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Mixed Nuts, Zucchini and Ricotta Pizza

Ingredients

Pistachio Pesto

  • ½ cup pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • Juice and zest of ½ lemon

Pizza

  • 1 ball pizza dough (store bought or homemade—many pizza restaurants will also sell you a ball of pizza dough)
  • 1 zucchini, finely sliced (or finely sliced Brussel Sprout)
  • 3-4 leaves basil, sliced
  • ½ cup fresh ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons roasted pine nuts, diced walnuts and pistachios
  • 1 handful arugula
  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475-500°F.
  2. To make the pesto, place the nuts, parmesan and olive oil in a blender and pulse on and off to a coarse paste.  Add half the lemon juice and zest and pulse for a few seconds. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Stretch the dough to desired size for your pizza pan or stone.  Spread with pistachio pesto and arrange zucchini slices over top.  Bake for 5 minutes or until dough is starting to color. 
  4. Remove from oven. Mix ricotta with remaining lemon zest and spoon small dollops over pizza, top with basil and return to the oven.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until crust is golden (check the bottom).
  5. While still piping hot, scatter with currants, pine nuts, walnuts and a handful of arugula.  Drizzle remaining lemon juice and a little olive oil and fresh pepper on top and/or optional Pizza Sauce Topping.

Optional Pizza Sauce Topping:

  • 1 Thai Chili
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 4 tablespoons honey

Directions: Mix ingredients and heat to just a simmer (do not boil). Drizzle on top of pizza and enjoy.

Flavored Nuts

Description

This is your chance to create your own nut delight, whether sweet, salty, bitter, sour or umami.  These nuts can be used just to nibble on their own, or as added flavor in a dish.  For example, pepper dusted cashews over a salad in place of pepper, honey cinnamon macadamias over cereal rather than sugar, or soy almonds in stir fry. There are many methods for flavoring nuts – here are a few ideas.

Roasted Nuts

There are a few different ways to add seasoning to nuts in the oven:

  1. Toss 1 cup of nuts in a teaspoon of oil, then dust with spices of choice – chili, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, nutmeg, all spice, Chinese 5 Spice, mustard powder or any other powdered herb.  Lay on a lined baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes at 350°F until golden brown.
  2. Place nuts in a casserole dish, drizzle with olive (or preferred nut oil), and scatter fresh sprigs of herbs over top – rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage, bay leaves.  Even a few thin slices of lemon or orange zest work well.  Toss to combine.  Place in 350°F oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking, until nuts are golden brown and aromatic. Cool and place in sealed jars with the seasonings and zest so flavors can develop.

Sauteed Nuts

This method provides more of a rich coating for nuts and is best used straight away or within a week. These are great on cheese platters and in rice, pasta and stir fries.

  1. Melt a mixture of 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan. 
  2. When melted, add a teaspoon of powdered seasoning such as in the roasted nuts, and stir until well blended.
  3. Add a cup of nuts of choice and stir to coat.  Cook over medium low heat, tossing pan constantly, until nuts are golden brown.  Pour into a strainer and allow to cool. 

Caramelized Nuts

Stove Top Version

  1. Place 1 cup of nuts, ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes (seasonings such as cinnamon and nutmeg can be added while stirring).
  2. Pour onto parchment paper and allow to cool, then break apart with hands. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

Oven then Stovetop Version

  1. Toast the nuts in the oven first. Next, make a traditional caramel in a saucepan with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon butter and toss in the nuts when ready.  Try using a bit of Grand Marnier or other liqueur in the caramel and then pour onto parchment paper to cool.

Sweet Dusted Nuts

Whether it’s cocoa, mint powder, cinnamon or vanilla, making sweetened nuts is simple, and a great alternative to chocolate and candy. Sweet dusted nuts are great chopped and sprinkled on oatmeal, yogurt or ice cream.

  1. Toss nuts in whisked egg white, just enough to coat, then add powdered spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice or ginger and a sprinkle of sugar. 
  2. Toss well then transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake on a low heat, 250°F, for 30-40 minutes or until golden and the mixture is caramelized on the nuts.

For cocoa or mint dusted:

  1. Soften ¼ cup honey until runny. Add a few drops of vanilla if desired then add 1 cup roasted nuts and toss to coat well. Strain off excess liquid. 
  2. Place cocoa in bowl, add nuts and toss to coat all nuts. The best way to do this is to lift and shake the bowl. Spread on a lined tray to dry. 
  3. For mint dusted, combine ¼ cup each: powdered sugar and corn starch. Add a few drops of peppermint essence.
  4. Add nuts to coat and proceed as above.

Fruit and Nut Tiramisu

Description

A colorful and tasty twist to an old favorite.

