Tag Archives: nuts

snack idea: Honeycrisp apple + almond butter

20 Oct

I realize this blog has been sluggish of late–I’m teaching five classes this semester!–but I thought I’d post a quick snack idea. I think I’ve recommended Honeycrisp apples before. They’re much, much more delicious than regular apples. They taste…like cider, I guess.

But paired with a dollop of almond butter, they’re like a dessert. It seems totally indulgent, but it’s really very good for you. I have tried peanut butter, and it’s okay, but almond butter is another different level of tasty.

The only downside, as I see it, is that almond butter is a lot pricier than peanut butter. I figure, though, if it gets me to eat a healthy snack on a regular basis, it’s worth it.

[And if I’m really in the mood for something dessert-y, adding a square of dark chocolate doesn’t hurt either.]


recipe: asparagus with pine nuts

31 Oct

I love asparagus.


I love pine nuts.


So, why not marry the two into a sorta fancy-schmancy side dish?

Here’s how I do it.

Asparagus with Pine Nuts

1 bunch asparagus

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic

fresh Parmesan cheese


Steam the asparagus. I do this in the microwave: rinse asparagus and snap off ends. Shake off excess water, wrap in plastic wrap, and zap until tender. It doesn’t take long.

In skillet, heat oil. Saute garlic and pine nuts until pine nuts smell nutty and toasty. Add the steamed asparagus and shake to coat. Divide onto plates and grate some fresh Parmesan on each portion.

This makes a fantastic light dinner with a fried egg on top of each portion, too.

Butternut Squash with Onions and Pecans

16 Oct

I thought I’d kick things off with an autumn recipe: butternut squash. I’m not a huge fan of winter squash, to be honest. I can handle them in moderation as long as the preparation is not sweet. I loathe sweetened squashes.

So, when a friend gave us a butternut squash from his wife’s garden, I hunted around for something savory to do with it. I found a recipe on Allrecipes for squash with onions and pecans, and then I proceeded to change half of the ingredients and procedures until it was nearly unrecognizable–that is, unfortunately, the way I follow a recipe most of the time.

The final product is below. It was quite good (although I was still tempted to apply copious salt–butternut squash itself is very sweet indeed).

Butternut Squash with Onions and Pecans


1 butternut squash

1 cup pecans (I used whole, but pieces would work just as well, if not better)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 clove garlic

1 large onion

1 good-sized handful fresh parsley

Prep: Cut squash in half; scoop out seeds. (Set aside seeds if you like them toasted!)

Spray a baking sheet with oil and bake the squash, cut sides down, at 400 degrees until it is soft enough to cut into pieces without losing a finger. Then let it cool until you can handle it comfortably.

Toast the pecans on a baking sheet.

Peel the squash. I found that a vegetable peeler worked on most of the parts, although I had to use a paring knife for the ends/really curved parts. Cut the squash into 1″ pieces. No need to be totally precise.

Saute the onion in the olive oil. Mince or press the garlic and saute. When the onion is soft, add the squash to the pan. Stir and cover.

Cook until squash is totally tender (though not until it completely loses its shape). Stir in half of the toasted pecans. Serve sprinkled with remaining pecans and the parsley.