Nutty Granola

My intention when making this granola was to use the small quantities of seeds, nuts and oats I had in the refrigerator. It’s kind of like making a vegetable soup with what’s left in the vegetable bins. You don’t want anything to go to waste, but there’s no guarantee it will be a keeper.

Well, it turns out that this is my new FAVORITE granola. It’s packed with seeds and nuts and the hint of vanilla and almond combined with the slightly salty taste is perfect!

Eat it by the handful or for breakfast with Greek yogurt. It also makes a great topping for apple crisp.

Nutty Granola

 

Nutty Granola
 
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This super easy granola is packed with seeds and nuts. It's perfect as a topping for apple crisp or with Greek yogurt.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1½ quarts
Ingredients
  • Granola
  • 1½ cups oats
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut
  • ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ⅓ cup sunflower seeds
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ½. cup almonds
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • ⅓ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp almond extract
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl mix oil, maple syrup and extracts. Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Bake in 325-degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until golden.
  4. Be sure to toss the granola a few times during the cooking process so it browns evenly.

 

Fresh Berry Tart

The farmer’s markets are bursting with ripe berries and they are the inspiration for making this seasonal delight.

It’s my favorite summer dessert and one that’s always a hit with family and friends. It features both cooked and uncooked berries which are the perfect way to enjoy the ripe fruits. Look at that presentation. Serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’ll be a star, I guarantee it.

I usually make it with blueberries, but today there were strawberries, blueberries and raspberries at the market so mixed berries it shall be.

Berry Tart

Fresh Berry Tart Filling
 
A berry tart that features both cooked and uncooked fruit. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream and this might just be your favorite summer dessert.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 - 10 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 cups fresh blueberries or a combination of berries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 10-inch tart crust, baked and cooled
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, water, cornstarch, salt and cinnamon and half of the berries. Bring to a boil, stirring and smashing the berries deliberately (use a potato masher or the back of a large spoon). Boil, stirring constantly until mixture is very thick, a minute or so. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and almond extracts, butter, and lemon juice.
  2. Place the remaining uncooked berries into the tart shell and pour the cooked berries over them. Allow to cool and serve with ice cream.

 
Tart Crust
 
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A flaky crust with a nutty flavor.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • ½ cup almond flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 12 tablespoons of butter brought to room temperature
  • Cold water
Instructions
  1. Combine flours, salt and butter using a pastry cutter until combined. Add water a few tablespoons at a time until the mixture easily forms a ball. Press the dough into a 10-inch tart shell. Bake in a 350 oven, using pie weights until the edges just start to brown (about 15 minutes). Remove the pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

 

Basil Pesto

Nothing screams summer like a batch of homemade pesto and it’s a perennially favorite in our house.  I thank the Genovese people for inventing it and while there are variations on the original recipe, I’m a traditionalist.

Pesto-013-1

Pesto is most often served over pasta, but it’s also delicious when tossed with parboiled new potatoes or string beans and as a base layer on pizza. Try smearing a layer on whole grain toast and then add a crushed avocado on top for breakfast or a snack.

The health benefits of pesto:

  • Olive oil in pesto sauce is full of a heart-healthy fats called monounsaturated fats or MUFAs. Replacing unhealthy saturated and trans fats in your diet with beneficial MUFAs can improve your health.
  • Basil in pesto sauce adds plenty of phytochemicals to your diet. Basil offers flavonoid phytochemicals called orientin and vicenin. These phytochemical nutrients act like antioxidants.
Basil Pesto
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 1.5 cups
Ingredients
  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves picked from the stems
  • 1 tablespoon pignoli nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Remove leaves from the stems and wash well, being sure to rinse off any dirt, and then spin dry in a salad spinner. Add to the bowl of the food processor.
  2. Add the pignoli nuts, garlic, cheese, and grated cheese Parmesan cheese. Cover and pulse until the leaves are all chopped. You may need to open the bowl and push the leaves down to get them all chopped.
  3. Replace the cover and turn on the processor. While running add ¼ cup of olive oil and mix until it forms a paste. Place in an airtight container in the refrigerator (should last a week), or freeze it to use later. If you place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of it and tuck it into the edges of the container, it helps to keep the pesto from discoloring on the top. Just before serving, toss with your favorite pasta or vegetables and enjoy the rich, intense flavor of this wonderous sauce.
Notes
Use ¾ of a cup of pesto for each pound of pasta. I like to toss it right before serving.

