Maple Roasted Cashews

Outside of the occasional baking I do with almond flour, we don’t eat very many nuts.  I buy either cashews or pistachios during the school year because The Young One likes to take an ounce in his lunch every day (and those are the only kinds of nuts he cares for) and we’ll snack on a handful once in awhile, but they’re not a huge part of our diet.

Every so often, though, I’ll buy both – especially if they’re on sale.  I like to buy “raw” cashews and roast them myself, and try a different seasoning when I do; lately it’s been the mixture I use for kettlecorn on the infrequent occasion that I make popcorn (also usually for The Young One’s lunches).  This week, though, I thought I’d do a maple preparation.

It’s not something I’ll be doing again any time soon.

Not because they’re bad.  On the contrary, these are ridiculously good.  So good that I made them Saturday afternoon and they were gone by mid-morning Sunday.  I don’t think The Young One even got any of these – they were mostly devoured by Beloved.  (Not to worry; I got a handful or three myself.)  I won’t make these often simply because I can’t afford to purchase that many cashews.  We’d go bankrupt.

Note: I roasted the cashews beforehand; the recipe will work best with dry-roasted, unsalted nuts.  This could be made with any type of nut or combination, and the recipe can be doubled or tripled.

Maple Roasted Cashews. Not too sweet, not too salty, these are absolutely addictive!

Maple Roasted Cashews
Serves: 16
A serving is one ounce.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a shallow, rimmed baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, stir together the nuts, syrup, sugar and salt until the nuts are well-coated.
  3. Spread the nuts on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring twice during the process to avoid burning.
  4. Allow the nuts to cool before storing in an airtight container.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 109 calories, 7.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 61.8mg sodium, 102.1mg potassium, 8.2g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 3.2g sugar, 2.6g protein

 

Crab Deviled Eggs

It’s Day 22 of the Whole30 – the end is in sight!  The end is in sight!

Actually, it hasn’t been that hard.  In fact, it really hasn’t been hard at all.  Yesterday I had 3 eggs scrambled in coconut oil and 3 mugs of coffee with coconut milk for breakfast, leftovers for lunch (pork meatballs and kale cooked in a red curry-coconut sauce) and for dinner we had stuffed bell peppers, summer squash sauteed in ghee and a salad of fresh tomatoes from our garden and watermelon.  It was all pretty delicious, actually.

At any rate, today’s recipe is one of the dishes I took to our company picnic last Saturday.  I made two kinds – standard deviled eggs, and these – and these were by far one of the most popular dishes of the picnic.  We had a few of the regular deviled eggs left over; I think one of these was left.

As deviled egg recipes go, this one is pretty good, and there is plenty of filling; if I remember correctly, I had some left over, which Beloved devoured with a spoon.  Make sure and buy the best quality of canned crab you can find; it will just taste better.  However, if you find the crab has a bit of a “fishy” smell, rinse it thoroughly with cold water and pat dry before mixing it into the egg yolk mixture.

Crab Deviled Eggs
Crab Deviled Eggs
Crab Deviled Eggs
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 12 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • 2 tablespoons dill pickle, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup lump crab meat, picked over
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut eggs in half lengthwise; reserve both the yolks and the whites.
  2. Mashing with a fork, combine the yolks with the mayonnaise, pickle, celery, onion and Old Bay seasoning until well blended. Stir in the crab; taste and season as needed with salt and pepper.
  3. Spoon the crab mixture into the reserved egg whites and arrange on a platter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate if not serving immediately.
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 188 calories, 16.3g total fat, 212.4mg cholesterol, 156.8mg sodium, 107.4mg potassium, 1.6g carbohydrates, <1g fiber, 1.3g sugar, 8.6g protein

Sweet Potato Chips

Good grief – how did it get to be April already?  The first was on me before I realized it (and I completely forgot about April Fool’s), but here it is the second with Chocolate Bunny Day staring us in the face.  Now I just have to decide if I want to buy actual chocolate bunnies for The G Man and The Young One.  Probably not for TYO – he spent his Spring break in Las Vegas with his sister, ate an entire pan of brownies and hurled all over the place.  I think he’s had enough chocolate for awhile.

