three seasonal recipes to make this spring

Courtney Takabayashi
March 05, 2024

Spring is here, which means an abundance of seasonal produce! Since eating seasonally and locally is good for you and the environment, we have a few easy and delicious recipes that incorporate spring vegetables and fruits. 

This creamy, tangy salad is the perfect starter or side dish. It was inspired by a popular appetizer from a long-closed, but beloved Hawaii restaurant


  • 1 10-oz bag frozen sweet peas, defrosted
  • ½ cup snow peas, peeled and chopped
  • 1 8-oz can sliced water chestnuts
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, add peas, snow peas, water chestnuts, bacon, mayonnaise, and sour cream, and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving. 

If you need a quick meal, try this spring vegetable gnocchi. It’s loaded with fresh veggies and you can customize the recipe with your family favorites. We used ready-made potato gnocchi to save time, but feel free to use cauliflower or sweet potato gnocchi or even make your own. 


  • 1 16-oz. package gnocchi
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 10-oz bag frozen sweet peas, defrosted
  • ½  cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup heavy cream 
  • Salt and pepper


Cook gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and shallots. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until shallots are soft. Add asparagus and cook 8-10 minutes until asparagus is fork tender. Stir in the peas and cooked gnocchi, cook for another 2-3 minutes until peas are heated through. 

Remove from heat and sprinkle in parmesan cheese and heavy cream. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Non-bakers like me enjoy making icebox cakes because there’s no baking involved. Instead of using an oven, you refrigerate layers of whipped cream and cookies for several hours until it sets. And voilà, you have a delicious dessert! 

This strawberry icebox cheesecake, which only has five ingredients, is refreshing and easy to make. Make it for potlucks or to enjoy at home. 


  • 16 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1 14.4-oz. box graham crackers
  • 1 lb. strawberries, sliced

Beat heavy cream in large bowl by hand or use an electric mixer. When the mixture starts to thicken, gradually pour in sweetened condensed milk. After condensed milk is incorporated, mix in cream cheese one cube at a time. Mix until thick and fluffy.

Line bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish with a single layer of graham crackers. Pour 1½ cups of cheesecake mixture, spreading evenly. Repeat layers until all cheesecake mixture is used. Top with strawberries and cover with plastic wrap. 

Chill in the refrigerator for 2  hours or until the graham crackers have softened (you can poke the cake with a fork to check). Enjoy! 

If you made all three, enjoy your appetizer, entrée, and dessert! 

Hungry for more?
Check out more spring-inspired recipes in the spring 2024 issue of Island Scene magazine or try one of these quick and easy meal ideas.

brown rice jook
Whether you call it jook, congee, or that stuff mom makes when you’re sick, rice porridge is comforting and delicious. While usually made with turkey bones and white rice, we used a rotisserie chicken carcass and brown rice for a healthier version. Now you can make it whenever you pick up a rotisserie chicken from the market.

Easy to make and delicious, pinakbet is a popular Filipino dish. Make a big pot of this comfort food and enjoy it for days to come. 

pinwheel sandwiches
You may have seen these delightful spirals in the prepared food section of a grocery store or at potlucks. However, these pinwheel sandwiches are so easy to make and customizable that you’ll want to make them on a regular basis.

poke nachos
Love poke? Love nachos? If you answered “yes” and “of course,” then this is the perfect dish for you. 

slow cooker chili
This simple slow cooker chili is a popular weeknight dinner and can also feed a crowd! Customize it by adding some jalapeño, cilantro, or cheese.

tofu poke
This is a great alternative to poke made with fish. The key is to buy fried tofu, which can be found at local grocery stores.

vinha d’alhos
Vinha d’alhos (pronounced VEEN-a doshe) is a traditional Portuguese dish. It’s also a local favorite served during the holidays in many Portuguese households throughout Hawaii.

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