Sweet & Spice Almonds

Almonds are a great source of protein and what better way to eat them then toHave them loaded with all of your favorite Fall flavors. I roasted these almonds first then sugar, allspice, cardamom, allspice, and nutmeg are coated all over them. I first made these for the purpose of a diabetic awareness meeting, so I substituted cane sugar for a low calorie sweetener.

I have an idea to make these in different flavors, both sweet and savory, and have them for sale during the holidays. They are delicious and will be perfect as a gift or for yourself.

Makes 1lb of almonds.

Ingredients
1#whole almonds, blanched
1 oz canola oil
2 tsp cinnamon
1tsp allspice
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ginger
stevia

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Toss almonds and oil together with spices. Spread a layer of the nuts in a sheet pan.
Roast in oven for 20 minutes until light golden brown.
While the almonds are still warm, sprinkle with a generous amount of Stevia and toss. Serve immediately or can be stores in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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Stuffed Mini Sweet Bell Peppers

The second of three in this month’s Healthy Eating segment. This recipe is perfect for a party or while watching your favorite sports games. Roasting the peppers first adds as another level if sweetness which will pair well with the cheese. The cheese filling is savory with a little citrus elements. The herbs add a refreshing flavor.

There were 24 peppers in the bag that I bought. The recipe for the cheese filling will yield more than what you will need for the peppers. Save the rest and use it to spread on small pieces of bread or crackers. It could even be used to stuff inside of a nice herbed chicken breast or stuff inside of white mushrooms.

Pairs well with a nice white wine such as Chenin Blanc.

Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients
1 bag of Melissa’s Veggie Sweet mini peppers
1 tbsp of olive oil
Sprinkle of kosher salt
Filling
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tsp lemon zest
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 oz shredded Parmesan
1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped (you can add more herbs if desired)
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut tops off peppers and scoop out the seeds and membrane from insides.
Rub peppers with the olive oil and salt.
Roast in oven for 15 minutes or until the skins on peppers have started to blister.
Put peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to set for 10 minutes.
In a bowl combine cheese, lemon zest, garlic, herbs, and shredded Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.
Uncover peppers. Peel off skins and rinse off any excess.
With a spoon, heap the cheese filling into each pepper. Allow to chill in fridge to firm for 1-2 hrs.
Arrange on a plate and serve with mini whole wheat crackers or toasts.

[Chef Dominique Hicks 2013]

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Three Bean Salad

1 of 3 healthy recipes that I made today. All are low carb, high protein, and either vegetarian, or vegan friendly!

Serves 8-10
Ingredients
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey mustard
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 15oz can dark red kidney beans
1 15oz can pinto beans
1 lb fresh haricot verts (green beans)
1 med red onion, small diced
1 green pepper, small diced
1 yellow bell pepper, small diced

Cooking Instructions
In a bowl combine vinegar, honey mustard, honey, celery seed, garlic, and salt & pepper. Whisk oil into the rest of the ingredients until it is emulsified.
Rinse and remove stems from green beans. Boil in a pot of water for 3-4 minutes. Remove from stove and drain immediately. Place in a bowl w/ ice and cold water. ( this chills the green beans and keeps the vibrant green color) for 2 minutes. Drain.
Add all of the beans to the bowl w/ the dressing. Add the onion and peppers. Toss together until the beans and veggies are coated with the dressing. Serve cold.

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Blueberry Vanilla Streusel Muffins

My fiancé has a potluck tomorrow at his job and needs to contribute something. I decided to make a batch of these delicious muffins. The recipe is an old one with some of my flair added to it. Packed with a good amount of fiber, these are a good alternative to a traditional muffin. My favorite part of the recipe is that it calls for old fashioned oats. I detest oatmeal, but since it is hidden, I get a good dose.

The original recipe didn’t have a streusel topping. I thought that the muffin needed an extra something to make it even more delicious. Streusel is so easy to make and can be put on top of anything that you bake.

I doubled the recipe for the potluck and it yielded 26 medium sized muffins. You can make them as large as you want or make mini ones. Do not over bake!! These muffins are at it’s best when they are soft and pillowy with the blueberries still whole and moist.

Try them out and let me know what you think!!

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Blueberry Vanilla Streusel Muffins
Yields 12

1 1/2 cup ap (all purpose) flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg, beatened
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup frozen blueberries (tossed with 2 tbsp of granulated sugar to prevent them from bleeding during baking)

Streusel topping
1/2 cup ap flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Grease a muffin tin with non stick spray or use cupcake liners.
3. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add in oats and sugar. Stir lightly until incorporated.
4. Combine wet ingredients in a bowl. Pour into the dry mixture and gently mix until moisturized. Fold in the blueberries.
5. Make the streusel topping. Add ingredients to a small bowl and crumble with hand until mixed together.
6. With a scoop, fill muffin cups with mix (2/3 of the way full). Cover the top with the streusel topping.
7. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes sticking a toothpick in the middle and it coming out clean.
8. Remove immediately to a cooking rack.
9. Enjoy warm or room temp.

Leave comments please!!!
-Chef Dom