Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Veggies and Recipes

Native Grasses with Daffodils
Harbingers of Spring

Winter into Spring

As we count down the final weeks of winter, days are longer and warmer but nights can be plenty cold. Or not. Typically we can expect all kinds of weather this month: from warm to cold, from wet to dry, and with plenty of wind from all directions. Chinese medicine practitioners warn that such rapid changes and strong winds can compromise our immune systems. Eating healthful foods, especially warm and moist foods, drinking liquids, and keeping our throats and feet warm can help--think scarves and socks. Spring tonics might be in order, in the form of antioxidant veggies or herbal supplements.  St. Paddy’s day is our last winter holiday this year. Spring arrives on March 20, followed by Passover and Easter. It’s time to plan the garden and sow early seeds in anticipation of the rich harvest of fruits and veggies we’ll have later in the year.

Closeup of Nitrogen-fixing Pea flower
Cover Crop in Neighbor's Garden
Even as we move into spring, we’re still mostly eating winter veggies and fruits. By the end of the month we might see some asparagus and spring onions, and maybe some early snow peas. In the meantime we’ll be finishing up the last of the pumpkins and frozen persimmons. Citrus is still plentiful, although this is our last month to enjoy tangerines until next winter. High-antioxidant cruciferous plants like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are good bets for boosting our immune systems. Spinach salads and raw slaws are fresh accompaniments to hot soups and stews as we move towards warmer weather. Violets bloom in profusion, and both greens and blossoms can be added to salads for a vitamin C boost. Or try your hand at candied violets to decorate Easter cakes. 

Seasonal Eating will be 2 years old on March 19. Thanks for reading, and enjoy your month!

March Veggies

Showy Iris in Full Bloom
Outside the Post Office
Asparagus (by end of month)
Brussels Sprouts (end of season)
Pumpkin (stored)
Turnips & Rutabaga
Apples (stored)
Pears (stored)

New and Favorite March Recipes

Violets Surrounding Lamp
Spring Crop in Our Yard
Winter Greens Soup for Immune Boost
Vegetarian Spinach Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Spinach Arugula Tangerine Salad
Orange Chicken
Fruit-stuffed Butternut squash
Hawaiian-inspired Yams
Passover Apple Cake courtesy of allrecipes.com
Easter Breads from around the world courtesy of about.com
Poppyseed Rolls or Cakes
Pineapple Ginger Cake
Violet Topped Tea Cake
Irish Coffee recipe courtesy Dara Cruise, barman at Four Seasons in Dublin

Bright Red Flowering Quince
At the End of the Driveway: Spring has Sprung

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