I have very little experience with cooking. This is the first time in my life when I’ve a) had the time to cook and b) the space to cook. I’m feeling more confident in the kitchen by the day and Plated has been a huge help. One of the major things it’s taught me beyond just feeling comfortable with different techniques is that it’s taught me the importance of seasonality with ingredients and recipes. We started just at the end of colorful summer and then transitioned into cozy fall and then into hearty winter… and we just started getting boxes based on a fresh spring menu. It makes so much sense and definitely makes meals that much more enjoyable! Louisa is here today to share her amazing tips for spring cooking:
Spring is finally here and I couldn’t be more excited. As much as I love the comfort foods from the winter, I’m craving fresh salads and dying for some local produce. If you’ve been following along on Living Lou in the past year, you may have noticed that I’ve slightly shifted my cooking style to be more seasonally focused. We’re lucky to have access to fresh produce year-round, and over the years I would eat pretty much everything all the time, but this year I’ve been trying to eat more produce based on the seasonality and availability. This can be kind of challenging in Toronto because we have a short growing season, but if you live somewhere warm like California, eating local produce is much easier (very jealous of those of you in warm climates!).
So what does this mean “seasonally focused”? Cooking is such a personal thing and a form of self-expression that to me, seasonally focused means a couple of things. First and foremost it means cooking with local, seasonal produce (as much as possible), but it also means cooking the foods my body craves during each season. I lovecozy beef stews and cheesy baked pastas in the winter, but in the spring I’m craving lighter fare (nothing revolutionary, but I think it’s worth noting that the food we crave is really impacted with the seasons). Here’s your guide to cooking with the seasons, starting with spring!
1. Get reacquainted with fruits and vegetables
Head to the farmer’s market to see what is in-season right now. The farmer’s market can be on the pricier side, so even if you don’t buy anything, it’s a great way to do a bit of “field research” and see what produce is being grown in your area. Spring is the perfect time to start including these ingredients into your meals. Your spring cooking mantra should be fresh and flavourful.
What’s in season? Look for artichokes, asparagus, leeks, peas, rhubarb and radishes. You may also find foraged items like ramps and fiddleheads.
To me, spring screams for simplicity and rejuvenation, and I find that this tends to weave its way into my cooking. I try and let the produce speak for itself in the spring-time and use minimal ingredients and simple cooking techniques.
What’s the simplest cooking technique? I always say “when in doubt, roast it.” Roasting is definitely my favorite cooking method because I love the way it caramelizes and brings out a sweetness in many ingredients. Typically, roasting vegetables at a high temperature with a glug of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt is your best bet (around 425F).
Fresh herbs are one of the secrets of great cooks, and they are one of the first things to pop up after the winter (I already have chives growing in my garden!). Adding a sprinkling of parsley to finish off a fresh pasta dish or ribbons of basil sprinkled on top of a salad is game-changing. Use fresh herbs in everything, trust me. Watch the video below for tips on storing fresh herbs and check out my YouTube channel for more tips.
I was so excited that @MyMyrtleBeach invited me to come play pickleball with them! I am obsessed with pickleball and had a blast playing at City Pickle, right here in NYC. We brushed up on the rules, practiced some dinking, and got to play a few rounds of the game– it was the perfect way to spend the day because everyone plays at the beach! #ad
I loved watching The Parent Trap growing up and still do to this day. It is one of my go-to comfort movies… There’s so much I love about it: the cast, the soundtrack, and (of course!) the wardrobe. We all have a little Annie James and a little Hallie Parker in us! I’ve always been drawn to Annie’s style, but love the carefree nature of Hallie’s. #parenttrap @nmeyers #tuckernucking
The British brand @me_andem is now available in the US! If you are on the hunt for beautifully tailored, quiet luxury pieces for your wardrobe, you have to take a peek. The clothing is the highest quality and feels designer, but since they are direct to consumer, they don’t have the typical designer markup. The brand follows what they call “The Three Fs”: flattering and functional, with wear-forever appeal with each piece they create checking all three boxes! #meandem Shop my head to toe look with @shop.ltk! https://liketk.it/4j8Hg #liketkit
I`ve been looking forward to cooler temps and fall activities.... and the outfits that go along with them! @saksoff5th is having a sitewide sale now through 9/24– save an additional 25% OFF orders $150+ with code ITSON (excluding select brands and products) The perfect time to stock up on pieces for your fall and winter wardrobe. @CollectiveVoiceHQ #ad #SaksOFF5th
Wearing vs styling an outfit with a bump! I feel so much better when I’m wearing something cute (dress well to feel well maybe?)… I’ve been fighting the temptation to wear comfy clothes while pregnant though! So far I have found blazers and cardigans an easy way to dress up my second trimester bump, especially as we enter fall.
Fall for me means tailored blazers, touches of corduroy, and cozy sweaters… @jcrew, as always, has us covered with all the classics! Shop my head to toe look with @shop.ltk #liketkit https://liketk.it/4iOR7 #injcrew #ad