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Grace Dickinson

Spinach and Komatsuna with Shiitakes and Almonds over Rice

Spinach and Mustard Greens with Shiitakes and Almonds over Rice

I recently teamed up with my friend Nicole over at Vestige Home to create this fresh and easy spring meal. Nicole makes gorgeous hand-carved wooden creations, like that walnut bowl pictured above.

Photographing food is always ten times easier when you have beautiful dish-ware to work with!

Spinach and Mustard Greens with Shiitakes and Almonds over Rice

Inspired by a CSA bounty, we settled on a greens and shiitake saute over this brown rice mix that Nicole picked up from a local New Jersey farm. I had nooo idea that rice could be cultivated on the east coast, let alone right next door to me in New Jersey. Apparently the farm, Bloom Moon Acres, uses a dry farming technique, allowing them to produce rice on a local scale.

Spinach and Mustard Greens with Shiitakes and Almonds over Rice

The rice was quite tasty and the perfect nutty and chewy compliment to the tender spinach and mustard that came to top it. I’d recommend using a black rice or a black and brown rice mix yourself if making this recipe.

Spinach and Mustard Greens with Shiitakes and Almonds over Rice

Both Nicole and I were quite pleased with how quickly and easily this recipe came together. After cooking the rice, you can just about?pull this all together in 10 minutes or so.

That’s one of the perks to working with spinach, which cooks up fast in comparison to other greens, as does the komatsuna.

Spinach and Mustard Greens with Shiitakes and Almonds over Rice

What is komatsuna? Komatsuna is a Japanese mustard green with a flavor profile that lays in between spinach and mustard. It’s definitely a bit milder than regular mustard greens.

Most Asian markets should carry it, as will Whole Foods. However, if you can’t find it, you could swap it for mustard greens, but definitely seek out a baby variety so that you don’t end up with something too bitter for the delicate flavors of this dish.

Spinach and Mustard Greens with Shiitakes and Almonds over Rice

We chose toasted almonds to top complete the meal, adding a crunch and a subtle nuttiness that wouldn’t overpower the rest of the dish.

To toast, simply heat a skillet over medium-high heat and then add the almonds. Stirring regularly, cook for 5 minutes or so, until the almonds begin to brown. At this point, you’ll want to remove them from the pan so that they don’t continue to cook and end up burning.

Spinach and Mustard Greens with Shiitakes and Almonds over Rice

A squeeze of lemon finishes everything off, drawing out the brightness of all of the ingredients.

Serve among two to three people for a light lunch or share among many (six) as a side. Nicole has some nice serving dishes that can help you with this step…!

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Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies (GF)

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies
Fun fact: Amaranth was banished after the Spanish conquest of the Americas. The Spanish forbid its cultivation in hopes of helping to eliminate the Aztec tradition of human sacrifice. (Amaranth was often made into a ceremonial mixture that would be eaten at such occasions.)

It fell out of use for hundreds of years, and only now in recent times is amaranth getting any attention from westerners. Even today, its appreciation from home cooks seems to be small.

Yet, it’s doubtful this natural superfood staple of the Mayans and Aztecs will hang under the radar for long.

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies

Like quinoa, amaranth is a complete protein, packing in nearly 10 grams of the muscle-building nutrient per cup (30% more than rice) along with a notable amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Meanwhile, in contrast to quinoa, since this gluten-free grain hasn’t yet fully been rediscovered, you can still score a bulk bin bag of the nutty seed at a price that won’t set you back.

Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies

After a recent trip to Mexico, where I found amaranth showing up both on menus in the form of breakfast porridge and as a nutty topping to various salads, I began to start experimenting with it myself in my own kitchen.

I love it as an alternative to oatmeal, cooked up with almond milk and raisins, and swirled with cinnamon, maple syrup and nuts. Just recently, I discovered it in its flour form.

After receiving a bag of amaranth flour from Bob’s Red Mill, I got to work — and to daydreaming — in thinking up ways to use it. With Easter approaching, I settled on doing some sort of baked treat, which led me in creating this recipe.

