Candied Pecan Ingredients
1 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup extra light tasting olive oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
10 ounces fresh baby spinach – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 small red onion sliced
1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 (5 ounce) package blue cheese crumbles Place a silpat mat or a sheet of parchment paper on the counter top to dry the pecans.
In a small skillet over medium heat melt butter. Add pecans, sugar and salt. Stir until pecans are well coated. Stir until the sugar caramelizes, about 3-5 minutes.
Spread onto silpat or parchment paper. Separate pecans. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile: in a pint size mason jar combine dressing ingredients. Seal and shake until well combined. Set aside on the counter.
In a large bowl combine the spinach, onions, strawberries and blueberries. Pour about 1/2 of dressing over salad, and toss. Top with avocado, cheese and candied nuts. Serve remaining dressing on the side.
Refrigerate for 15 minutes before serving (or serve immediately).
Serve with the remaining dressing on the side. Enjoy!
1 small wheel of Brie or Camembert (about 9 ounces)
1/2 cup pecan pieces
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
crackers or sliced baguette, for serving
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cheese on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until softened, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate; cool about 20 minutes.
While cheese cools, place nuts on a clean baking sheet; bake until toasted and fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle nuts over cheese.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar and maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat; simmer until foamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle warm sauce over slightly cooled cheese and nuts; serve with crackers or baguette.
The story of chili always ends with the statement that it’s better the second day. So why don’t we just make it ahead of time and consider that first day as part of the cooking process? I do. My “vegan-ified” version uses pecans, which have a distinct richness and “meaty” mouthfeel, and play very nicely with the brown spices. The dried mushrooms are a nifty addition that I learned from Cook’s Illustrated. Not only do the pulverized mushrooms thicken the chili, they also add that forest-floor bass note that we interpret as “hearty.” I keep some dried mushroom powder in my spice rack at all times—whatever’s cheapest—and you should too. A spoonful will add a layer of complexity to vegan dishes and omnivorous dishes alike.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
16 ounces button mushrooms, stems removed, wiped clean, and quartered
1 yellow onion, diced
1 large green bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, diced
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds and ribs removed, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 cups pecans (about 7 ounces), toasted, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cinnamon stick
Two 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups vegetable stock (or vegetable broth, and cut the salt by half)
One 15-ounce can tomato sauce
One 1-ounce package dried mushrooms (whatever is cheapest), pulverized in a blender
1 tablespoon kosher salt
In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil and add the fresh mushrooms. Cook, stirring only once, until browned, about 6 minutes.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot and stir to incorporate. Simmer until the vegetables and nuts are soft, about 30 minutes. Let cool. Refrigerate overnight.
HOLD IT? Keep the chili in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Reheat the chili in a pot over low heat, stirring often.
PLATE IT! My ideal chili-serving vessel would be the dolsot, which is an individual Korean earthenware bowl that retains tons of heat. You can find them online. Warm them up slowly in the oven, and then ladle in the chili. Or you can scoop the chili into a bowl. Garnish with whatever you like (see below).
BREAK IT: Chili is kind of an open-source recipe. Now that you’ve made it, customize it to your liking. Change the beans, add some greens, or even wrap it in a tortilla and fry it up like the chimichangas.
NOTE I did not use anything raw except pumpkin seeds
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup hulled raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup hulled raw sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips or regular
1 1/4 cup raw pecans, left whole or coarsely chopped (use a variety of nuts)
3/4 cup pure maple syrup (use less)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (use less)
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar(use less)
Add oat bran
Heat oven to 300° F.
Place oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pecans, syrup, olive oil, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, until granola is toasted, about 45 minutes.
Remove granola from oven and season with more salt to taste. Let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Makes about 7 cups
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender (I used my small Twister jar on the Blendtec) combine the oil (the vegetable oil yields a richer and in my opinion better taste, but the olive oil is healthier and still tastes great), apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust — more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Stir in the poppyseeds.
Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarine oranges.
If desired peel the apple (We like to leave on the peel!) and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
If you want to toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry saucepan (don’t add anything) over medium heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are barely fragrant — just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as the nuts are VERY easily scorched/burned.
Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired. Check the link in the last paragraph of the blog text for how to candy pecans.
Top the salad with the pecans and feta cheese.
Enjoy immediately. Serves: 6-8 as a side
This salad (like most) aren’t very great leftover. If you aren’t eating this immediately, keep the ingredients separate from the dressing and only toss with the dressing right before eating. Top with pecans and feta after dressing the salad.
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 cups chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, leaving enough for a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
First make the crust by creaming together the butter and brown 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.
While the crust bakes, prepare the filling by combining the butter, brown sugar, honey and heavy cream in a saucepan and stirring it over medium heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 minute, then stir 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 20 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 and serve.
12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
Combine cranberries, brown sugar, white sugar, water, orange juice, orange zest, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until berries start to pop, about 5 minutes. Press berries against side of pan with wooden spoon and continue to cook until berries have broken down and sauce thickens to a jam-like consistency, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool for 30 minutes. Adjust consistency with water as needed. Serve immediately or place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Can be served cold or reheated.