Lisa Erickson mug

I have been scouring my yard for weeds this spring and I’ve been eating some of them, which is why I don’t use synthetic fertilizers or weed killer.

I’m trying to be more health conscious, environmentally aware, live off the land more, and in a round-about way, support the local economy. I’m trying to eat seasonally. There are many reasons to eat seasonally, that is, eat what’s available, but my favorite is because it makes my life simpler. How easy is it to go out into your backyard and pick some weeds?

Eating healthy has been easier since I changed my mindset and my pantry. 

I have been slowly replacing packaged pantry items with fresh veggies and fruits. 

Spring veggies have arrived at local markets and stores. Radishes, pea greens or tendrils, rhubarb, asparagus, spinach and baby kale are just a few foods I’ve been eating for a couple weeks. According to experts eating wild greens are the best for us!

Dandelion, lamb’s quarters, purslane, nettles, and plantain—all weeds--have been in my salads and green smoothies for the last week. 

Eat only what you know is edible. For more information on finding out what healthy wild foods are edible, go to and 

Dandelion Salad

Adapted from Martha Stewart

1/2  tsp finely chopped or minced garlic 

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp coarse salt

1  Tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups (4 ounces) young dandelion greens* leaves torn in half

4 cups baby kale or spinach

Combine garlic, lemon juice, salt, and syrup in a bowl. Whisk until well combined. Drizzle in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Place washed dandelion greens and kale in a salad bowl. Drizzle dressing over greens and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

*Dandelion leaves are tastier when they are young. Pick greens that have not flowered. 

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes at or email her at

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