me. However, yesterday the sun was bright, the air was warm, the birds were chirping and the chipmunks and squirrels ran around my backyard. The barking dog scaring the squirrel was not so peaceful, but it was an excellent environment for relaxing.
My garden has been filled with a few plants courtesy of my mom – red rhubarb, chives and garlic chives but I am still antsy to fill it up with more. I think it would be fun to work with perennials all in one garden, so asparagus will fit right in.
I don’t think cucumbers are actually spring vegetables. They have at least 50-70 days to maturity, unless you grow small ones perhaps. But to me, they taste like spring. Here, in this dish, cucumbers are used as noodles (with the help of a spiralizer) but I also also kept some larger pieces for a textural contrast and crunch. They are combined with cold soba noodles, avocado and silken tofu in a bright sesame-ginger dressing. It reminded me of my early foray into Japanese cooking with my Chilled Soba with Baby Bok Choy, Spinach, Snow Peas and Tofu.
The recipe comes from The Love and Lemons Cookbook, created by Jeanine and Jack who produce the blog by the same name, Love & Lemons. If there was one cookbook to get you excited about produce, this could be it. Simple yet elegant plant-based recipes (the cookbook is vegetarian but the majority of the recipes are vegan or easily veganizable [instructions are included]), they are listed based on the main fruit or vegetable.
Arranged from Apple to Zucchini, and filled with everything from Asparagus, Avocado, Eggplant and Potatoes, the vegetables I spot at my local farmer’s market are definitely included. Similar to the recipes they share on their blog, the recipes are simple but healthful. Creamy Miso Brussels Sprout Fettuccine, Carrot Ginger Grain Bowl, Shiitake and Spinach Miso Soup, and more, it makes me really excited for local produce!
Every recipe is accompanied by gorgeous photography, to boot. (see above)
Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in Canada (sorry, my international readers!). To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me which local produce you are most excited for. The winner will be selected at random on May 30, 2016. Good luck!
Recipes from The Love and Lemons Cookbook spotted elsewhere:
Vegan Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (with a US giveaway)
Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodles
Reprinted, with permission, from The Love and Lemons Cookbook
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 Tbsp low sodium tamari
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
2 tsp grated ginger
2 chopped thinly sliced scallions
12 ounces somen or soba noodles
1 large cucumber, julienned
2 tbsp sesame seeds
snap peas, blanched for 1 minute
tofu cubes (I used fresh silken tofu)
roughly chopped cilantro (my add-in)
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, tamari, oil, peanut butter, garlic, and ginger. Stir in the scallions.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the package, cooking until al dente. Drain, then chill the noodles in a bowl of ice water for about 1 minute. Drain, then add the noodles to the large bowl. Add the cucumbers and toss to combine. Add the snap peas, tofu, and additional vegetables, if using. Season with more soy sauce, to taste. Finish with a drizzle of sesame oil and psrinkle with sesame seeds. Chill until ready to serve.
From The Love and Lemons Cookbook Copyright © 2016 by Jeanine Donofrio. Reprinted by permission of Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Photography credit: Jack Mathews
Note: I was given a copy of the cookbook from the publisher. I was under no obligation to share a review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Contest Rules: No purchase necessary. Contest period begins Saturday, May 14 2016 and ends Monday, May 30, 2016. For Canadian residents only. Approximate retail value US$35/CDN$35. Enter by writing a comment answering the prompt for a chance to win. Entrants must supply a valid email address. Winners will be notified by email and must respond within 48 hours.