8 Naturally Green Recipes for Saint Patrick’s Day

Naturally Green Recipes

March 17 is a special day for me, not because I’m Irish, but because my father’s name is Patrick (Bonne fête Papa !), and because both my nephew and my fabulous intern were born on March 17, though not the same year, obv. (Joyeux anniversaire Paul ! Happy birthday Anne!)

On top of that, I’ve always been drawn to Irish culture. I spent a wonderful few weeks vacationing in Ireland when I was a child, then on a foreign exchange program in Cork as a teenager, and visiting Ballymaloe House is an actual item on my life list.

I love the idea of celebrating the Irish spirit by sharing green foods on Saint Paddy’s big day, but when you start to look for recipes online, the amount of food coloring involved soon makes you feel queasy.

So I thought I’d share a few ideas for naturally green recipes that you can make today — they’re all quick and easy — if you’d like to join in the fun, but still eat the kind of fresh and healthful foods you prefer to gravitate toward.

Will you be celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day today?

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“Everything” Sweet Potato Flatbreads

"Everything" Sweet Potato Flatbreads

In honor of International Sweet Potato Week (yes, it’s a thing!), let me share my life-altering recipe for sweet potato flatbreads, seasoned with an “everything” spice mix.

This is originally inspired by a reader named Jo, who commented on my 40 Ways to Cook Sweet Potatoes post, saying that she made such flatbreads and sold them from her market stand along with other breads. Such a simple, brilliant idea stuck in my head, and I vowed to try it soon.

Making grain-free sweet potato flatbreads

Jo generously explained that she makes her sweet potato flatbreads with a 1:1 mix of puréed sweet potatoes and all-purpose flour, but for both color and flavor, I decided to lean more heavily on the sweet potato and used a 2:1 ratio instead.

I also chose to make my sweet potato flatbreads with cassava flour (farine de manioc in French), which I’ve been experimenting with lately. Cassava is the tuberous root from which tapioca starch is extracted, and it is ground into a grain-free (by definition), gluten-free, paleo-friendly* flour that is quite extraordinary: it is a much better binder than other gluten-free flours, and it yields beautifully pliable flatbreads or tortillas.

Want to see just how pliable?

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Roasted Onion Quiche with Sesame

Roasted Onion and Sesame Quiche

Do you ever found yourself with a surfeit of onions? I’ve developed this delicious roasted onion quiche as a coping mechanism for just this situation.

Every Monday I get a basket of vegetables and herbs from a producer who actually delivers them to my doorstep — an incredible luxury. I’ve been using his services for seven years, and in a way he’s become a little bit of a family member.

He sometimes comes by super early, so he’s seen us in our pyjamas, he’s seen us open the door completely frazzled and sleep-deprived after the first baby, and infinitely more zen after the second. We joke around, we discuss the effect of the weather on crops and what computer he should get, and then he goes on his merry way to deliver his goods to his other (mostly chef) clients.

The contents of the basket varies widely from one tip of the year to the other, from the mind-blowing tomatoes he unloads on our doorstep all through summer, to the procession of root vegetables that grace the fall and winter months.

But one thing that’s a constant is the supply of onions and shallots, of which he includes a goodly amount every week. Now, I love onions, but prepping them is my least favorite kitchen task. And although I firmly believe, being French and all, that virtually every dish benefits from an onion base, when I’m pressed for time it’s the first thing I drop.

In comes the roasted onion quiche!

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Jean-François Piège’s Childhood Cake

Jean-François Piège's Childhood Cake

Jean-François Piège is a renowned French chef who’s become a household name in France from being on the jury of the French edition of the Top Chef television show.

I don’t watch much television, and zero reality television, but I’ve long admired Piège and the stellar career he’s built in the gastronomic arena, working under the likes of Christian Constant and Alain Ducasse, earning Michelin stars at the Plaza Athénée and the Crillon, helping to relaunch the Thoumieux brand with a brasserie, a hotel, and a pâtisserie, and venturing out on his own in recent years to open Clover and Le Grand Restaurant, which has two Michelin stars.

He’s definitely an awe-inspiring chef, but I also like to imagine his days as a boy near Valence, and the childhood cake little Jean-François liked to eat then. I happen to have the recipe, you see, because I clipped it from the French ELLE magazine years ago, and have been baking it on a regular basis ever since.

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Best of February

Rooftop view near Bastille

Rooftop view near Bastille

I’ve always liked this odd concept of leap years, and Februaries with twenty-nine days always feel quite special. In addition to its extra length, this February is also the month that I celebrated my second son Mika’s first birthday (yogurt cake all around!), boarded the Facebook Live train with enthusiasm (check out my previous sessions and hit “live subscribe” to be notified of future ones), and got to be featured by Michael Harlan Turkell on his Heritage Radio Network show The Food Seenlisten to us chat about my latest cooking adventures in Paris.

Good Eats (and Drinks) This Month

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