Pea season has arrived! I love the fresh green flavor of peas and pea shoots. I love to eat snap peas raw, pickled, sautéed, and steamed. I love to eat pea shoots in salads, wraps, stir fry, and tacos. We get peas and pea shoots from our CSA, but this is one of the things I also grow because...well...we just can't get enough. Pea season is short and sweet, and I like to make the most of it.
This year I am growing a new (to me) variety of pea called Magnolia Blossom Tendril Pea. It makes a lot of tendrils and fewer leaves, allowing more air flow in the peas. The flowers are so beautiful, and the plants are huge producers! My husband has been traveling for business most of the past few weeks, so he is missing out on the peastravaganza. This recipe is quick and easy and super delicious. It takes advantage of those freshly picked peas that are so tender they don't need to be boiled or overcooked at all, and are crispy and perfect with a few minutes in the skillet.
I am also growing Blue Spice Basil this summer and it has quickly become a favorite. It has a rich, exotic, spicy sweet fragrance that is AMAZing (and the bugs don't touch it). It worked so well with the toasted sesame oil and ginger that I am dehydrating a batch to see how it holds up when dried. Most basil doesn't dry well and so we freeze it or make pesto to preserve it. This basil has such a different thick hairy leaf and sublime fragrance that I am curious - I would love to have a lot dried to use all winter. We shall see!
snap pea + pea shoot stir fry
This recipe is perfect for pea season - it combines fresh snap peas and pea shoots with ginger, garlic, soy, and sesame oil to make a quick and easy (and delicious) dish. Serve as a side dish, or over rice for a main vegetarian course.
I am sure I am going to be sharing more pea recipes before our short season is over (peas make the best quick pickles!). Having pea season peak just as all of the herbs are cranking means that there are so many opportunities for different flavors and combinations. Fresh herbs and peas really do go well together as they all have that fresh green garden flavor that can't be beat.
My husband will be gone for a few more days so the pea stir fry today was all mine. He had better hurry though, it has been hot and peas won't last forever!
about the ingredients:
Blue Spice Basil
Magnolia Blossom Tendril Pea
Brown Sesame Seeds
I have never been a breakfast person. For years I was more of a cup of coffee and run kind of person. But with the advent of autoimmune disease, I have a schedule for my supplements and medications, and eating before I take anything is critical. We also cannot eat gluten, so that eradicates a whole bunch of possibilities. So what is left is eggs, GF toast, GF oats...meh. I'm not a big sweets or bread person. I'm also not a huge fan of repetition. I spend a lot of time cooking dinners every day, so I don't want to spend a ton of time on breakfast or lunch. Amaranth is a nice alternative for breakfast. It is a seed, not a grain, and it is a complete protein packed with all of the essential amino acids, iron, magnesium, fiber, and even calcium. You can cook it, bake it, boil it, or even pop it. This breakfast is quick and easy and has a lot of flavor. And you can add different toppings to change it up - fresh blueberries, sliced bananas, toasted coconut, hemp seeds, warm apples pan-sautéed with a little maple syrup and molasses...the possibilities are endless!
Amaranth Breakfast Porridge
This is a healthy warm breakfast - a great GF alternative to creamy hot cereal. This version is dairy-free!
Soak the amaranth grains in 2 cups of water overnight.
A bowl of amaranth porridge is perfect for spring mornings - it warms you up, fills you up, and gives you energy to get moving on busy spring days. Kids love it too, and everyone can have their favorite toppings!
I love making truffles. I tend to go in spurts, most often in winter, when I want something small and sweet, but allergy-free and not too much. Truffle bites are perfect. I like that I can go from pulling out the ingredients to popping them in the fridge to set in under 15 minutes. The only thing that is heated is the chocolate!
These are great quick and easy sweet treats for yourself, or they can be packed up into little boxes and gifted for Valentine's Day.
Peppermint Mocha Truffles
These peppermint mocha truffles are easy to make, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and take only a few minutes to prepare. These are sweet treats, but as they contain dates and maple syrup, it is not a guilty pleasure. Make a batch to gift on Valentine's Day, or keep them all for yourself.
In a food processor:
A favorite staple in our fall CSA share each week is sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a fantastic fall and winter food. They are packed with vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, B vitamins, potassium, fiber, and more. They are healthy, delicious, and can be dressed hundreds of ways. They can be baked, boiled, added to stews, stuffed, and used in savory or sweet dishes.
A simple yet delicious way to enjoy sweet potatoes is baked with a filling in the middle. This recipe is simple and the taste is warming and rich. I often bake a bunch of sweet potatoes at once over the weekend, and then keep them in the refrigerator for daily lunches. It is easy to re-heat and top with whatever you like. Perfect "fast food" ~ yum.
Sweet Potatoes with Curried Lentils
This recipe takes advantage of the smoky sweetness of sweet potatoes by combining with lentils and curry. This is a rich and warming meal, perfect on a chilly day.
Sweet potatoes are great for autumn and winter potlucks. Try setting up a create-your-own-sweet potato bar. Roast the sweet potatoes and serve them next to an assortment of toppings and let everyone make their own.
I use sweet potatoes a few times a week in fall and then worry I won't have enough to last all winter long. I know we have a few more fall CSA shares before our season is over, so I plan to stock up!
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, permaculture designer, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two young adults in south central Wisconsin.
©2007-23 Denise Cusack, all photos and text. Feel free to share my posts on FB or Twitter or online media or pin on Pinterest (thank you!), but please keep the links back to my website intact (meaning please do not take or copy my images off of this website and share them unattributed or without linking back here or use them without permission). Thank you! :)
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