The temperature outdoors has been so exciting this week. And by exciting, I mean that it’s been an adventure. We’ve had quite a bit of rain (which is strange for the desert we live in) and the temperatures have gone from highs of 80 to highs of 55. It certainly makes it a challenge to decide what to wear each day! I usually don a casual cardigan when going out, and I leave my rain coat in my car for those moments of random showers. It reminds me a little of my trips to England where rain was just to be expected day in and day out. I always carried a jacket there!
If picking out what to wear is difficult because of this weather, so is choosing what meals to make! I like to call myself a seasonal eater. I love warm stews with potatoes and puréed soups when it’s cold, and I make light, fresh salads and raw meals when it starts to get warm out. My menu this week has bounced around a quite a bit! I’m craving warm, heavy foods on rainy days, and on sunny days I just want salads. The day before Mother’s day was fairly warm and enjoyable, and since I was recruited to bring a vegetable dish to my in-law’s Mother’s Day party, I whipped up this Broccoli Carrot Salad, which is mostly raw and definitely vegan. Then Sunday dawned dark and rainy, but when it came time to eat with family, I found myself loading up my plate with this salad. I love how it turned out, and I loved eating this on a cold day. It was very satisfying, yet light.
Before I complain too much about the weather, all this rain is going to good use and softening the ground, getting it ready for planting! It’s definitely time for me to start thinking about my garden. Well, my plants, that is. Most of my plants will take root in my brother-in-laws backyard because I live in an apartment with barely enough room for the four potted plants I already have. Even though I live in a small space, I still can’t resist planting vegetable plants and then begging for someone’s backyard to put them in. I love giving them away, too (this year’s Mother’s Day presents!). There’s just nothing like a fresh, better-than-organic tomato warmed in the sun. Or fresh basil leaves that have been on the plant only moments before they were in your dish. I’m a foodie, and nothing beats the freshest ingredients.
I started my seeds back in February (which was actually a little later than usual!) when I found out I had a yard to put tomatoes in. I may have started late, but my plants loved the full light from my windows and the warm apartment. They grew so quickly and they are so big now! I don’t think I’ve ever had tomato plants this big. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever started this many plants.
I may or may not have over a hundred plants (shhh…..It’s a big backyard!).
And that’s not even all of it.
I know, it’s a problem. But a girl has to have a hobby.
Also, check out those zucchini plants. I have two in one pot. And I’m super excited to see how they do. I haven’t ever grown zucchini in a pot, let alone two zucchini in a pot. I’ve named them Fred and George (George is on the right). And I hope they are productive because I have loads of zucchini recipes to share with you this summer. Zucchinis make the best noodles for a Paleo-Vegan ramen, or Paleo spaghetti! I seriously could not stop eating zucchini last summer.
I’d like to say that I’ve planted the ingredients for this Broccoli Carrot Salad, but I have found that some plants are beyond my growing skills. I need plants that can survive my forgetfulness and don’t need watering or fertilizer every other day.
That being said, I dream of the day when I have a huge backyard with lots of gardening room so that I can learn how to grow broccoli, carrots, cabbage, and all the wonderful fresh veggies that I love to eat. That is a nice dream. And then I can wander out to my garden for ingredients instead of visiting the store.
In the meantime, here’s a great recipe for Vegan Broccoli Carrot Salad that will wow your taste buds and give you a fresh meal to enjoy as spring turns into summer.
Broccoli Carrot Salad
serves six people (or one really hungry mom).
- Wash vegetables and peel carrots.
- Julienne or shred the carrots and place into a medium mixing bowl.
- Chop broccoli into small pieces and add to bowl. Peel and julienne (or shred) the broccoli stalk, adding it to the bowl as well.
- Slice green onions and add to bowl.
- Pour raisins and almonds into bowl
- Mix well.
- Add all dressing ingredients and continue mixing until the dressing coats the salad evenly.