Almond-Cranberry Quinoa Cookies

by Jennifer

I haven’t changed this recipe from Bon Appetit at all;  these breakfast cookies are full of protein and fiber, and are wonderful.  They’re great to eat on the go in the morning, and they freeze well, so I often make a double batch (the photos show a double batch, though the recipe below is for a single batch).

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugars and honey.

Add the eggs, vanilla and almond extract, and mix well.  Add the salt, baking powder and baking soda, mixing until incorporated.

Add flour, mixing on low speed just until it’s blended into the butter mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the quinoa, oats, cranberries and almonds.

Drop 2 TBS portions onto the baking sheets, with about 2” space in between cookies.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Cool on wire racks.

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Free-Form Nectarine and Almond Tart (served with Vanilla Frozen Yogurt and Salted Caramel Sauce)

by Jennifer

I’d wanted to make a nectarine tart for a while, and had some ground almonds in my freezer to use up, and then found a salted caramel sauce recipe on browneyedbaker.com, and this dessert all came together.

  • pie dough for a single pie crust, homemade or store-bought
  • 3/4 cup ground almonds
  • 4 – 5 ripe nectarines, sliced (I used both yellow and white nectarines)
  • 1/4 cup, packed, dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • vanilla frozen yogurt
  • Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce (or storebought)
  • Toasted sliced almonds for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough to a rough 13” – 14” circle, then transfer it to the parchment paper.

Spread ground almonds on top, leaving an inch or so margin.

Toss nectarines with sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt.

Arrange nectarines on top of ground almonds,

then fold up crust.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until crust is golden.  To serve, top each slice with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt, a generous drizzle of caramel sauce, and a sprinkling of sliced almonds.

Oven-Baked Cherry Pancake

by Jennifer

I love cherries, and when they’re available, I often pit them and freeze them, both for my kids to eat frozen during the summer (as good as frozen grapes!) and to bake with.  This recipe comes from Eating Well magazine, with just a couple changes.  Serves 2 – 4.

  • 1 tsp and 1 TBS unsalted butter or ghee
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour, either whole wheat or all-purpose (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 cups pitted fresh or frozen cherries (if frozen, thaw first and drain)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • powdered sugar for serving

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place 1 tsp butter or ghee in a 10” cast iron skillet and place skillet in oven while it’s preheating;  when the butter has melted, brush it all over the inside of the skillet.

Arrange cherries in the bottom of the skillet.

In a microwave-safe bowl melt the 1 TBS of butter (in the microwave, of course!), then whisk in the milk, eggs and vanilla.

Add the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon, and whisk well to combine.

Pour mixture over the cherries, then sprinkle on the almonds.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until set and golden.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving,

with powdered sugar sprinkled on top if desired (spoon a little powdered sugar into a fine-mesh sieve, then, using a spoon, stir the sugar so that it sifts down on the pancake).

Blueberry, Oat and Almond Coffeecake

by Jennifer

I use ground oatmeal in this recipe;

use a food processor to pulse oatmeal until finely ground.  Use any leftover in place of some flour in muffins, cookies, etc.

  • 3/4 cup ground oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 TBS melted unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, divided

For topping:

  • 1/4 cup ground oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds (grind some up in that processor, freeze any extra)
  • 3 TBS packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 TBS melted unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and coat an 8” pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl whisk together ground oatmeal through baking soda.

In another, smaller, bowl, whisk together buttermilk through almond extract.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until combined, then stir in 1 cup blueberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan, then sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup blueberries.

In a small bowl stir together ground oatmeal through cinnamon,

then stir in melted butter.

Sprinkle topping over coffeecake.

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pasta with Romesco Sauce, Sauteed Kale with Garlic

by Jennifer

You can make the sauce (adapted from Cooking Light) a few days in advance, if you like, or you can put it together while the pasta water comes to a boil.  To make the kale, remove the ribs from the leaves of a large bunch of kale, and chop the leaves.  Heat a couple TBS of extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add a few chopped cloves of garlic.  Once they’re fragrant, add the kale in batches, tossing until it wilts.  Continue to saute for a few minutes more, seasoning with coarse sea salt (such as Maldon) and freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4.

  • 1 lb. dried short pasta, such as gemelli or penne
  • 2 large red peppers, chopped (about 3 1/2 – 4 cups)
  • 1 cup no-chicken broth or chicken broth
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 slice sandwich bread, cubed (I used whole wheat)
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1 TBS sherry vinegar
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, according to package directions;  drain.

Meanwhile, bring the red peppers and broth to a boil in a medium-size pot, then lower to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium heat;  add the bread and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes,

then add the almonds and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Combine peppers and broth, bread and almonds, the vinegar and can of tomatoes with their juices in a blender;  puree until smooth.

Return sauce to the pot you used to cook the peppers, and cook over medium heat until heated through.

Toss sauce with pasta.

Maple-Mustard Salmon, Bulgur with Herbs, and Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons

by Jennifer

Serves 4.

Maple-Mustard Salmon

  •  4 – 6 salmon steaks, depending on size, appetite, and if you want leftovers
  • 2 TBS of your favorite mustard (I used a whole grain horseradish maple mustard)
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat broiler.

Stir together mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper,

and brush on the salmon.

Broil for 10 – 15 minutes, until just cooked through.

Bulgur with Herbs – from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 cup bulgur
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup chopped mint
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil (or store-bought roasted-almond oil;  I used olive)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Place bulgur in a medium-sized bowl, add boiling water and cover with plastic wrap;  let sit for 10 minutes,

then drain through a fine-meshed sieve.  While the bulgur is soaking, heat 2 TBS oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook the almonds, stirring frequently, until golden, 2 – 4 minutes (sorry, can’t find my photo of this step!).  Remove from heat.

In a serving bowl combine the herbs, toasted almonds and oil, additional TBS oil, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add drained bulgur and toss well.  Serve at room temperature.

Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel long strips from the zucchini and carrots, starting on one side of each vegetable and moving to peel ribbons from all four sides, as much as you can (save what’s left of the vegetables for another use….I fed the carrots to our pet rabbit!).

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat;  add the zucchini and carrot ribbons and cook, tossing occasionally with tongs, for 5 minutes, or

until tender.  Season with salt and black pepper.

Pasta in Garlic Almond Sauce

by Jennifer

This recipe, adapted from Gourmet magazine, serves 4.

  • 3/4 cup whole roasted almonds
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 lb. cavatappi or other short tubular pasta
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 10-oz. package frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted almonds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a blender, puree the 3/4 cup almonds, garlic and water.  Cook cavatappi in a large pot of boiling salted water until almost al dente (a couple minutes short of the listed cooking time).

Reserve 2 1/2 cups cooking water;  drain pasta.

Have the rest of the ingredients ready.

Heat oil and 1 TBS butter in a 12” skillet over medium heat;

add almond puree and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened, about 2 – 3 minutes.

Add the reserved cooking water along with salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer another 3 – 4 minutes, whisking occasionally.

Whisk in remaining butter until melted,

then add the pasta and peas.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, another 3 minutes or so.

Stir in cheese and lemon juice.

Remove from heat and stir in half the basil and mint, along with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve pasta in bowls, sprinkled with remaining basil, mint and cheese.