But not enough potato chips; we were watching the Cooking Channel this weekend and saw Giada De Laurentiis making sweet potato and beet chips – I was all like, “Oooooh!” and perked right up.  Of course, Ms. De Laurentiis used an orange Beauregard yam and fried hers in vegetable oil; I used a Japanese sweet potato and fried mine in tallow we’d rendered from our latest side of beef.  The Young One, who is not fond of sweet potatoes (I know, I know – don’t ask me where he gets it from, because I have no clue) got regular chips, made with an organic Russet potato; they were pretty darn good, too.

For the record, I did try the beets, which were less than inspirational – they just didn’t crisp up the way the potatoes did.  I really love beets, though, and am intrigued with the idea of turning them into chips, so I’m going to give it another try later this week.  While I’m at it, I think I’ll try it with some carrots and parsnips, too – veggie chips sound awfully good, don’t they?

I know one of the rules of Whole30 is that you don’t make “healthy” versions of “unhealthy” dishes, but surely they don’t mean these delicious, crisp chips.  Surely.

Japanese Sweet Potato Chips
Sweet Potato Chips
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 large Japanese sweet potato, washed, dried and very thinly sliced
  • 4 cups tallow, lard or other cooking fat suitable for frying
  • sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt the tallow in a heavy, 10″ skillet over high heat until it reaches 350 F.
  2. Fry the slices of sweet potatoes in batches until light brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Carefully remove from the hot fat using a slotted spoon or large spatula and lay in a single layer on paper towels; sprinkle with the sea salt. Repeat until all the potato slices have been fried.
  3. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  4. Nutrition (per serving): 345 calories, 34.2g total fat, 37.2mg cholesterol, 23.8mg sodium, 146mg potassium, 8.7g carbohydrates, 1.3g fiber, 1.8g sugar, <1g protein

 

Kale Chips

Happy President’s Day, everyone!  For those of you who have the day off – lucky you!  As for the rest of us poor slobs who have to be in the office today (or are at home with kids who have the day off), well, at least we’re employed (or have a home to stay in).

It’s always good to look on the bright side, don’t you think?

This week’s Make Ahead Monday recipe is for my new favorite snack – Kale Chips.  Kale is one of the most nutritious leafy green vegetables you can eat – a serving of kale (1 cup raw, 1/2 cup cooked) contains 206% of the RDA of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C, 684% of vitamin K, 10% of calcium, 10% of potassium and 2 grams of fiber.  There’s a good reason it’s often referred to as a “super food!”

Because kale is such a hearty, sturdy green, it holds up extremely well to cooking – in this instance, roasting.  Roasting gives it a light, crispy (albeit fragile) texture, and the earthy, slightly bitter flavor stands up well to strong seasonings, so don’t be afraid to go bold if you like.

These are wonderfully addictive – like Lay’s potato chips, you won’t be able to eat just one.  But unlike potato chips, you don’t have to worry about eating them by the handful; not only are kale chips good, they’re good for you!

These will keep very well for several days in an airtight container at room temperature…if you can keep them around that long!

Kale Chips
Kale Chips
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches kale, stems removed and torn into pieces (about 1 pound)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
  2. Place half the kale in a large bowl; drizzle lightly with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss gently to coat the greens, then spread them evenly on a large, rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining greens and oil on a second baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy, stirring the kale every 10 minutes until done.
  5. Cool and place in an airtight container.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 88 calories, 7.2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 24.5mg sodium, 253.5mg potassium, 5.7g carbohydrates, 1.1g fiber, 0g sugar, 1.9g protein.

 

PLEASE – post recipes with whole, real food ingredients only. Dairy, sprouted grains and legumes and natural sweeteners are allowed, but recipes containing processed or refined ingredients or vegetable oils will be removed.  Don’t forget to link back to this post! Thanks for your cooperation.