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Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22, and with that comes the chance to rethink our approach to clean, smart eating and cooking. This weekend and into the spring season, try to incorporate more wholesome, plant-based foods into your everyday meals. Joining the Meatless Monday movement is an easy way to lower your intake of animal products — just eat meat-free one day a week, Monday or any other. In celebration of Earth Day, we’ve rounded up a collection of natural recipes that feature fresh, seasonal ingredients like carrots, potatoes, rhubarb and more, so that you can enjoy what you’re eating and feel good about it too.
If you can’t find rainbow carrots like those pictured above, stick with the classic orange beauties when preparing Food Network Magazine’s Coriander-Glazed Carrots, made with fresh citrus, crushed coriander seeds and a sprinkle of cilantro. This quick-cooking side dish complements simply roasted seafood, grilled chicken and more.
Iron Chef Marc Forgione leaves hearty, starchy spuds to their simple beauty and lets them star in his Gnocchi With Brown Butter and Sage dish from Food Network Magazine. His soft, light potato pillows (pictured left) are quickly boiled then tossed with a nutty brown butter sauce, made with a pinch of red pepper flakes and fresh sage leaves.
No longer made with just basil, pesto sauces can feature any number of greens, including broccoli rabe, arugula, spinach and others. Food.com’s classic Parsley Pesto is made with Italian flat-leaf parsley but also includes traditional tastes, like garlic, pine nuts and fruity olive oil. Top your favorite pasta with this vibrant, no-cook sauce or use it to dress up pizza, chicken salad, steamed veggies and more.
Giada celebrates garden-grown beans and vitamin-rich greens in her 25-minute Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale recipe (pictured right) from Cooking Channel. After sautéing the green beans with onions and earthy mushrooms, Giada adds a splash of white wine and later the leafy kale. She adds a final squeeze of lemon juice to marry the flavors and perfume the dish.
To create her in-season Rhubarb Parfait, Cooking Channel’s Laura Calder cooks down naturally tart rhubarb until it is soft and sweet. Once it’s cooled, she spoons the rhubarb into individual bowls and tops it with a thick, smooth whipped cream-meringue mixture to finish her crowd-pleasing dessert.
Visit Food Network to find more ways to use Spring Produce.