How To Eat Like Spring When It's Actually Still Winter

Find comfort in dishes that are lighter — but still hearty and satisfying.

By: Lauren Tom
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FNK_Loaded-Cauliflower-Casserole_H

Food Network Kitchen’s Loaded Cauliflower Casserole for Food Network One-Offs, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Renee Comet

Renee Comet

Waiting for the transition from winter to spring is always difficult — especially when you’ve just gotten used to long stretches of cold weather. There are plenty of times when I happily settle for snuggling under the blanket and vegging out! But then, all the sudden, the temperature starts to rise, and the week is full of sunny days. This early taste of spring sends everyone into a frenzy: the way we dress, our social activities and yes, even the way we eat, is affected by this quick change.

Confused by fluctuating weather? There’s one thing I know for sure: good food can get you through any transition, even this one! That’s why I’m sharing some of my favorite pre-spring meals. They feature lighter ingredients but are still hearty enough to help us ride out the last days of winter (and any surprise temperature changes that may come our way).

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole (pictured above)

Give your classic winter casserole an upgrade with cauliflower. Take out the starchy potatoes and sub in a super veggie that is just as comforting (with cheesy and bacon, of course).

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SPINACH_CHICKEN_SALAD_016.tif

Photo by: Ryan Dausch

Ryan Dausch

A salad can be filling and refreshing — especially when it’s bursting with the delicious flavors of chicken breast, fresh spinach, red grapes, roasted pepitas and bacon. Yum!

Asparagus and Bread Soup with Pancetta prepared by Geoffrey Zakarian, as seen on the Food Network's The Kitchen, Season 2.

Photo by: Emile Wamsteker ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Emile Wamsteker, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Asparagus is starting to pop up in the supermarket again and what better way to enjoy it than in a creamy soup flavored with sautéed onions, shallots and spinach? For the perfect finish, top it with crispy pancetta and fresh herbs.

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PASTA_PURPLE_PRIMAVERA_8462.tif

Photo by: David Malosh

David Malosh

Lighten up pasta by incorporating early spring vegetables like radishes and radicchio. You’ll have a garden full of colors and flavors in one bowl!

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Photo by: Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz

Bring the fiesta any night of the week with these pan-seared chicken tacos. Loaded with fresh, crunchy veggies they’re the perfect dinner for the change of season.

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PORTUGUESE_FISH_STEW_12.tif

Photo by: Antonis Achilleos

Antonis Achilleos

Still feeling stew? Try this lightened-up version which features fish and green bell pepper. Serve with toasted bread for that classic, comfort food feeling.

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