Spring is Near; GF Recipes with Seasonal Harvest
By: Cait Simmons, New Face of Gluten Free Winner and author of the Gluten Free Yogi
Spring is my favorite season in New England. The world wakes up after a long winter’s nap and comes alive again. I love the way the ground smells as it thaws; the way the sun feels after its prolonged absence; the way the birds chirp merrily in the trees; and I especially love the flavors of the very first fruits and vegetables of the growing season.
The spring harvest is such a treat. Peas, fiddleheads, cherries… they’re all delicious but my favorite is definitely asparagus. It is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients and dietary fiber. It’s a versatile vegetable and tastes great steamed, roasted, sautéed or blanched.
I’m thrilled to share this delicious Asparagus Frittata recipe, paired with a fresh spring beet salad and zesty lemon squares. It’s a great menu for a spring luncheon. Enjoy!
- The Gluten Free Yogi
Spring Greens with Beets, Avocado & Fennel
- 3-4 beets, peeled and chopped
- 1 organic fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 container of organic spring greens
- 2 avocados, diced
- ½ cup pepitas
- ¾ cup of my favorite Salad Dressing
- To save a step, I usually buy beets that have already been cooked and peeled. Otherwise, I recommend preparing the beets the night before by boiling them in a pot of water until they’re easily pierced with a fork (like a potato), straining them and placing them in the refrigerator overnight to cool. You can peel them just before chopping them.
- Combine all the salad ingredients except the avocado in a salad bowl.
- Prepare the dressing and pour over the salad, toss well.
- Add the avocado just before serving.
Note: For those who eat dairy, a gluten-free gorgonzola, goat or feta cheese is a nice addition to this salad.
Gluten-Free Spring Asparagus Frittata
- 8 large brown organic eggs
- ¾ cup soy milk
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped asparagus (cut into approximately 1 inch pieces)
- 1 cup chopped mushrooms
- 1 cup cooked Canadian Bacon or ham, chopped
- ¾ cup spring peas
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375F. In a saute pan, add a ½ tablespoon of olive oil and saute the mushrooms until browned. Remove the mushrooms and set aside.
- In the same pan, saute the onions, seasoning with salt and pepper as they cook.
- If using Canadian Bacon, saute the meat and set aside on a plate with paper towel to remove some of the excess grease. If using pre-cooked ham, set it aside to add to your batter later.
- Fill a separate pan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Blanch the asparagus for approximately 3 minutes and then strain and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Once ready, combine all ingredients in the bowl.
- Pour the frittata batter into an oven-safe, greased pan (I recommend a glass pie pan) and bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the frittata pulls away from the edges of the pan and has a light golden brown coloring.
- Let the frittata cool and then slice into pie wedges and serve.
Note: For those who eat dairy, approximately ½ cup of shredded parmesan cheese is a nice addition to the batter.
Gluten Free Lemon Squares
Ingredients for Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
Ingredients for Lemon Topping:
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8″ square baking dish with coconut oil and dust with almond flour.
- Combine the almond flour and salt in a large bowl. On low heat, melt the virgin coconut oil for both the crust and the topping. Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil into a small bowl and whisk together with honey, vanilla extract and lemon zest. Stir the combined wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Press the dough with clean fingers or a spoon into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden.
- While the crust bakes, prepare the topping. In a blender or food processor, combine remaining coconut oil, honey, eggs, and lemon juice. Process on high until smooth. Remove the crust from the oven and pour the topping evenly over the hot crust.
- Put the dish back into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the topping is golden. Let cool in the baking dish for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for 2 hours to set. Cut into square bars and serve.
Note: This is a modification of Elana Amsterdam’s recipe from one of my favorite GF resources, “The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.” I substituted the agave nectar for honey and the grape-seed oil for virgin coconut oil. I also added a touch of lemon zest to the crust because I think it gives it a more citrusy kick. These bars are excellently tart, surprisingly health, and so easy to make!