Ingredients

Cream Filling

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Cointreau, to taste, optional

Assembly

  • ½ cup Grand Marnier, Marsala, Sweet wine or Sherry
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1½ packets (10.5 ounces) Savoiardi Ladyfingers
  • 2 cups mixed berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (or seasonal fruit)
  • 1 cup nuts of choice – try a different nut on each layer, such as roast hazelnuts, sliced almonds, chopped macadamias, and pistachios (great on top)

Instructions

  1. Line an 8×8 high-sided dish (or 9-inch rectangle) with parchment paper to make it easier to lift out.
  2. With electric mixer, beat egg yolks with ¼ cup sugar until pale, creamy and doubled in volume.  Remove from bowl and scrape down sides.
  3. Whip ricotta and mascarpone with remaining sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold in the Cointreau and egg mixture and whisk until well combined (don’t overmix or you’ll lose the volume).
  4. Place the juice and Grand Marnier in a shallow dish.  Dip ladyfingers in mixture just enough to moisten (careful not to keep them in too long or they will fall apart).  Lay close together on the bottom of the dish. 
  5. Spoon half the mascarpone mixture over top, followed by a layer of fruit. Scatter half the nuts over top.  Repeat layers, end with a scattering of nuts.
  6. If there is any liquid remaining, drizzle a little over the top. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Mixed Nut & Blueberry Breakfast Bread

Description

What a delicious way to start your morning, with a mix of blueberries and your favorite nuts. 


Ingredients

  • 4 cups self-rising flour (for plain flour, add 2 teaspoons baking powder per cup flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces butter, chilled
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios (or nuts of choice, see footnote)
  • ½ cup blueberries (or seasonal fruit)
  • 1 3/4 cup milk or buttermilk*
  • 2 teaspoon milk, extra

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or brush with melted butter.
  2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in sugar.
  3. Dice butter into small pieces and add to flour. Rub butter lightly with fingertips through the flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. (You can also use a food processor, pulsing until texture is reached).
  4. Add nuts and blueberries and fold through, careful not to break up blueberries.
  5. Make a well in the center and pour in milk. Stir quickly and lightly with a knife until mixture forms a dough, then turn onto a floured board.  Knead gently to a smooth dough.
  6. Press dough out to 1 inch thickness then cut into desired size (triangles, circles) and transfer to prepared trays. Brush with extra milk and transfer to center of oven. 
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Allow to cool slightly on wire racks. 
  8. Serve warm, spread with jam and a spoon of yogurt (or if feeling luxurious, double cream).

*Buttermilk adds an airy lightness and slight tang to the finished bread.

Variations

  • Pumpkin puree with the classic spices added to the milk (use less milk), and pecans is a true American breakfast.
  • Peaches and sliced almonds
  • Add unsweetened cocoa to flour and roast hazelnuts
  • Pears and walnuts
  • Dried currants and cranberries with pistachios
  • Mango and macadamias
  • Go savory with fresh basil and pine nuts

 

Nut Butter

Description

You won’t go back to store bought nut butter after making your own. It’s easy to do, tastes so much fresher, you can use any nut or even a blend, and, most importantly, you know exactly what’s going in it.  All you need is a food processor or high-speed blender. Each nut behaves differently because of texture and oil content, and different processors will take different times, so it’s really a matter of experimentation. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of tree nuts (choose your favorite)

Instructions

  1. Roast 1 cup of nuts (you can use raw nuts, but the flavors and ability to make butter are greatly enhanced after roasting) in a 350°F oven for 8-12 minutes. The denser nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts and macadamias, take a bit longer than walnuts, pecans and pistachios.  Check after 8 minutes – they should be just browning and aromatic.  Allow to cool to room temperature.  Hazelnuts can be bitter if you keep on the skin, so place the nuts in a dish towel and rub off most of the skin before processing.
  2. Processing the nuts – add nuts to food processor and pulse on and off – first to crumbs, then continue to process until a paste starts to form. Scrape down sides, then continue to process until desired consistency–this may take 10-12 minutes, sometimes up to 20 minutes in less powerful processors.  If it’s not looking like a paste is forming, add a few drops of a nut or olive oil to help the process. 
  3. Flavor (or not) – you may just like to eat your nut butter pure and natural, or make your own designer butter adding ingredients such as honey, maple syrup, soy, chili, nutmeg, chocolate (think Nutella), truffle oil, or stir in jam or jelly to make a swirl.

Tips

Storage – It’s best to store the nut butter in a sealed jar in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a month.

Variations

  • Almond butter – Spread on warm bruschetta and top with sautéed mushrooms and sage.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon and pepper – wonderful with chanterelles if they’re in season.
  • Walnut butter – Spread on crackers then top with brie cheese and a fruit paste such as quince or fig.
  • Hazelnut butter – Add to a toasted tomato and cheese sandwich with some fresh basil leaves or arugula, and a drizzle of good olive oil to complete the experience.
  • Pecan butter – Delicious when spread on grain toast with honey and a sliced banana.
  • Pistachio butter – Spread on pizza crust before topping with vegetables or mortadella and mozzarella.
  • Cashew butter – Perfect for Asian inspired dishes, whisk with soy sauce and lime juice and toss though noodles just before serving.
  • Brazil nut butter – Avocado Toast spread with brazil nut butter adds a unique depth, and is especially great with a garnish of cherry tomatoes, mint and ricotta.
  • Macadamia Butter – Just like real butter, this makes the base to a wonderful healthy shortbread. Or, spread on hot scones with jam for a decadent treat.

