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Recipes You'll Go Nuts For

Fri, 02/11/2011 - 14:23
Mixed nuts.

When I make granola I add almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame, and flax, all healthy . . . if a bit fattening. Try different kinds of nuts and see which you like the best. They are often more affordable bought in bulk at health food stores but be sure there is a high turnover, they can get stale quickly. Here are some of my favorite recipes featuring nuts. 

Baby Spinach Salad With Pine Nuts, Oranges, Feta, and Sesame Oil 

This recipe is for a salad I had years ago at the Pier House in Key West. Healthy and light with no dressing needed, all the flavors come together beautifully. Serves one. 

Baby spinach

1 naval orange

1 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese 
1 Tbsp. toasted pine nuts 
Sesame oil 

For each individual salad, assemble a handful of baby spinach leaves on serving plate. Top each salad with one naval orange, cut into sections, crumbled feta cheese, toasted pine nuts, and just a few droplets of sesame oil over all. Voila! 

Spiced Creole Pecans 

This recipe is adapted from Mr. B’s Restaurant in New Orleans. 

Makes one cup. 

1 cup pecan halves

1 Tbsp. melted butter (can substitute olive oil)
1/2 tsp. Creole seasoning 

Preheat oven to 375. On baking sheet, toss pecans with melted butter and Creole seasoning. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until a deep brown and fragrant. Cool and serve. Store in airtight container. 

Lemon Pilaf With Currants and Almonds

This recipe is great with any fish or chicken dish. Serves four to six.

1 onion, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. butter, divided
1 cup long-grain rice

1 1/2 cups chicken stock 
1/4 cup lemon juice 

Zest of one lemon

2 Tbsp. currants

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds 

In two-quart saucepan, sauté onion in one tablespoon butter until translucent. Add rice and stir. Add broth, juice, zest, and currants. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and cover. Cook 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in almonds and remaining tablespoon of butter. 

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