The Seasoned Franciscan - Cooking Joyfully

Spring Greens Salad from American Farmland Trust

By Stephanie Castle of American Farmland Trust on Monday, May 27th 2024

2 C uncooked quinoa
3 C green beans
2 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1 green apple, sliced thinly
½ currants, raisins or dried cranberries

Candied Cashews:  
1 C raw cashews  
¼ C natural maple syrup
1/8 tsp cinnamon
4 dashes nutmeg
1 dashes cayenne
Pinch of salt

1 C raw cashews
½ C tahini paste
2 T honey
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 shallots (1-2 T), finely diced 
4 dashes cayenne
½ - ¼ C water

Place 4 C water and 2 C quinoa in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and then simmer until quinoa is cooked and water is absorbed (12-15 minutes).
Wash and trim green beans.  Microwave for 2 minutes on high to soften. Or blanch the green beans for 3 minutes
Combine all ingredients for the candied nuts in an oven-sage glass dish and bake at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, stirring half way through.  Remove from oven and let cool.  After a few minutes, stir the nuts to prevent sticking.
Place all ingredients except water in a food processor or blender and blend.  Add water gradually until the texture is smooth and creamy.  This can also be done by hand with a whisk or in a large jar.  Pour all or part of the dressing over the quinoa and combine.  Add other salad ingredients, top with candied nuts.  Serve over a bed of lettuce or baby spring or fall spinach pictured in above photo from Bonnie Plants who provide seeds, plants and lots of garden guidance!

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A family recipe for her Mom’s Spinach Salad in the spring American Farmland Trust newsletter features spring greens we'll see soon in gardens and Farmer's Markets.   It was contributed by Stephanie Castle who manages the New York Women for the land program for American Farmland Trust.   AFT is one of the first U.S. organizations to collaborate with experts in many "fields" to address both the needs of farmers and the environment.  

Learn more about American Farmland Trust, one of the first organizations to combine the needs of farmers with the needs of the environment.  AFT is a leader in sustainable farm policy, research and consideration for the environment.  Their most memorable slogan “No Farms, no Food” has added “no Future”.  In the late 1970’s AFT began it work with the problem of urban development and dwindling farmland.  They began to apply conservation tools to retain farmland and support farmers.  Early members were talented leaders in farming, agriculture and policy.  One was Father A.J. McKnight, a civil rights leader who saw the connection between farms, food, and social justice.  AFT has worked with farmers, legislators, the USDA and scientists on practices that build soil health, reduce erosion, improve water quality, reduce need for fertilizers and atmospheric carbon.  Their work and that of the many organizations who followed them continues to help the environment and help farmers succeed, increase productivity, income and care for their mental health.

Besides putting farmland in legal trusts for future generations, American Farmland Trust has become one of our most trusted advocates for farms, food and the future of Mother earth and her human and more than human inhabitants.


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