Warm Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates, Almonds, Crispy Shallots and Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, cut into thin rings
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 bunch kale (about 8 cups,) removed from ribs then torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 pitted Medjool dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Marcona almonds (or sliced almonds)
  • 2 Tablespoons shaved Parmesan cheese
  • For the Maple-Almond Vinaigrette:
    • 2 Tablespoons almond butter (or tahini)
    • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1 Tablespoon real maple syrup
    • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar with a tight fitting lid then shake to combine and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots then fry until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain then sprinkle with salt and set aside.
  3. Turn heat down to medium then add bacon to skillet and cook until browned and crisp. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain then set aside. Remove all but 2 teaspoons bacon grease from the skillet.
  4. Add kale, dates, and almonds then saute for 30 seconds. Add vinaigrette and then toss until just coated. Divide kale between two plates then top with reserved bacon, crispy shallots, and parmesan cheese.

From: http://iowagirleats.com/2014/02/26/warm-kale-salad-with-bacon-dates-almonds-crispy-shallots-and-parmesan/

 

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PEAR TART WITH BLUE CHEESE AND HONEY

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg. puff pastry
  • 2 1/2 cups almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 ripe pears acacia honey
  • 3/4 cup blue cheese or goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 egg for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven. Let puff pastry rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Roll it into one sheet. Use paring knife to score a line around the perimeter of the rectangle, about 1 inch from the edge, to make a border. Prick dough with a fork inside edge.

Blend almonds and sugar with 1 tablespoon water. Grease the dough inside of the cut border wit the melted butter. Cut pears into slices. Place the slices beyond the cut sheet, sprinkle with blue cheese and honey. Brush edges with lightly beaten egg. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Drizzle the honey evenly over the tart.

MIDDLE-EASTERN SPICED CHICKEN

1 lb chicken breast cutlets

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

1tablespoon olive oil

1 sliced onion

4 crushed garlic cloves

½ cup chopped roasted red peppers

1 teaspoon paprika

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon cumin seed

¼ teaspoon cayenne

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

1 tablespoon honey

¼ cup raisins

½ cup 2% Greek yogurt

½ lemon

slivered almonds, if desired.

 

Season 1 lb chicken breast cutlets with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Warm 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet over high heat. Sear cutlets until just cooked through, 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add 1 sliced onion and 4 crushed garlic cloves. Cook 10 minutes, scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan. Add ½ cup chopped roasted red peppers; cook 3 minutes. Season with salt and add 1 tsp paprika, ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp ground coriander, ¼ tsp cumin seed, ¼ tsp cayenne, and ¼ tsp ground ginger. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1 Tbsp honey and ¼ cup raisins. Reduce heat to low; cook 1 minute. Stir in ½ cup 2% Greek yogurt and juice of ½ lemon. Add chicken and any accumulated juices back to skillet. Heat through (do not boil). Top with slivered almonds, if desired.

GRATED CARROT SALAD WITH DATES AND PISTACHIOS

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 teaspoon paprika, sweet, hot or smoked, or a combination

1 teaspoon honey

1 pound carrots

1/4 cup chopped pitted dates (about 4 whole)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup shelled natural pistachios, walnuts or almonds, chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon shredded fresh mint

Directions

In a small skillet over medium-low, heat the oil. Add the cumin seeds and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until they turn a shade darker and become fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the paprika and the honey. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, coarsely grate the carrots, preferably using the coarse grating disk on a food processor. In a large bowl, toss the carrots with the cooled oil-cumin mixture, the dates, lemon juice, pistachios and salt, using your hands to incorporate the dates. Stir in the mint just before serving.

LINZER TART COOKIES

3/4 cup unsalted almonds
1 1/2 cups sifted flour, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted or unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 egg
Raspberry jam (apricot jam is also excellent)
Sifted confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

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1. In a mini-chopper or blender, chop almonds with 1/4 cup flour until fine (should take less than 30 seconds; for a crunchier, nuttier cookie, chop for just 15 to 20 seconds).

2. In a medium bowl, combine nut mixture, remaining flour, butter, confectioners’ sugar, zest, and egg. Mix well.

3. Divide dough in half; wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1/2 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 350°F.

5. Roll out dough halves on a floured surface. Using small round cookie cutters, cut out cookie bottoms and tops. With a patterned cutter (we use a snowflake shape), punch a center hole in tops.

6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until light gold. Watch carefully. Cool on a wire rack. Spread a thin layer of jam on each bottom cookie; sandwich with tops, pressing gently. Dust with sifted confectioners’ sugar.

William Blade’s recipe.

AGAVE POPCORN BALLS

Ingredientsagave popcorn

6 cups popped corn (about 1/4 cup unpopped)
2/3 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup grain-sweetened chocolate chips (optional)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons agave nectar
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond butter or tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

1. Mix popcorn, almonds, and chocolate chips (if using) in a large mixing bowl. Heat agave nectar, almond butter or tahini, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once syrup starts to get light, frothy, and bubbly, cook and stir constantly for another 30 seconds. Pour syrup over popcorn and mix with a wooden spoon until incorporated. Let cool completely.
2. When cooled, press small handfuls into balls with your fingers. These will keep for 2–3 days, covered, at room temperature.

CURRIED RICE WITH PINEAPPLE

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

1 can (8 oz.) pineapple chunks

2/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon olive oil

1½ teaspoons curry powder

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

grated peel of 1 lime

1 cup brown rice, uncooked

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1 green onion, sliced

Directions

  • Drain pineapple chunks, reserving juice. Add chicken broth (about 2/3 cup) to equal 1 cup liquid. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in medium pan over medium heat. Sauté curry powder and garlic 1 to 2 minutes or until garlic is lightly browned.
  • Add reserved pineapple juice mixture, pineapple chunks, brown sugar and lime peel; bring to boil. Stir in rice. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Fluff with fork.
  • Stir in sliced almonds and top with green onions.

NECTARINE AND ALMONDS CRISP

You can use peaches or apricots instead of nectarines. This recipe can fit almost any occasion – weeknight dinner, casual Saturday night, Sunday lunch. You can serve it with little vanilla ice cream.

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces almond paste (about 1/3 cup), crumbled
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
  • 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 pounds nectarines (about 8 cups), each cut into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 11 x 7 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Blend 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 teaspoon cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, and salt in processor. Add almond paste and process until fine crumbs form. Add butter and process using on/off turns until mixture begins to clump together. Transfer to bowl. Mix in almonds.

Toss nectarine wedges, apricot preserves, remaining 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon ginger in large bowl to coat. Transfer to prepared baking dish; sprinkle topping over. Bake until topping is golden, nectarines are tender, and juices are bubbling around edges, about 40 minutes. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

MAGIC MINT CHOCOLATE BARK

It is a fun and refreshing way to enjoy the decadent duo of mint and chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cups (10-oz. Pakage) Dark Chocolate & Mint Morsels
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped oven roasted or toasted almonds

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Line small baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

POUR morsels onto prepared baking sheet. Arrange morsels so they are touching each other in a single layer (roughly an 11 x 9-inch rectangle).

BAKE for 1 to 3 minutes or until morsels are shiny. Morsels will retain their shape. Remove from oven to wire rack. With tip of butter knife or wooden pick, immediately swirl morsels to create a swirled pattern.

SPRINKLE with nuts. Hold baking sheet 3 inches above counter and drop to settle nuts into melted morsels. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

VARIATION: Substitute broken pretzel pieces or another nut of choice for the almonds.