Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Nuts

Great breakfast muffins but if you want to turn them into a dessert, add a cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

2 cups All Purpose Flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup wheat bran
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with liners and set aside.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, bran, and salt in one bowl. In a second bowl whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, and carrots. Stir the flour mixture into the sugar mixture. Add walnuts.

Using a muffin scoop fill the muffin tin cups to the top of the rim of each center of a muffin that comes out of the cup. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then move the muffins to a rack to finish cooling.

Cream Cheese Glaze
4 oz cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup (half a stick) of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk

While the muffins cool, make the glaze. Combine all ingredients in a mixer with a whisk attachment;
whisk until creamy and smooth.
Once the muffins are cool, glaze each muffin with Cream Cheese Glaze.


Fresh Pear Bread Recipe

Ingredients

3 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears (about 4-5 medium)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

Grease and line two loaf pans with parchment paper. Grease the parchment.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Add the chopped pears and fold them in gently.

In a second mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the walnuts.

Stir into the egg mixture just until moistened. (batter will be thick).

Divide the mixture evenly between the loaf pans. I use a scale to make sure they have even amounts.


Bake 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans using the parchment to wire racks. Yield: 2 loaves.


Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup orange marmalade
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
½ cup brown sugar

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425º Fahrenheit. Oil a 6-jumbo muffin pam.
Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Combien the wet ingredients in a large measuring cup including the marmalade. Stir the date and nuts into the flour mixture. Add the wet mixture just until combined.
Spoon the batter evenly into the six cups. Sprinkle with each top with brown sugar.

 

Bake at for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375º Fahrenheit and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 


Cool in the pan for ten minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool.

 


Greek-Style Stuffed Collard Greens

Young collard greens remind me of grape leaves. Serve with grilled lamb chops.

Ingredients

Lemon Yogurt Sauce:
1 cup Greek yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus a sprig for garnish
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil, for drizzling

For the lemon yogurt sauce: Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, dill, coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper to a bowl. Mix together, then drizzle some olive oil on top and garnish with a sprig of dill.

Collards:

12 medium collard leaves (from 1 to 2 bunches), bottom stems removed
1 ½ cup s cooked basmati or long-grain white rice
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
4 tablespoons pine nuts
3 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup chopped fresh dill
⅓ cup finely chopped mint
½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ cup strained freshly squeezed lemon juice
Lemon zest from one lemon

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you carefully stem the collard greens, trying to keep the leaves intact. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the collard leaves, in batches. Blanch for 2 minutes and transfer to the ice water. Drain. Layout the leaves one at a time on a paper towel to blot, and use a sharp knife to cut out the thick center stems, cutting about three-quarters of the way to the top and making sure to leave 2 to 3 inches uncut at the top. Set the trimmed leaves aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the rice and pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until the rice is well coated about 1 minute. Add 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and remove from the heat. Stir in the dill, parsley, mint, and lemon zest.

Layout one collard leaf with the trimmed stem end pointing away. Spoon 2 level tablespoons of the rice filling in the center of the leaf. Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling, then roll the leaf up tightly away from you like a burrito, starting from the bottom and finishing seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining leaves and rice filling.

Add a splash of the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil to a deep, wide skillet. Arrange the collard rolls in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Top with enough water to just cover the rolls, then drizzle in the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice.

Cover the rolls with a luncheon plate. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a low simmer and cook, covered with a lid, for 11/2 to 2 hours. Add more water if the liquid evaporates.

Serve with the lemon yogurt sauce.

 


3-4 servings

Ingredients

1 bunch udon noodles
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs

Marinade
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Stir-fry
1 whole stalk of broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
3 scallions sliced

Directions

Slice the chicken into thin bite-size pieces, no thicker than 1/4”, transfer into a medium-size bowl. Add the marinade ingredients. Stir to mix well. Let sit for 10 minutes while preparing the other ingredients.

Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Stir to mix well.

Bring 1/3 cup of water to a boil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and cover. Steam until the broccoli just turns tender and most of the water evaporates about 40 to 50 seconds. Transfer the broccoli to a plate.

Boil the udon noodles per the manufacturer’s instructions in the same pan. Drain the water. Set aside.

Wipe the pan with a paper towel held in a pair of tongs if there’s any water left.

Add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Spread the chicken in the skillet in a single layer. Allow to cook without touching for 30 seconds, or until the bottom side is browned. Turn the chicken and stir and cook until the surface is lightly charred.

Add the garlic and ginger. Stir a few times to release the flavor.

Stir the sauce again to dissolve the cornstarch completely and pour it into the skillet. Cook and stir until the sauce thicken about 1 minute. Stir in the broccoli, walnuts, and noodles and heat gently. Sprinkle the scallions over the top of the mixture.

Transfer to individual bowls and serve immediately.


