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Lemony Asparagus and Artichoke Pasta Salad

Elegant and delicious, this salad will win raves. The method for roasting canned artichoke hearts to rekindle their flavor was suggested by a chef and friend, Tina Miller. This salad tastes and looks best on the day it’s made.

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Spring Watercress and Quinoa Salad

This is one of my personal favorites. Friends often request this quinoa salad and I happily oblige because it’s a snap to make and goes well with everything. The quinoa cooks in 12-14 minutes, and just a simple dressing of lemon juice and olive oil seasons it perfectly.

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Fall Wild Rice Veggie Bowl

I love the colors, crunch, and sweet savory combo flavors of the veggies and pomegranate over the wild rice. A cilantro-lime dressing is the delicious “cherry” on this bowl. The grain can be cooked in advance. There may be some dressing left over – for your next bowl.

 

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Fresh Spring Rolls with Mermaid Farm Pea Shoots

At this time of year, there are some superb spring greens to substitute for lettuce to make delicious, healthy fresh spring rolls. Last week, I used Caitlin’s pea shoots from Mermaid Farm – so good! In the next few weeks, I’ll be picking watercress – and that make another great addition, as many locals here can attest to. Give it a try. Kids love them too.

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Spring Asparagus + Mushroom Pasta

This is an easy, fast recipe for spring asparagus – which soon will be available from Morning Glory Farm on the island, as well as from a few growers selling at the West Tisbury Farmers Market when it opens later this spring. The eggs, imported Parmesan reggiano, and a bit of pasta water create a luscious, creamy sauce that coats the pasta and vegetables. Cut the asparagus on the diagonal to make the dish look prettier. Prep the asparagus and mushrooms in advance of cooking the pasta, so the timing of the dish works. For other recipes with asparagus, check out the asparagus article I wrote for Martha’s Vineyard Magazine which features Morning Glory Farm and tips for using asparagus.

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Chopped: A Very Veggie Spring Dinner Salad with Roasted Smoked Salmon

Green and fresh, the crisp romaine, salmon, snap peas, radish, avocado and red onion make this more than a simple salad. Yet with using packaged or store-prepared smoked salmon (not the sliced salmon, but a chunkier, meatier version – see cook’s note), the only cooking is the 10-minute hard-boiled egg and a quick blanch of snap peas. Serve as a spring or summer dinner salad for 4, or stow away a portion in the fridge, undressed, for the next day’s lunch. Do not be tempted to use bottled dressing here and miss the brightness of this mustard-lemon-honey dressing – so easy to make.

 

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Protein Plus Quinoa and Broccoli Bowl

When I was growing up, my mom and I loved to make a dish from the original Moosewood cookbook that was called the Perfect Protein Salad – it had cottage cheese and cooked dry soybeans (and mayonnaise, if I can remember correctly). Here is a perfect protein salad for today – featuring a triple dose of protein from quinoa, tempeh and edamame beans – along with broccoli and other veggies. If you think you don’t like tempeh, try it as a crouton as it’s featured here, and topped with this tasty tahini and lemon sauce. This bowl is “perfect” for breakfast, lunch or dinner. How’s that for versatility?

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

One of our frequent outdoor vacation destinations is Bethel, Maine, home of Sunday River Ski Resort and one of our favorite eating spots: Café DiCocoa. The vegetarian café’s ever-changing breakfast and lunch menu can include fresh peach scones, homemade bagels, vegetable frittatas, soups and a variety of salads, all made with fresh ingredients by a very creative chef/owner, Cathi DiCocco. One café favorite is this combo of roasted sweet potatoes, corn and black beans with a uniquely delicious chipotle-sweet chile sauce dressing. You can also find the recipe in Raising the Salad Bar, and in the few years since the book came out, many people have told me how much they love the flavors in this dish.

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Chickpea Burgers with Yogurt Sauce

I wanted to come up with a version of a “falafel” that was not fried. These  chickpea burgers – a combination of grain, bean and flavorful spices – are just that, pan-seared, not deep-fried in oil. With a simple, creamy yogurt sauce and pita bread, these make a great lunch or vegetarian dinner with a Greek salad or quinoa tabouli.

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Mexican Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn and Edamame

I first made this salad for a teachers’ appreciation day at the West Tisbury School on Martha’s Vineyard, and from the raves I got I knew I needed to record what I had done. It’s light, crunchy and colorful, but it is also packed with some of the most nutritious foods out there – quinoa, beans and vegetables. (Quinoa provides both calcium and iron, as well as protein, and more.) It’s great year-round – for BBQ’s or potlucks – or at home with chicken, fish or a Mexican-themed meal. For leftovers, it makes a healthy lunch.

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