California Walnut Meatloaf

Description

This vegetarian walnut-based mixture has a classic “meatloaf” flavor. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ketchup, divided
  • 2 cups California Walnuts
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional additions: 2/3 cup each: diced red onion, coarsely shredded zucchini and snipped fresh basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and set aside 1/2 cup ketchup.
  2. Place all remaining ingredients except optional additions in a food processor. Pulse to mix well, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  3. Mix in any desired optional additions.
  4. Shape into 6 round individual meatloaves and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle with reserved ketchup. Bake for 35 minutes until firm.
  5. Recipe tip: Substitute ketchup with a thick sauce and serve over soft polenta for a more Italian flavor.

Pistachio-Crusted Pain Perdu Blackberry Chantilly

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf white bread, unsliced, cut into (6 x) 2-inch x 2-inch x 4-inch “soldiers” or rectangles. (Leave the rectangles uncovered at room temperature for 1-2 hours to dry.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup salted pistachios, finely crushed
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pint blackberries
  • 3⁄4 cup heavy cream

Pistachio Pain Perdu Soak

  • 3⁄4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon store-bought pistachio paste
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

Prep Ahead (The Night Before)

  1. Cut the bread into rectangles and leave them uncovered at room temperature for 1-2 hours or overnight to dry out.
  2. Prepare the soak by combining the vanilla extract, pistachio paste, eggs, sugar and milk in a medium bowl. Using a hand blender, purée until smooth.
  3. Arrange the bread in one layer in a deep flat baking dish. Pour the prepared soak over the bread, turning until it is coated. Cover the pan and refrigerate overnight.

Prep Ahead (1 Hour Before Event)

  1. Pulse the pistachios in a small food processor until they are very fine. Alternatively, you can crush the pistachios finely using a pot. For best results, sift out the larger pieces using a colander or coarse mesh strainer until you are left with mostly dust. Reserve in a small tray.
  2. Combine 1⁄2 cup of blackberries with 1 tablespoon of water and blend in a small food processor or hand blender until it is liquid. Pass the juice through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve. Cut the remaining Blackberries into slices, reserve for garnish.

Instructions

  1. Warm the butter in a large non-stick sauté pan over medium- high heat until the butter is foamy.
  2. Carefully lift each piece of bread out of the soak and gently roll each one into the ground pistachios until all sides are coated.
  3. Transfer the bread into the pan with the foamy butter and cook each side until the pistachios are golden brown, around 6-8 minutes. Transfer the bread to a small baking tray and place in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes, or until the bread soufflés (puffs up) slightly.
  4. Whip the cream using a bowl and a whisk, or an electric mixer, until soft peaks form. Then season with the reserved blackberry juice, sugar and vanilla to taste.

Assembly

  1. Spoon some Chantilly onto the bottom of each plate and top with one piece of French toast.
  2. Garnish with some sliced blackberries and pistachios around.

Baked Potato and Melon Salad with Pistachio Vinaigrette

Description

This is the perfect picnic food, salad can be served warm or room temperature. The mix of the salty potatoes and the sweet melon is just perfect. Tastes amazing with some salty cured meat.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup shelled pistachio
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • 20 small potatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 honeydew melon, in chunks
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoon grated parmesan

Instructions

  1. Start with the vinaigrette. Place the pistachios in a blender and grind fine.
  2. Add herbs, vinegar and oil and blend until smooth. If the vinaigrette is too thick just add a little more oil.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake the potatoes tossed in oil, salt and pepper in the oven at 380F for about 20 minutes or 15 minutes in a air fryer. Let them cool off a little.
  5. In a serving bowl mix potatoes, melon, red onion and the vinaigrette, mix well and serve.

Peach Pecan Crumble Muffins

DESCRIPTION

Blogger Dani Breiner of Dani’s Healthy Eats creates a sensational vegan and gluten-free treat that will excite your summertime taste buds – Peach Pecan Crumble Muffins!

INGREDIENTS

Muffin Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup pecan meal
  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup applesauce, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup fresh peach, diced into cubes
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons water, blended and let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

Crumble Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegan butter or melted coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • White chocolate for drizzling, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a cupcake tin with liners.
  2. Mix all of the wet ingredients together until well combined. Then stir in the dry just until combined, don’t over-mix. Fold in the peaches.
  3. Divide the batter amongst the cupcake tins.
  4. Combine all of the crumble ingredients in a bowl. Divide the crumble amongst the muffins, sprinkling it over the tops, slightly pressing it on to ensure it sticks.
  5. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool. Drizzle with melted white chocolate.
  6. Store in an air right container in the fridge!

Pecan Pie Nut Butter

Description

Blogger Liz Moody shares how delicious, nutritious and easy it is to create your own vegan Pecan Pie Nut Butter. It’s like stepping into a winter-wonderland full of flavor! 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups raw pecan pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Toast the pecans on a parchment-lined pan at 350F until fragrant and golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add to a food processor and process until very smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add in the cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup and process for 30 seconds.
  4. Transfer to a small jar and store in the fridge for up to a month…Enjoy!