Welcome to the Better Dinner InstitutePrepare to feed your family really good food.
Hiya Chef, ready for some fresh SPRING food?
There’s lot of spring greens and some robust winter vegetables in this meal plan, plus a splash of sweetness from seasonal mangos. My family can’t have enough of those luscious Atulfo mangos (the yellow kind). I hope you can find some almost-ripe ones when you shop for groceries this weekend!
- Jackfruit’s back! I know for some of you it might be a first. Please look for the kind that comes in 20-oz cans, in water or in brine. There are a couple of brands (including Upton’s) that sell it in vacuum packages, but let’s just say the reviews aren’t great – and that stuff is expensive. Most Asian grocery stores will have the good stuff you need. If you can’t find it… you can just skip it, really. It’s a fun thing to eat but not crucial to the dinner, nutritionally speaking. Substitute with a small diced butternut squash and call it the day. (No need to pre-cook squash, if that’s what you are using.)
- There is perhaps a smidge more weeknight cooking involved than usual. I find that to happen when Spring comes around and there are more fresh veggies to work into bowls and salads. Or maybe it’s just random. You can prepare practically everything on the meal plan on the weekend, if needed.
- I *love* to use stinging nettles in pesto. They are thought to be extra-nutritious, and they have quite a short season. If you can’t find them locally, go for any spring green. Dandelion greens, mizuna, arugula, even kale or spinach will work fine. If you do use stinging nettles, please use tongs! They do sting and the mild burn will stay with you for a few days. If you can’t find any of those, you can use good old kale instead.
- Crunchy sprouts (preferably sunflower seeds or lentil-based) have been added to my classic pesto and roasted veg wraps this year. It adds a great dimension to the sandwiches and lots of nutrition too. If you have lentils at home, chances are you can sprout them yourself!