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It’s Ina First Friday and this week I cooked up some soul satisfying rosemary roasted almonds. This week the blog group’s agreement was to come up with an appetizer or a beverage. Ina Garten really likes her cocktails, but I’m not much into alcohol, so that settled it—an appetizer. When I came across her recipe for thyme roasted Marcona almonds, I thought that sounded very yummy, so to be different, I modified the recipe to use rosemary and California almonds, some with the skin on and some with the skin off. The mixture looks good and it offers variety to the palate.
If you’ve never had Marcona almonds, you must try them. They just taste different from the California almonds, and they are really wonderful. The problem with Marcona almonds is that it is difficult to find them raw. Whenever I have found them, even in Spain, they are already roasted and salted. To me it doesn’t make sense to take a roasted almond and roast it again. After I made the recipe I did find raw Marcona almonds on Amazon, and that might be worth looking into for the future.
Almonds are a power food that are healthy for you, and good to eat at any time. They are a great snack food because they are loaded with protein, vitamin E, manganese, and the skin is full of polynutrients that support your immune system. They are especially good to eat during the holidays when you might be getting more than your fair share of sweets because “eating almonds with high glycemic index food significantly lowers the glycemic index of the meal and lessens the rise in blood sugar after eating” (World’s Healthiest Foods). So maybe, this season when you’re sitting around the table with family and friends, try eating eat some almonds with your fudge.
Soul Satisfying Rosemary Roasted Almonds
- 8 ounces California almonds
- 1-1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon minced Rosemary
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°.
- Put a cup of water in a small pot and bring it to a boil. Add half of the almonds to the pot and turn off the heat. Let them soak for a minute, and then remove a few almonds from the pot at a time. One by one pinch the almonds from the rounded end to squeeze it through the pointed end. Pat them dry once you have removed the skin.
- Line a jelly roll pan with tin tin foil, and drizzle the olive oil over the pan. Add the almonds, the Kosher salt and the minced rosemary. Toss the ingredients together well, and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until they are lightly toasted.
This recipe is copyrighted by MyHealthyEatingHabits.com
Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits Chaya – Bizzy Bakes, Linda – Tumbleweed Contessa, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Rocky Mountain Woman – Rocky Mountain Woman, Veronica – My Catholic Kitchen (Not this week)
This post is also listed at Tuesday Talent Show, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Full Plate Thursday, and The Pin Junkie
Homemade Walnut Butter
It has been clear for some time now that walnuts are great for you. All my favorite doctors (Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Dean Ornish, and Dr. Mehmet Oz) recommend eating them daily because they are a good source of omega 3’s, and they help to lower LDL cholesterol (the bad one) and reduce inflammation, while at the same time improving the HDL cholesterol (the good one). And recently, in a December 2011 study published in the journal Food and Function, sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry in Britton, Professor Joe Vinson concluded that “walnuts had the highest level of antioxidants and that the quality, or potency, of antioxidants present in walnuts was highest among the nuts.”
After reading this bit of information I began to wonder if it wasn’t time to switch from eating almond butter to eating homemade walnut butter, or at least alternate from time to time. The prices in the health food stores for walnut butter are quite steep. If you have a food processor making your own butter might be a good alternative to store-bought. Not only will it cost you less but it will be fresher, as long as you rotate the nuts regularly. Walnuts are at the top of my list of foods for my healthy eating habits. Are they on yours?
Servings: 8 Prep Time: 3 minutes Yield: 1 cup
2 cups of walnuts
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
Process the nuts, oil, and salt in a food processor until the mixture is smooth. This will take less than one minute.
Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients
If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at)myhealthyeatinghabits.com for details.
Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up! Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots, Casey –SweetSav Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Minnie – The Lady 8 Home, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits
This posted can be seen at Full Plate Thursday and the Pennywise Platter
Cashew Nut Cheese
A few months back I stumbled across a recipe for Cashew Nut Cheese on Chocolate and Zucchini. Like Coltilde, I am an omnivore, though there are certain foods that I eat little of, dairy for example. Dairy tastes great and there are so many wonderful dishes you can make it—like pasta alfredo sprinkled with parmesan cheese, lasagna, or quesadillas. But it’s not so great when its eaten by a person with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. The casein in the dairy causes inflammation and inflammation ultimately means pain. After discovering Cotilde’s recipe for cashew nut cheese, I tucked it away in my brain because I knew I’d be going back for it.
Since finding that recipe, there have been a couple more good discoveries. At my library I came across a book called The Uncheese Cookbook by Jo Stephanic, and on the web another recipe at Whole Foods Market. I picked out the best in each recipe and came up with my own version. This “uncheese” is dairy-free and makes a nice substitute for people who for one reason or another prefer not to eat dairy. It is also vegan and gluten-free, and very easy to make. Try it and let me know how you like it.
Prep Time: 15 min
Yield: 1 cup
Servings: 4 as an appetizer
3/4 cup cashew butter, or 1 cup raw cashews (they should be soaked at least four hours prior to making the cheese)
1-1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (not brewer’s yeast)
2-1/2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon onion powder
Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process about 4 minutes, until it is smooth and creamy.
*Note – This nut cheese does not need refrigeration. The flavor will meld and taste mellow on the second day.
Kitchen Tip – when using various ingredients for a recipe, the dish will come together faster if you first gather them. The French culinary term for gathering your ingredients together is mise en place, “putting in place.”
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You’re trying to eat less dairy and you’re having a few people over for dinner, so what can you put out for an appetizer. You don’t want the usual cheese platter, or cheese dip, so common at many dinner parties. You look in the fridge and don’t get ideas. Here’s a suggestion–look in the cupboard. If you’re following an anti-inflammation diet you’ve probably got a good supply of nuts on hand. And most likely, you’ve got walnuts. Walnuts are well-known as food that helps lower cholesterol, and Dr. Andrew Weil recommends walnuts to fight anti-inflammation. So if you’re looking for something good to make, why not try this walnut pate. (Makes about ½ cup.)
1 C. walnuts
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced shallot
2 teaspoons sherry
1 teaspoon Mirin
2 teaspoons Braggs Liquid Animos, (or substitute with Tamari, or Lite Soy).
1 tablespoon minced parsley
1.) Sauté the minced shallot in the olive oil until it is transparent. Then, remove it from the heat and allow to cool.
2.) Mince the parsley in a food processor, and then add the walnuts and process until the walnuts appear sandy, or grainy. (*You may feel more comfortable chopping the parsley by hand and then adding it, if you want to be more precise).
3.) Put the walnuts in a small bowl and add the sherry, the Mirin and the Braggs Liquid Animos. Allow it to marinate at least an hour.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with fresh toast and fresh vegetables.