Winter has seemed particularly long this year. Perhaps it is because it has been a cold wet winter and the long dark days seem even darker and longer when it is grey and freezing.
At the start of autumn I was almost looking forward to the longer, darker days, and I was definitely looking forward to the change in menu – lots of roast veggies, meat pies, spicy chilli, and warm cakes straight from the oven. But now, after a good five months of those things I am ready for a change again.
Spring has officially started and although the frosts linger where we live and spring doesn’t really come to us for a little while yet, I’m ready to do a bit of spring cleaning of our menu plan. I’m ready to change things up a little and start including some of the local spring produce that is popping up in the shops, and slowly but surely in our garden.
So, what’s on our spring menu plan?
We’ll be switching out our roast chicken with a gazillion roast veggies dinners for something a little lighter. Marinated chicken skewers with yoghurt dip are a big hit in our house (recipe coming soon).
We’ll also be switching chilli for tacos, much to my kid’s excitement, (why do kids love tacos so much?) so I had better dust up on my tortilla making skills.
No doubt we’ll still be eating Mexi Rice as my kids adore it but as more and more spring and summer produce pop up I’ll be changing and adding more veggies into the mix.
Eventually Zucchini bake will replace at least some of the spaghetti bolognaise meals, because it’s nice to have a change sometimes, right?
Now that the frosts have almost gone, and the mint is finally growing back, these ‘green burgers’ with loads of salad will be back on the menu.
Our chickens are busy laying heaps of eggs so I am planning to make this easy crustless quiche recipe at least once a week. It’s so easy to vary with lots of lovely seasonal produce. Right now the new baby asparagus would be lovely, or lots of leafy green spring spinach or Asian greens.
As the snow peas and then green beans arrive, our school ‘fruit snacks’ often become ‘veggie snacks’. Nothing better than a container of veggie sticks to munch on.
Bread and dip start becoming a staple snack or lunch around here at about this time of the year. With lots of spring lemons we make super lemony and garlic hummus, and this easy olive dip, and I’m working on perfecting my beetroot dip too. Teamed with Naan bread or pita chips it’s an easy way to fill everyone up.
I’m keen to have a go at a version of this Raspberry Bread, which will make a nice change from all the banana bread lately.
There will be lots of rhubarb in our spring baking as it grows like a weed here. My kids are all bugging me to make some more of this rhubarb fizz, and if we start in a few weeks it should be ready by Christmas!
And we are all counting the days till we can make these berry bliss icy-poles again!
I menu plan to make my life easier, and also so that we can stick to our food budget. Making sure our menu reflects what is in season means we have some variety, but it is also makes it cheaper. Fruit and veggies especially are much cheaper and more delicious when bought in season.
I have plans to revamp my menu planning printables in the near future so if you have any suggestions of what you would like included let me know, and keep your eye out for new versions soon.
Shop Locally at IGA
I love it when I go to our local IGA supermarket and see punnets of berries proudly displaying a very local address. We could have bought blueberries all year round but the ones that are grown just up the road always taste better. It might take a while for our own spring/summer veggies to pop up in the garden, but until then, I am lucky it is so easy to support local producers and get delicious spring produce.
Check out the IGA website for more spring recipes and you can enter the $100 000 IGA Giveaway.
Simply buy one of the products from the IGA Spring product range and keep your receipt. Then go to the IGA website and enter your receipt information for the chance to win a share of $100 000 in giftcards!
If you want to spring clean more than just your menu plan then pop over to The Organised Housewife for loads more spring cleaning tips sponsored by IGA.