This post was created in partnership with USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.
By the time this post is up, I will be in Russia. First in Moscow for a few days, checking out a few theaters and museums, then on to my hometown to spend time with family. Besides the simultaneous happiness and heartache that comes with finally getting to see your people after a few years away, here are some other things I’m really looking forward to: staring at the blossoming chestnut trees outside of my mom’s kitchen window, visiting the food market across the street from there every day, fresh sorrel soup, mom’s melt-in-your-mouth zucchini fritters, and a good morel mushroom season, if I’m lucky. All but one food related, what a surprise. I’m also excited to breathe sweet spring air and see the juicy green of newly budding leaves, since spring in Florida is typically only marked by a transition from hot to hotter. All those things that I used to take for granted when living in a four season climate now make me happy to no end. Spring. I miss it. That’s all.
One place where there’s been no shortage of spring is my kitchen. I have to make up for it somehow. I love that spring produce needs very little in order to taste good – a quick steam, a drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of salt, and you’re good to go. A plate with a rainbow of vegetables, tasty sauce and some pulses (also known as chickpeas/beans/lentils/dry peas) has been a common dinner around these parts ever since April rolled around. The pulse component is important, since the addition of those is one of the most graceful and easy ways to make a veggie-forward meal into something truly satisfying and nourishing.