This Spring Vegetable Medley with White Beans is a light, bright, satisfying dish to enjoy as we transition into spring.
Every year I get excited when spring arrives. I begin to crave lighter, fresher foods. This is as nature intended. As we transition from the cold winter and months of eating foods higher in fat and protein our body wants the lighter foods of spring.
A funny thing about spring is it feels like we are moving in two directions at once. On sunny days I want to get out and start my garden and then there are the cold rainy days that make me feel like lying on the couch near the wood stove.
This Spring Vegetable Medley with White beans is the perfect early spring dish to satisfy me whatever the weather. I adapted it from David Tanis.
The bright colors of the vegetables and the fresh herbs taste like spring. The beans make the dish hearty enough to enjoy in this time of transition.
It’s a simple dish with carrots, celery, onions. I added sliced aromatic fennel for a fresh taste and aroma. The multi-colored baby carrots give it additional color but they are optional if not available. Asparagus would be nice too and can be used in place of the baby carrots.
I love green peas for their lightness and texture. They are the perfect way to celebrate the season.
I use parsley and mint for their fresh flavor and healing qualities. If you don’t like mint cilantro is also good.
The small white navy beans are delicate enough for a spring dish and provide protein and fiber. As our body is naturally detoxing in the spring it is essential to eat enough fiber to cleanse the toxins that may have built up over the winter. Ayurveda considers beans a spring food. They are considered astringent, which means they can have a drying effect on the body and intestines providing the perfect antidote to the dampness of spring.
If you are following a paleo diet the dish can be made without the beans and served as a side dish served with chicken or fish.
This is a light, bright, satisfying dish to enjoy as we transition into spring.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large white onion, medium-diced (about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 cup celery, medium-diced
- 1 ½ cups carrots, medium-diced
- Celtic sea salt and fresh black pepper
- 2 cups fennel, thinly sliced*
- 1 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup mixed colored baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise*
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 tablespoons parsley, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons mint or cilantro, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 can organic navy beans (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
- Heat olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-low heat.
- Add diced onions, celery and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté 2 minutes.
- Add fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and garlic.
- Cook on medium-low 5 minutes.
- Add sliced fennel, and sauté until tender, stirring occasionally to prevent browning., about 5 minutes more.
- In the meantime, simmer the mixed baby carrots in well salted water until they are cooked through but still firm, about 3 minutes. Drain and spread on a plate to cool.
- Rinse frozen peas in hot water to defrost.
- Add peas and baby carrots to the rest of the vegetables.
- Add the drained white beans and cook until heated through about 3 minutes.
- Taste to adjust salt and pepper
- Transfer the vegetable medley to a platter. Mix the parsley, mint and lemon zest together and sprinkle over the top.
If you don’t have fennel, substitute cabbage or cauliflower (cut into small florets).
Asparagus can be used here instead of baby carrots.
- Category: Main Dish
- Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Seasonal
Enjoy the recipe your body, mind and spirit will love it.