Good Food, Good Food
Amanda Frederickson makes healthy food delicious
Amanda Frederickson did not grow up in a cooking household. “I grew up in the 90s in Florida, and there wasn’t a breadth of selection in the 90s like there is now,” she said. “My dad did grilling—steak and zucchini—but I didn’t have an avocado until I went to college. It wasn't an inspirational diet.”
When she moved to San Francisco in her mid-20s, everything changed. “I was always attracted to food, but that’s when I started to cook a lot,” she said. “The farmers markets were always filled with things I'd never seen before—it made me uncover a love of food.” And that love took her all the way to culinary school.
Amanda was eight and a half months pregnant, freelancing, and recipe developing in 2018 when her husband got a new job in Nashville. The move brought her and her husband closer to their families, but further from the eating habits she’d developed in California. “I wanted a healthy, quick meal, and I couldn't find it,” she said. “I was waiting for bigger brands to come in—I was waiting for someone else to do it—and when I'd been here a year, I realized it might not be happening.”
So, she took matters into her own hands, opening her restaurant Radish Kitchen in 2020. “I didn’t have a background in restaurants—I cooked in a restaurant after cooking school, but I didn’t have Front of House experience,” she said. “I had some friends in fast-casual help guide me through it.”
The menu features eight staple salads that can also be turned into bowls or wraps. Flavors range from a classic Chicken Caesar to the Rad Thai—a salad featuring grilled steak, napa cabbage, almonds, mint, mango, and a jalapeño-ginger dressing. There was a line on day one, and it hasn’t slowed down. “People told me not to do it in Nashville, that people here wanted fried chicken and burgers and pizza,” she said. “I realize we can all appreciate that, but there’s room for people to eat healthy. And healthy depends on the person who’s describing it—we have steak and we have totally vegan options. People get to eat healthy on their own terms.”
In the future, she hopes to expand. “I would love to grow Radish—there’s so many other places in the Southeast that deserve options for healthy food,” she said. But until then, you can try one of Amanda’s delicious recipes at home.
Tropical Salmon Rice Bowl with Crispy Plantains, Mango, and a Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette
For the Rice
1 cup long grain white rice, such as jasmine or basmati
1 – 15 oz. can full fat coconut milk
For the Dressing
⅓ cup lime juice
½ jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
1 shallot, diced
2 tsp. honey
½ cup olive oil
1 cup fresh cilantro
For the Salmon Bowl
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ cup plus 2 tbs. olive oil, divided
4 – 6 oz. filets of salmon
2 large plantain, cut in ½-inch slices
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup fresh or frozen mango (if frozen, defrost and strain first)
2 Tbs. chopped green onions
Cilantro for garnish
Preheat an oven to 425 F.
In a medium pot, combine the rice, coconut milk, and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook rice for another 10 to 12 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Keep the lid on but remove from heat and set aside.
In a blender, combine the lime juice, jalapeño, shallot, honey, olive oil, cilantro, and large pinch of salt. Blend on high until mixture is emulsified, and then set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, cumin, and salt.
Place the salmon filets on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, then sprinkle with spice mixture. Roast the salmon for 8 to 10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through and when the tip of a paring knife is inserted with resistance.
While the salmon is cooking, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the plantains and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside on a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
Assemble the dish by dividing the coconut rice among 4 bowls. Top with 1 filet of salmon followed by ¼ of the plantains, ¼ cup of the mango, and 1 tablespoon green onions. Repeat with remaining ingredients in remaining 3 bowls.
Before serving, drizzle with vinaigrette and garnish with cilantro.
Makes 4 servings.