Utica Greens

Utica Greens | ourfourforks.com

When people think of Central New York, they rarely think of specialty food. Unless you live there, you probably wouldn’t know that Syracuse has some of the best barbecue in the northeast, apple fritters are worth attending those god-awful apple festivals for and that Utica Greens even exist.

 

Josh is from Westmoreland (a Utica suburb), which is where I was introduced to Utica Greens. We ordered them one day – along with wings of course- from Knuckleheads, one of the only restaurants in Westmo. I was immediately obsessed: garlicky spicy sautéed greens mixed with breadcrumbs, cheese and prosciutto. I wasn’t, however, obsessed with how I felt after cleaned out the styrofoam takeout container almost by myself. Of course, I set out to create a healthy version of Utica Greens.

 

This is our second month of our “Take Two” series, in which we create two versions of one recipe: one vegan, one not (be sure to check out our first installment, Moroccan Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie). Here, both recipes for Utica Greens are gluten-free and healthier than the Knuckleheads version. One contains bacon and parmesan (remember to buy from quality sources!), while the other uses shiitake “bacon” and almond-nutritional-yeast parmesan “cheese.” No wonky, soy ingredients here; just real food substitutes.

 

Utica Greens | ourfourforks.com

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Lamb Meatballs with Tahini Sauce, Fajita Style

Lamb Meatball Fajitas with Tahini Sauce | ourfourforks.comOttolenghi (like the Rose Bakery) is one of those restaurants I was obsessed with before even going to London. My sisters and I gave each other copies of the cookbooks Jerusalem, Ottolenghi and Plenty for multiple holidays and birthdays and I’m pretty sure we’ve covered most recipes between the four of us.

 

Although Yotam Ottolenghi is most famous for his vegetarian food – which is actually good because he’s not scared of fat, carbs or spices – I love his meat recipes too. Full of Middle Eastern spices, these gluten-free lamb meatballs have great flavor which, together with the peppers, onions and tahini sauce, form a different type of fajita. Inspired to use ground lamb by my meat CSA, these little meatballs are great both on and off the tortilla.

 

Lamb Meatball Fajitas with Tahini Sauce | ourfourforks.com

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