Though we’ve had many—and persistent—reminders of winter, spring is here. No other activity welcomes the season quite like tucking seeds into soil in hope that they will soon sprout shoots of green. Kachina Southwestern Grill is doing just that with a moon planting party (Native American tradition indicates that April’s full spring planting moon is the optimal time for planting). Tonight, from 4–6 p.m., kids are invited to plant some seeds, take them home, and watch them grow. For the adults, the band Chicha will play on Kachina’s patio and a specialty spring cocktail—made with Hendrick’s gin, Domaine du Canton, fresh lime, and a ginger-cucumber purée—will be available through the next moon cycle (month). In addition, executive chef Jeff Bolton has created a limited-time menu highlighting nutritious seeds. Diners can expect to find pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and the trendy chia seeds (pictured) on their plates. The menu is available through Sunday.

Chia seeds have become a staple in the diet of many health-conscious eaters for their wealth of fiber and energy-boosting properties. The small seeds expand to about twice their size when submerged in liquid, forming a gel-like texture. Fans add them to yogurt, baked goods, and even drink them in agua frescas or kombucha. Bolton’s menu touts the seeds’ nutritional benefits as well as their heritage as a staple in the American diet, “Seeds were a core part of the Native American diet because they are a nutritional powerhouse. They’re loaded with dietary fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants,” he says.

Want an easy way to incorporate chia seeds into your diet? Below, Bolton shares his recipe for chia seed vinaigrette, which will be featured on Kachina’s spring seed menu.

Step One:

  1. 1/8 cup chia seeds
  2. 1/8 cup water

Mix the chia seeds and water together and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour for the seeds to re-hydrate.

Step Two:

  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 cups blended oil (1/2 cup canola oil, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup re-hydrated chia seeds, from step one above
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Mix together the oil and vinegar. Add all the seasonings and spices. Fold in the chia seeds. The dressing will last for three days in the refrigerator.

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—Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock