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Blood Orange, Celery and Bulgur Salad

As spring finally begins to show herself in Chicago, I’m eagerly readying to the fact that tiny green leaves and vegetables will beckon me back to the kitchen. Because if January was a long, cold and dreary month, February and March were even more of challenge. The ground was frozen solid, not a fresh thing had grown in months, our winter farm share ended, and I was personally challenged with a low-iodine diet that made eating feel more like torture than pleasure. Now that’s over, and I’m glad April is here.

Days 3 and 4: A Food Lover’s New Year’s Plan

A disaster-free couple of days for the “foodie cleanse” features a hearty couscous dish, quinoa for breakfast and a flavorful beet soup.

A Food Lover’s New Year’s Plan

With a resolution to return to whole fruits, vegetables and grains in the new year, here’s a week’s worth of meals to get 2011 off to a good start.

Lemony Lentils and Roasted Beets

This dish puts the humble beet on center stage. With lots of fresh parsley, mint and lemon zest, it makes for a great lunch, side salad, or dish to share.

Sausage and Fig Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

Fresh figs are one of nature’s perfect foods. Combining them with grilled sausages and onions and a tangy pomegranate-cumin dressing makes this salad an easy fall dinner.

Black-Eyed-Pea Salad

I made this Southern-inspired salad when I didn’t want to spend all night in the kitchen. It is perfect for a summer lunch or light supper served over sliced tomatoes.