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Amelia Islander

The Mustard Seed Cafe

Sep 09, 2014 04:29PM
Located at Nassau Health Foods, the Mustard Seed Café is Amelia Island’s only true all-natural and organic food restaurant. And when Chef Ansley Acree came on board a year-and-a-half ago, the Mustard Seed has become an even tastier, alternative eatery. Her approach to the menu is to provide delicious, innovative foods that are wholesome and healthy, appealing to a variety of tastes and dietary needs. I joined my friend, Jane, for lunch at the Mustard Seed, and we were eager to try some of Ansley’s new creations. The café has a comprehensive menu featuring organic produce, organic chicken, free-range turkey, and wild-caught fish, and lots of daily specials.

We began our lunch with Cherry Berry Iced Tea, and I love that the Mustard Seed offers herbal tea varieties because I don’t need that extra caffeine. Jane and I shared a Beet Burger Pita, a pink and pleasing dish made with beets, lentils, and brown rice, served on a soft pita with horseradish sauce, sprouts, and avocado. An Israeli Couscous Salad was served on the side, a richer version of traditional couscous. The Israeli variety is twice as big and is toasted rather than dried, giving it a nutty quality, and the salad was dressed with a vegetarian mayonnaise.

Ansley then brought us a pair of Zucchini Crab Cakes with Remoulade Sauce, served with a mixed greens salad and balsamic dressing. These “crab” cakes are a vegetarian version of the traditional, seasoned with Old Bay. They were crispy on the outside and moist within, and the remoulade sauce was spicy and flavorful. Just like crab cakes, but with a healthy twist! The salad was fresh, and the balsamic dressing homemade and perfect.

Jane and I were looking forward to trying the Mustard Seed’s Lemon Caper Salmon. Wild-caught salmon can be served in so many delicious ways, and this is one of my favorites. The salty, olive-like flavor of capers and the acidic freshness of lemons pairs perfectly with the salmon. The fish was served atop a bed of brown rice noodles and sautéed spinach—a healthy and tasty entrée. Wild caught salmon is so much more flavorful than farm-raised, and better for you.

Is it possible to have a healthy dessert? I think so, and Ansley proved it to us when she brought Jane and I three of her signature goodies to try. The first was a carrot cupcake with butter and cream cheese icing, topped with toasted, chopped pecans. It was moist and sweet, just the way I love carrot cake. The second dessert was a beet cupcake, another surprising treat that was red as red velvet cake, but its color and sweetness came from the natural color and flavor of beets. This, too, was iced with butter and cream cheese frosting, and it was absolutely delicious. Our third treat was a beautiful avocado coconut tart with a pecan coconut brown sugar crust and real whipped cream. You might equate avocado with more savory dishes, but the rich, creaminess of the avocado created a lovely, velvety custard tart.

The Mustard Seed is open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch, and also offers meals-to-go, party platters, and catering for every occasion. For more information, call (904) 277-3158 or visit www.nassauhealthfoods.net.