A special guest blog post in collaboration with flaviasjourney
Hello all you lovely people out there and welcome to our little collaboration called ‘How to jump into spring mode in 3-2-1’!
But wait – who are we? Since you stumbled upon the post on this blog, you probably already know Vanja, the wonderful soul behind @crayonsandbeads. But today not Vanja is blogging on here, but I am! My name is Flavia and I am the person behind the Instagram account and blog @flaviasjourney – yes, I know that name was a real surprise…
So, what is the idea behind this collab and what brought me and Vanja together? With our two blog posts we want to help you feel better this spring season! So how do we do this? Well, we do it in 3-2-1!
Meaning we will share 1 super easy to make spring recipe that features 2 seasonal ingredients and end the blog post with our 3 top tips on how you can boost your mood and feel good from the inside out. The recipe part is also what brought me and Vanja together: our connecting love for colorful, fresh plant-based cooking. We both enjoy cooking from scratch and using whole unprocessed ingredients to create delicious and nurturing food that is packed with nutrients and will give you lots of energy. So let’s jump right into the food part!
For my recipe, I chose two ingredients that you can get locally grown about everywhere in Germany right now: green asparagus and button mushrooms. Asparagus is full of vitamins, especially A, C, E and K and a has a high dose of brain-boosting folates while mushrooms add plenty of iron and high-quality protein to the meal. We are adding some cornmeal also known as ‘polenta’ and healthy fats in the form of olives to make it more filling and satisfying. Let’s get cooking!
Mushroom Polenta with Green Asparagus
Serves : 2-3 people
Prep time: 25 minutes
- 750 g of green asparagus, washed and stringy ends removed
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 300 g of button mushrooms, chopped into big chunks
- 650 ml vegetable broth
- 200 g polenta * (see notes)
- 100 ml plant-based milk (I used this (I used this lightly sweetened soy milk)
- salt, pepper, dried oregano, chili flakes
- 1 handful of green or black olives, sliced
- balsamic vinegar + roasted hazelnut oil (optional)
In a large pot, heat up a little bit of water or oil and stir fry your onion and garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add your mushrooms and cook until they turn soft. If you want, you can take a couple of mushrooms out of the pot and keep them on the side to add them on top of the dish at the end. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour your vegetable broth into the pot and bring to a boil. Slowly add in your polenta and keep whisking until it is well incorporated. You want to turn down the heat to low at this point. Once the polenta has started to thicken, add in your plant-based milk and spices to your taste, put on the lid, turn the heat off and let it rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile you want to either steam or cook your asparagus. I steamed mine which took me about 7 minutes. When everything is done and you have taste-tested your polenta, you are ready to plate! Add the mushroom polenta and top it with the green asparagus, mushrooms and chopped olives. If you want, you can drizzle a little bit of balsamic vinegar and roasted hazelnut oil on top.
Polenta is another word for cornmeal. You can find it in every well-stocked supermarket. I used a polenta mixed I got at an Italian shop that already had some dried porcini mushrooms in it to intensify the mushroom flavor.
So that’s the recipe! Now onto my favorite tips on how to feel better this spring!
- Go to your local farmers’ market! This is an obvious one because it’s connected to the whole idea of seasonal cooking. But it truly is one of the things I love most about spring time: Seeing all of my local farmers stocking up on locally grown produce makes me incredibly happy. The weather lately has been a good mix of rain and sunshine so the fresh strawberries, potatoes and lettuces look extra vibrant and delicious. Supporting your local farmers is better for many reasons – one of course being that it is so much more environmentally friendly. Plus seeing all this plant abundance can only make you happy!
- Get outside in nature! This is one that I also tend to forget too often. These days we are inside so many hours of our day that we don’t even realize how much the nature is changing right in front of our windows. Suddenly everything is green but we don’t even take the time to appreciate all the beautiful spring flowers and all the plants that are finally so lush green again. So I can only encourage you to get out there: Take a walk in your nearby park, go on a run through a forest or explore your area with your bike. This way you will get active, do something good for your body while also enjoying the nature and soaking up some much-needed sunshine. And we can all use some extra vitamin D after the long winter, can’t we?
- Drink more water! One thing that is so fundamental but we just tend to forget too often. Now that the weather gets warmer, we are automatically more active and move more which means that we will sweat a lot more than during winter time. So don’t forget to hydrate your body with enough water to keep everything going. Regular water ‘intake’ helps with good digestion, stable energy levels and natural detoxification processes. By the way: Did you know that asparagus is a natural diuretic due to it’s high levels of asparagine? Cool, huh?
That’s it for today! I hope you feel inspired to kickstart this spring season. If you want to know what Vanja’s top mood-boosting tips are and get her favorite spring recipe, don’t forget to go over to my blog flaviasjourney to read her part of our collaboration. If you want, you can keep up with me on my Instagram @flaviasjourney!
All the best!