Pine nuts are something I always try to have in the house. Why? I love them and they add so much to a dish. Add it to a pasta dish for a wonderful flavor change. I also add it to pizza and veggies. Roast them a little in a pan before sprinkling on top of most dishes and it looks and tastes so much better.
Just the other day, Daughter and I split a gluten-free pizza crust from Gluten Free Creations. What to put on mine? Aha, just a little parmesan, fresh parsley, sprinkle of mozzarella and a few pine nuts. Okay, a lot of pine nuts, I do love them so. You could probably use half as much and be happy with that.
I pre-bake GF Creations pizza crusts for about 10 minutes so that the baking time is cut in half. After cheese and toppings are added, it only needs another 10-15 minutes for a crispy, yummy pizza.
It’s a quick and yummy snack, and with the addition of the pine nuts, I feel as if I’ve made something gourmet and special. And hey, I deserve that and so do you, dear chef.
This took all of five minutes to make, and it’s so yummy I can’t stop eating it -but I will ‘cuz I want to save some for later.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and cooking for yourself today is probably not high on your priority what with cooking for 20 tomorrow? I’m not cooking for everyone for the first time in 15 years and instead we’re taking veggies to my niece’s place for dinner. Yes, there’s a big turkey on the table (and a ham) but we’re bringing a Quorn roast for ourselves and there are plenty of veggies.
But for today, it’s veggie time. We picked up our CSA bag and it was full of golden beets and rainbow chard-Yipee-my favorites. Every Wednesday is like Christmas as we open the bag and see what’s inside. I never keep the cilantro (I know, but I don’t like it) and I always keep the beets. So for lunch today, after splitting the goods with my BFF, I had 5 stalks of rainbow chard left and I went to town. Count it-five minutes.
5-minute Rainbow Chard Lunch
4-5 stalks of rainbow chard, cleaned and chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 Tbs Romano cheese (optional)
1. Add chard to a large saute pan with olive oil (about a Tbs) and cook down. It will cook down to about half it’s size, just like spinach.
2. While the chard is cooking, throw the pine nuts in the oven at about 350 for about 2 minutes or until they get slightly brown. (You can use a toaster oven or put them under the broiler on low, just watch closely since they burn quickly.)
3. Add garlic to chard and stir.
4. Add pine nuts, raisins and a pinch of salt to chard. Let cook for another minute.
Voila! it’s done. I like to add a pinch of Romano cheese (grated) on top for a bite-but that’s optional. The pine nuts give his a great texture and flavor and the raisins add just a bit of sweetness. My favorite part is the crunchiness of the chard, it’s so refreshing and comforting. Dive in dear chef and have fun. Tomorrow you stuff yourself but today you can eat light and comforting.
I bought a large, beautiful bag of sweet carrots from the farmers market, now what? I love eating raw carrots and I could eat them all day long. I whipped up some white-bean hummus and cut most of the carrots into sticks to dip. This was lovely and garlicky (I used a leftover head of roasted garlic in the hummus).
But there are still lots of carrots left. Daughter wanted pasta for dinner and I was hit with inspiration…roasted carrots in the pasta. The sweetness of the roasted carrots were divine and the nuttiness of the pine nuts offset the sweetness just enough. Daughter said, “I love these nuts, what are they?” Hmmm, something new.
Roasted Carrot and Pine Nut Pasta
1 bag Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Fusilli
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
1 Tbs chopped garlic
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs grape seed oil
2 tsp dried parsley
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Place carrots on a cookie sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbs olive oil and 1 tsp Celtic sea salt. Mix and put in oven for about 20 minutes or until brown and carmelized.
3. While carrots roast, cook pasta as instructed on package (about 12 minutes). Drain and rinse in cold water.
4. In a large saute pan, heat the remaining olive oil and grape seed oil over medium heat. Add chopped garlic and cook over medium heat, being careful not to brown the garlic. If you do, start over again since the garlic can become bitter very easily.
5. Remove carrots from the oven and add to saute pan.
6. Place pine nuts on the pan used for the carrots and place under the broiler for just about 2-3 minutes. Watch carefully, they brown quickly.
7. Add pine nuts and pasta to saute pan. Add parsley last and mix.
The secret to this dish is that roasting vegetables doesn’t have to be a big job. Just throw whatever veggies you have onto the pan, mix with olive oil and salt and roast away. In the time it takes to make the pasta, your veggies are carmelized, sweet and browned. This is on my permanent list now.