Inspired by spring, these Amaranth Flour Carrot Cake Cookies are spice-forward and a perfect pairing to a tall glass of almond milk. I recommend serving them with a smear of almond butter on the side, too, or even peanut butter if you have either on hand. For an extra special treat, sandwich a scoop of coconut ice cream between two cookies.

Did I mention they’re vegan and gluten-free, too? And not all that unhealthy, too…

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Sauteed Radishes and Scallions with Quinoa

Sauteed Radishes and Scallions with Quinoa

I’ll admit, radishes weren’t ever really on my radar until the past year or so.

It was within recent months that two things changed: 1) The discovery of watermelon radishes (so pretty!); and 2) Sauteed radishes (so yummy!).

Sauteed Radishes and Scallions with Quinoa

I’ve always thought radishes were beautiful, but rarely would I go out of my way to pick them up for slicing on salads and such. That is, until, as mentioned before, I came to learn about the radish in its cooked form.

Sauteed Radishes and Scallions with Quinoa

A little saute takes the humble radish to the next level.

Throw those pink beauties in the pan with a spoonful of butter or quality olive oil, add a pinch of salt, and suddenly sliced radishes become addicting. You taste test one with your wooden spoon, and it doesn’t take more than 30 seconds until you’re reaching for another.

Game-changer, I’m telling you.

Radish Still Life

In light of spring, I’ve created a light and bright recipe inspired by radishes and scallions, two of the first veggies to pop up for the season in the garden.

Sauteed together, the ingredients create a delicate balance of flavor that works so beautifully together.

A nuttiness from both the quinoa and crunchy toasted walnuts completes the dish, as does a hint of lemon.

Sauteed Radishes and Scallions with Quinoa

I invite you to tryout sauteed radishes in other forms, too. I love them scattered across a nice, crusty bread. Bonus points if that bread is made into avocado toast. They also work well on top of salads and many forms of grain bowls.

If you decide to give them a shot outside of this recipe, I’d love to hear what you come up with!

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Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I like muffins to be rather distinctive from cupcakes.

Not too sweet. Heartier than a light and fluffy cake. And filling enough to leave me satisfied after just one.

Although, hints of decadence (like chocolate chips) are a must, so that the yearning for an icing topped cupcake doesn’t follow.

Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
These Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins fit the bill perfectly for that description, packed with wholesome ingredients like oats, whole grain flour and bananas, while being balanced with a touch of sweetness lent by brown sugar, cinnamon and a dose of dark chocolate.

Eat them for breakfast, eat them at snack-time, eat them for dessert, eat them whenever — guilt-free.

Feel free to play around with this recipe, too, by adding nuts or raisins or even other spices. There’s no better time to play around in the kitchen than when it’s cold outside, and as I agonize over the blanketing of snow outside my window, I hope these will give you a little comfort like they’ve given me!

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Holiday Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

I’m bringing you one of my favorite holiday recipes today, and also one of my most beloved brussels sprouts recipes as a whole.

The colors, textures and earthy-meets-sweet flavor balance going on here has made this dish now an annual tradition in my household each season.

I mean…just look how pretty and festive it is all thanks to its entirely natural and nourishing ingredients. Win.

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

I like to shred brussels sprouts because it gives them an almost buttery-like feel upon sauteing. It also turns them into a conversation piece, perhaps even making them a novelty on the holiday table.

Paired with a crunch from the pomegranate seeds bursting with complimentary color and from the apples, you get a satisfying bite here with each forkful of sprouts.

The pecans add another layer of crunch, and butteriness, too, rounding out this healthful side with just a splash of richness.

Holiday Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Pecans

Whether it’s for a holiday feast or even just a post-feasting-week meal, it’s always good to have something green on the table this time of year. And also a veggie dish that won’t get outshined by all of the other good treats that surround it.

Always receiving rave reviews from my various family members, I can assure you this fulfills that promise.

Happy holidays, from my kitchen to yours!

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