Spring is almost here, and there’s no better time to spruce up your eating habits. But don’t give up on flavor and hearty meals; just substitute fresh veggies for meat once or twice a week, and your body will thank you.

Let the seasons be your personal shopping guide. Use produce that is at its peak of freshness. However, if you just have to have those peaches or berries before they’re ready, frozen is a good alternative.

Planting your own garden is one great way to easily incorporate veggies into your diet. Instead of going to the store, just step outside and pick what you need.

If you’re concerned about salt intake or are trying to cut back, fresh herbs and even a splash or two of vinegar can add and balance flavors without adding extra sodium.

Asparagus, Pea and Lemon Risotto

3 ½ c. vegetable broth
4  tsp. olive oil, divided in half
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
1 c. chopped asparagus
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½ c. fresh or thawed frozen peas
1 c. Arborio rice
½ c. dry white wine
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
½ c. finely shredded Parmesan cheese
In a saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Reduce heat and keep warm. In a large pan with low sides, heat two teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add vegetables and sauté until onion is translucent. Remove vegetables from pan. Return pan to medium heat. Add remaining olive oil, and add rice. Cook rice, stirring constantly, for about five minutes or until rice has turned slightly golden. Add wine and cook until liquid evaporates, about a minute or so. Add broth half a cup at a time and stir often until almost all broth is absorbed. When risotto is al dente, add reserved vegetables and Parmesan. Stir gently until combined and heated through. Makes 4 servings.

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