5 Meals with Hopes for Spring

Warm sunshine is just around the corner! Until then, we are celebrating early spring with the first produce of the season: asparagus, artichokes, spring peas, and new potatoes.

March Meal Plan Week 1

One of my elementary school teachers used to say this proverb about March, “In like a lion, out like a lamb,” and it stuck with me. Each year, I hope it’s true—stormy and cold weather at the beginning of the month leading to calm, sunny days by the end of the month. Will it prove true this year? I hope so! 

March bridges winter and spring, and early spring produce proves that winter’s grip is loosening. This week's meals are easy and cozy dinners that highlight the first spring produce to remind us of warmer days ahead.

Artichoke soup, strozzapreti with asparagus, and oven-roasted salmon with asparagus and new potatoes feature produce I’ve been waiting for all year to enjoy: asparagus and artichokes. A healthier version of shepherd’s pie uses in-season peas, lean ground beef, and a lighter mashed cauliflower and potato topping. Leeks, peas, and spinach can be found in a lamb stew that cooks in a pressure cooker. Finally, with green on my mind (hello, St. Patrick's Day!) a mint green grasshopper pie fits in perfectly with these tried and true recipes.

  • Artichoke Soup

    Artichoke Soup
    Elise Bauer

    This creamy soup calls for five fresh artichoke hearts. It makes for a delicious and light yet filling dinner to start off the week, especially when served with crusty bread. Steam the artichoke leaves and dip them in melted butter for a waste-free starter. 

  • Oven-Roasted Salmon, Asparagus and New Potatoes

    oven-roasted salmon and spring vegetables on white plate
    Elise Bauer

    Easy, quick, healthy, and seasonal, this recipe has it all! New potatoes are thin-skinned and small, allowing them to cook quickly. Lemon and dill on the asparagus both brightens this dish and pairs well with the salmon. I rub my salmon filets with olive oil, salt, and pepper before adding them to the pan. They are cooked until they reach an internal temperature of 135℉.

  • Pressure Cooker Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables

    Easy Lamb Ragu - bowl of lamb stew
    Sally Vargas

    Two pounds of cubed lamb shoulder, shank, or leg are seared and cooked in the pressure cooker before adding heaps of spring vegetables. Asparagus, turnips, leeks, peas, and spinach turn this dinner into a true spring feast. Plus, with the help of the pressure cooker, you can have dinner on the table in less than an hour!

  • Sausage, Asparagus, and Mustard Strozzapreti

    Pasta with mustard sauce, Italian sausage, and asparagus in a bowl and topped with shredded parmesan.

    Simply Recipes / Alison Bickel

    Strozzapreti is a short, hand-rolled, chewy pasta that complements the creamy mustard sauce in this dish. Feel free to use another short pasta, such as penne or ziti. Have dinner on the table in a mere 35 minutes—start making the sauce while the pasta water comes up to a boil!

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • Healthy Shepherd’s Pie

    healthy Shepard's pie in white casserole
    Alison Bickel

    This shepherd’s pie uses a combination of mashed cauliflower and potatoes as a light and healthy topping for the lean ground beef. For me, it's the epitome of spring comfort food. The casserole can be assembled up to 2 days ahead of time or frozen for up to a month.

  • Grasshopper Pie

    Overhead view of grasshopper pie cut into slices with one on a plate.

    Simply Recipes / Cambrea Gordon

    This classic icebox pie has an Oreo crust with a filling made with marshmallows, crème de menthe liqueur, and heavy cream. For an alcohol-free version, substitute the liqueur for peppermint extract. Allow at least 3 hours of chilling time before serving to make sure it is fully set.