For 2 servings-double for 4 servings

Ingredients

2 chicken thighs, skin and fat removed
2 medium baking potatoes, unpeeled and scrubbed
Marinade
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Add the chicken and refrigerate for several hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan with foil and coat with cooking spray.
Drain the chicken and reserve the marinade. Place the chicken at one end of the pan.
Cut the potatoes into wedges. Toss the potato wedges in the reserved marinade, then spread them out in a single layer on the sheet pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are turning golden brown on the edges.
Turn the potatoes over, then bake for another 20 minutes, until golden brown all over.
Season with extra salt if desired. The chicken should register 160 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Divide the chicken and potatoes between two individual plates.

Spinach and Pear Salad

Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2 medium red pears, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 celery stalk, diced
1 (6-8ounce) package pre-washed baby spinach
1/4 of red onion, sliced
Dressing
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Directions

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl; toss to combine.
Combine the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl with a wire whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over salad; toss to coat. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts. Serve immediately.


Make this big batch of Jumbo Apple Muffins if you have a large family or to store in the freezer for a quick breakfast.

Jumbo Apple Muffins With Crumb Topping

Makes 20 Jumbo muffins

Muffin Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 lbs (4 cups ) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granola
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

Mix the diced apples with the lemon juice and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Spray 20 jumbo muffin cups with non-stick spray and line the muffin cups with paper liners. Set aside.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Avoid overmixing. Fold in the apples.

Use a ⅓ cup measure and fill each muffin cup with the apple mixture.

Combine the topping ingredients with your hands to form little clumps in a micing bowl.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the crumb topping on each muffin. Evenly distribute any remaining topping.

Bake at 425F degrees for 5 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375F degrees and continue to bake for 25 minutes until tops are lightly golden and the centers appear set. Allow cooling for 10 minutes in the pan before moving to wire racks to cool.

Combine the glaze ingredients and then drizzle a little over each muffin.

Store muffins at room temperature in an airtight container or freeze well for up to 3 months.

 

 


Roasted Pecan Salmon Fillets

Ingredients

12-14 oz salmon filet
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Dijon coarse mustard
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup finely chopped pecans
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
Wedges of fresh lemon

Directions

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper. Place the fillet skin-side down in a greased baking dish.

Combine the mustard and honey in a small dish and spread on top of the salmon.

Press the nuts on top of the mustard coating and sprinkle with parsley.

Bake at 400°F 15 minutes or until cooked through. Cut the fillet in half and serve with wedges of fresh lemon.

Italian Green Beans and Potatoes

Ingredients

10 oz Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into one-inch lengths
Salt and pepper
½ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes

Directions

Parboil the green beans in boiling salted water until almost tender, 3-4 minutes, Drain.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over low heat. Add the potatoes and garlic and cook covered until tender and the potatoes are turning golden brown around the edges about 5-6 minutes. Add seasonings, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir in drained beans and saute gently for about 5 minutes over low heat. Serve with the salmon.


This easy to make dessert is great to have available for when you are looking for a sweet treat. They keep for a long time in the refrigerator or in the freezer.

Makes 12-16 bars

Crust
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Make the crust by creaming together the butter and sugar until fluffy in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the flour and salt and mix until crumbly.

Press the crust into the foil-lined pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown around the edges.

Prepare the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and heavy cream in a large glass measuring cup and microwaving on high for 1 minute. Stir in pecans.

Or place the ingredients in a saucepan, stir over medium heat for 1 minute, and then add in the chopped pecans.

Remove the crust from the oven and immediately pour the pecan filling over the hot crust spreading it to cover the entire surface.

Return the pan to the oven and bake an additional 30 minutes. Remove the pan and allow the bars to fully cool in the pan.

Use the foil overhang to lift out the bars and transfer them to a cutting board. Peel off the foil, slice into bars for serve. I store the bars in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator because I live in a hot climate.

 

 


Chicken Salad with Fresh Herbs and Pecans

6 servings

Ingredients

For the chicken
1 garlic clove, peeled
3-4 celery tops
Half an onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried Italian seasoning
3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 ½ lb

For the salad
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons chopped mixed fresh herbs (such as parsley and tarragon)
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

Directions

To cook the chicken

Fill a 12-inch covered saute or large saucepan pan 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a simmer.

Add the garlic, celery tops, onion half, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Return the liquid to a simmer.

Add the chicken breasts to the poaching liquid, cover, and simmer until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165 degrees F when tested with an instant-read thermometer, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the chicken breasts to a plate and set aside to cool. Save the broth for soup or gravy.

To make the salad

Combine the diced celery, diced onion, mayonnaise, mustard, and herbs in a large serving bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until the chicken is cool

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into 1/2-inch dice.

Add the chicken and the pecans to the mayonnaise mixture, and mix well. Cover and transfer the salad to the refrigerator to chill until serving time.



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