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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.

Squash and Apple Coconut Curry

A warming and hearty squash curry gets hints of sweetness from apple and coconut milk. Perfect to make on a cold wintery day and ready in about 30 minutes.

Days 5, 6 and 7: A Food Lover’s New Year’s Plan

A vegan stuffed sweet potato takes center stage with pan-roasted endive, apples and grapes as the week-long “foodie cleanse” wraps up.

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.

Days 1 and 2: A Food Lover’s New Year’s Plan

The “foodie cleanse” is off to the races, with a vanilla date smoothie, avocado and veggie platter, black-eyed pea curry, quinoa pasta and a tasty roasted pear dessert.

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.