Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Category Archives: Nuts

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.


Pork Piccata

Ingredients

1/3 cup flour
Salt & pepper
1 lb boneless center-cut loin pork chops, trimmed of all fat (about 3 pork chops-1/2 inch thick)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons capers
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions
Cut each pork chop in half lengthwise to make 6 cutlets. Pound the cutlets thin between plastic wrap.


Place the flour in a shallow dish and add salt and pepper to taste. Dredge pork in the flour. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pork for 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove pork from the pan. Reduce heat to medium.
Add shallots and garlic to the pan; cook 30 seconds. Stir in broth and lemon juice, scraping pan to loosen the browned bits. Stir in parsley, capers, and pepper; simmer 1 minute. Return pork to pan; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve pork in the sauce.

Quinoa Pilaf

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed several times
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden brown, 2 minutes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Directions
Bring quinoa and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover; simmer until quinoa absorbs the liquid, about 15 minutes.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally until the onion begins to brown, about 6 minutes.
When the quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and transfer to a serving bowl. Stir in onion, pine nuts, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tomato Salad With Burrata Cheese

For 2 servings

1 (8 to 10-ounce) ball of fresh burrata cheese
1 large tomato, preferably heirloom
Extra virgin olive oil
3 Fresh oregano stems with leaves removed
Sea salt or fleur de sel

Directions
Thinly slice the tomatoes and cut the cheese into pies. Place the tomatoes on a serving plate and top with the oregano leaves. Distribute the burrata over the tomatoes. Drizzle the tomatoes and burrata generously with olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel.


Italian Bagettes

Ingredients

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the dough in the large bowl of an electric mixer and with the paddle attachment mix until the ingredients come together around the paddle. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes.

Spray a large ziplock plastic bag with olive oil cooking spray. Place the dough in the bag and close the top. Let rest on the counter until doubled in size or you can refrigerate overnight. Remove refrigerated dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before shaping.

Place the dough on a floured board and divide in half. Gently roll one dough half under your cupped fingers to form the classic baguette shape: about 15” long, with tapered ends. Repeat with the second.

Put the baguettes on a parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet or use a greased baguette pan.
Let the baguette(s) rise, covered, for about 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Use a sharp knife to make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf. Hold the knife at a 45° angle, rather than perpendicular. Place the pan in the oven and spray water onto the oven sides and bottom. Close the oven door and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until lightly brown.


Walnut & Dried Cherry Scones

Perfect for breakfast.

Ingredients

1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
11/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup tart dried cherries, cranberries or blueberries
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 egg

Directions

Preheat the oven temperature to 400F.
In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter and use a pastry blender to cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
Stir in walnuts, oats, and cherries.
Lightly beat buttermilk and egg together. Stir into flour mixture just until evenly combined.
Scoop dough in 12 equal portions onto two lightly sprayed or parchment-lined baking sheets. You can also form the dough into a one-inch thick circle on a floured cutting board and cut the dough into 12 triangles. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack. Cool.

100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

This bread is great for making sandwiches and also makes delicious toast.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dough enhancer or 2 tablespoons wheat gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
6 cups whole wheat flour, divided
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast

Directions

Grease two 9×5 bread pans. Set aside.
Put 5 cups of flour and the remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add yeast last.
Mix on low speed until mixed together. Add the remaining flour continue mixing until the dough peels away from sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and mix on low speed for 5 more minutes.
Remove dough from the mixer bowl, divide in half, and shape into two bread loaves. Place one loaf in each prepared pan.
Spray plastic wrap with nonstick baking spray. Cover bread pans with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size. The amount of time will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen. It usually takes around 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake bread for 35-40 minutes.
Remove bread from loaf pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
Slice and store in an airtight container.


All three dishes can be baked in the oven together, staggering the cooking time needed by each dish.

Stuffed Sole Fillets

Stuffing Ingredients
4 large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 scallion, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
½ celery stalk, finely chopped
1 mini bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Salt and pepper
½ oz oyster crackers crushed

Fish
12 oz sole fillets
Lemon juice
Butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a baking dish just large enough to hold the fish with olive oil cooking spray.


Combine the filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Spread the filling evenly over each fillet and add a few drops of lemon juice over the stuffing.

Roll each fillet, jelly-roll fashion, and skewer it with toothpicks and place in the prepared baking dish.

Dot each roll-up with butter and cover the baking pan loosely with foil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when touched with a fork.

Easy Mac & Cheese

No need to make a white sauce to get creamy mac & cheese.

Ingredients

12 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup sour cream
Kosher salt and pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Velveeta cheese cut into small cubes
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

Heat the oven to 400°F. Cook the pasta for half the time recommended on package directions; drain.
In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, sour cream, and 1⁄2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Fold in the onion and the Velveeta.


Add the cooked pasta to the bowl and toss to coat.

Transfer the pasta mixture to a greased 12×8-inch baking dish and bake until beginning to brown, 20 minutes.
Remove the baking dish from the oven and sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake until golden brown, 10 minutes more or until the cheese is melted. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nut-Crusted Zucchini Sticks

Ingredients

1 medium-large zucchini, trimmed and cut into thin wedges
2 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch each of salt and pepper
1/2 cup finely ground nuts (any kind)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray.


Place the zucchini wedges in a ziplock bag with the oil, salt, and pepper. Shake. Add the Italian seasoning and nuts. Shake until well coated. Place the zucchini on the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast the zucchini for 25-30 minutes until crispy and tender.


Cinnamon Cake

This cake can be made with gluten-free and low carb flours.

Makes 12 servings.

Ingredients

Cake Batter
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
1 cup room temperature unsalted butter, divided
1 cup granulated sugar or granulated sugar substitute

Topping
1/2 cup regular oats
1 cup brown sugar or brown sugar substitute
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish and set aside.

For the cake batter:
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large liquid measuring cup whisk eggs, vanilla, and sour cream until well combined.
In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar or sugar substitute until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Alternately add the flour mixture and egg mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.

 

For the topping:
In a processor, pulse oats, brown sugar or brown sugar substitute, pecans, remaining ½ cup butter and cinnamon until small clumps form.

To assemble the cake:
Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle one-third of the topping evenly over the batter.


Spoon the remaining batter over the topping spread it with a spatula to cover the topping.


Sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping. Bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Cool cake in the pan set over a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.



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