It's the first day of spring, everyone! The vernal equinox. I don't know about where you are, but here it's ridiculously warm and sunny and, well, spring-like. Do I feel like coming home and having meatloaf? Mashed potatoes? Casserole? Hell no! This kind of weather puts me in the mood for something completely different.
Of course, it'll be months before we see any strawberries popping up in our gardens. And we're still knee-deep in root vegetables here at the farmers' markets. But what the hell, I think we need to lighten up a little. Here are seven foods I'm craving right now, on this first day of spring.
Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, any berry. I'm in the mood for something pink or purple and sweet. And I don't even care if they're baked in a pie or anything like that -- I'd eat mine fresh and right out of the cup.
Chicken salad sandwiches: I've been roasting chicken all winter long. Now it's time for something different -- old-fashioned chicken salad (with tarragon!). If you buy a rotisserie chicken, all you have to do is wait for it to cool and then pull it apart.
Sorbet: Because for me, there's always room for frozen dessert. I've been doing the chocolate, caramel, and pistachio ice creams all winter. But now I'm in the mood for lighter, fruitier flavors.
Fresh-pressed juices: And smoothies. I'm blaming this one on spring and on Starbucks' new juice business. I'm craving some fresh-pressed juice in all kinds of tangy, gingery flavors. I'd like one with everything. All of the fruits in the world -- get in my mouth!
Green peas: I'm craving peas just barely boiled with butter, but I'm craving their sweeter siblings snow peas even more. I like mine poached until they're just barely tender. And while we're talking peas, sugar snap peas would really hit the spot, too. Green and snappy, that's where it's at.
Pad Thai: Hopefully this is what's for dinner tonight. It's that rice noodle dish with lots of veggies, a tangy sauce, and maybe some shrimp or chicken thrown in. Then you top it with peanuts and give it a squirt of lime. It's fresh and crunchy and wonderful.
Pesto: This weekend I made a ton of basil and pecan pesto, and I had some of it over pasta today for lunch. Totally hit the spot, and it's so easy, too! Just throw the nuts, basil leaves, a couple cloves of garlic, and some Parmesan cheese into the food processor. Done!
What are you craving now that it's spring?
Image via khawkins04/Flickr