Corn and Roasted Zucchini Salad

It’s the season for tasty, fresh vegetable and whole grain salads. They can be prepared ahead of time which makes entertaining so much easier, and they taste better when they marinate in the dressing for a while.

Corn and Zucc Salad

Get creative with your vegetable and grain combinations. Add legumes for protein. Chick peas would go well with this salad.

Corn and Roasted Zucchini Salad
 
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Corn and Roasted Zucchini Salad with Cherry Tomatoes
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: American
Ingredients
  • 6-7 ears of fresh corn on the cob
  • 3 medium sized zucchini
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine and rice vinegar
  • 6-8 leaves of fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook 6-7 ears of corn for about 5 minutes in boiling water. Cut the corn off the cob.
  2. Cut the zucchini into a ¼-inch dice. Lightly coat it with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in a 400-degree oven for about 15 minutes, or until just tender. Remove from oven and cool.
  3. Add the zucchini and corn to a mixing bowl. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the roasting pan to collect the extra olive oil as it has a wonderful flavor from the roasted zucchini.
  4. Slice a dozen cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise. Add to the salad and gently combine using a rubber spatula. This will prevent the zucchini from breaking up. Add a teaspoon of seasoned rice vinegar, a teaspoon of red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add 6-8 leaves of fresh chopped basil.
  5. Allow it to sit at room temperature for a few hours before serving. You can make this ahead of time and store it in the fridge. Just be sure to bring it up to room temperature before serving, as it will taste much better. You may need to add a little bit more vinegar to bring out the flavor.

Nepalese Dal

For many years, my sister and her family hosted an elite climbing Sherpa from the Khumbu region of Nepal here on Cape Cod. Nima Tashi and his family live in the village of Pangboche, which sits at an elevation of 13,000 feet and is the highest permanent settlement on the trail to Mount Everest base camp. Nima came here to work in the summer to earn extra money to pay for his children’s private school education in Kathmandu.

Dal

Climbing is the most lucrative career for the Sherpa people, but the inherent risks are many. Nima has reached the summit of Mt. Everest over a dozen times and experienced his share of danger during those expeditions. These past two years have been especially difficult with the avalanche of 2014 and the recent earthquakes.  Thankfully, Nima and his family are all safe and working to put their lives back together but this won’t be easy. They are suffered much damage to their homes and their village.

Nepalese culture revolves around the principals of kindness, compassion, and community where coming together to share food is considered a sacred custom. The Nepalese cuisine has regional variations throughout the country, but dal bhat and steamed rice are a staple and eaten everywhere. Nima cooks at home and while on expeditions and shared several of the traditional Nepalese dishes with us. Dal is one of my favorites.

Lentils are an excellent source of protein and they’re high in fiber which can help to reduce cholesterol. They are also inexpensive, a great meat substitute and a nice addition to a vegetable soup or a salad.

Nima Tashi

Nima Tashi on top of the world

Nepalese Dal
 
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Nima's Dal
Author:
Recipe type: Legume
Cuisine: Nepalese
Ingredients
  • 1 lb of dried lentils
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tsp of ground ginger
  • 2 tsp of curry powder (yellow)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ bunch of chopped cilantro
  • Salt
Instructions
  1. Wash the lentils and allow to drain. Chop the onion and garlic. Add a tbsp of olive oil to a sauce pan, heat, then add ½ of the chopped onion and garlic, 1 tsp of curry, 1 tsp of ground ginger, 1 tsp turmeric and a pinch of salt. Saute for about 3 minutes, then add the lentils and saute for another 3 minutes. Cover the lentils with water and cook over medium heat (gentle boil), covered, for about 20 minutes. Now add the remaining onions, garlic, ginger, curry, another pinch of salt and a little more water so the lentils are covered by about a ¼ inch of water. Continue cooking, covered, over medium heat for another 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are almost tender.
  2. Remove the cover and cook until the water is mostly absorbed. There will still be some water when you dig into the lentils. Add the chopped cilantro and combine well.
  3. Serve with you favorite rice. I prefer brown rice as it's a whole grain and is rich in anti-oxidants.