3 Healthy Recipes You’ll Go Nuts For

– by Jakob Anderson, Food Writer –

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Please note: images are for illustrative purposes only.

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If you have an allergy, stop reading this (like close your eyes immediately). If nuts don’t cause your throat to swell and eyes to puff, feel free to read ahead. Nuts, if they don’t act as a serial murderer for you, should become a staple of your diet. Nuts carry so many nutrients and beneficial fats that it’s a no brainer to add them to your next meal. Having knowledge on how to work nuts into your cooking is a very important skill, as they can be the helping hand that takes your lonely carrots from a seven to a hard ten, or your granola from plain to bold and exciting (dare I say…nutty). Don’t get hung up on just the commonly used nuts either. While almonds, peanuts, walnuts and cashews are great, there are many other interesting varieties. Here are a few dishes that are truly made spectacular by our hard walled kernel pals (now were getting technical).

Beet Salad with Pistachio Puree and Honey

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Pistachios are flavourful and nutritious.

Pistachio are members of the cashew family, but provide a flavour profile all of their own.They are a great source of calcium as well as providing the full spectrum of beneficial fats. This salad was inspired by my time working at Buca in Toronto. Simple and bright, this is a perfect summer salad.

2 cup beets, roasted and chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup pistachio

1/2 cup ice cold water

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 cup greek yogurt

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup raw honey

1/4 cup pistachio, chopped

1/4 cup of fresh dill, chervil, mint (your choice)

Toss beets with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. For puree, add pistachio and water to blender, blend until very smooth. Stir in lemon juice, yogurt and salt. To assemble salad, add puree to bottom of plate and make a well in the middle. Add beets into centre and top with raw honey, extra pistachio and herb of choice (a couple extra squirts of olive oil wouldn’t hurt either!)

Char Grilled Kabocha with Hazelnut Cream and Rosemary

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Hazelnuts are rich in health benefits (provided you steer clear of Nutella).

Want to boost your vitamin E and manganese intake in one go? The rich hazelnut has your back (no, Nutella does not have your back, it has your brain addicted). Use the hazelnut’s rich and full flavour to compliment the sweet and intense Kabocha squash. Don’t worry if you cant find fresh rosemary, it can be omitted.

1 large kabocha (buttercup) squash, seeded and cut into 8 large pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup hazelnuts, roasted on halved

1/2 onion, finely diced

1 tbsp garlic, finely diced

1 cup heavy cream

1 tbsp salt

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

1 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp rosemary, fried and finely chopped

Toss kabocha, olive oil, salt and pepper. Heat barbecue on high heat and cook kabocha squash on grill until cooked through (it will get very dark on the outside, its okay, you want this). For hazelnut cream, sweat onions and garlic in pan with oil. Once they begin to caramelize, stir in hazelnuts. Add cream and scold with mixture (just below a boil.) Stir in parmesan cheese and cook until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour sauce over squash and top with fried rosemary.

Seared Scallops and Pan Fried Cherry Tomatoes with Harissa-Almond Vinaigrette

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Health wise, almonds are one of the most well rounded nuts you can buy.

Yes, almonds are the most popular health nut for a reason. They provide nutrition across the board from protein to essential B vitamins. Eat this dish on the patio with a glass of Pinot Gris and enter a enriched land of bliss.

8, u-20 scallop

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 onion, finely chopped

3/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup sherry vinegar

1 tsp harissa paste

1/2 cup almonds, toasted an chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

On high heat, sear scallops until deep in colour (you want to serve them rare…do not panic). Add cherry tomatoes to pan and cook until they begin to burst. For vinaigrette, add vinegar, harissa, salt and pepper to blender. Slowly add oil while blending on low speed, until the mixture emulsifies. Stir in almonds. Top scallops with tomatoes and vinaigrette (any sort of fresh herb also works well here).

Jakob Anderson is a trained cook and food enthusiast who approaches cooking as something that connects people in ways they don’t realize. “I love talking about food, eating food, thinking food, discussing food, debating food, think about debating food, fooding food? I love food.”

You can follow Jakob on Twitter @jakobanderson and Q-Avenue @QuincyAvenue

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