Zel's Vegan NutGourmet

Zel Allen Goes Nuts for Good Health

Posts Tagged ‘Brazil nut recipe’

CUDDLE UP WITH DUMPLINGS WINTER, SUMMER, SPRING, AND FALL

Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on March 30, 2010

Folksy and downright delicious old-fashioned American comfort food—that’s what dumplings are to this home chef. And it doesn’t take a connoisseur to recognize that these irresistible sweet potato dumplings are so homey and captivating they could easily steal the spotlight from your main dish. Come to think of it, they’re so nutritious they COULD be the main dish. The two Brazil nut-enhanced tomato sauces elevate the recipe into one with a healthy level of protein and fiber, along with the immune boosting mineral selenium.

Ideally, many might consider a dish like sweet potato dumplings more suited for serving during the fall and winter season. And, I must admit it’s deeply soul satisfying when the sun abandons the sky and paints it gray for the day or the rains come pouring down and all I want is something warm, savory, and hearty.

That’s when I resort to the Winter Tomato Brazil Nut Sauce. So what’s the difference between the Winter and Summer sauce? Simple—fresh tomatoes in the winter cost more than a Harley-Davidson and taste like dehydrated dishwater! I save them for summertime when they’re bright red, succulent, and sweet.

In winter I turn to canned tomato paste and canned plum tomatoes and perk up the sauce with one of my favorite nuts–Brazil nuts. I count on those awesome nuts to bring a nutritious richness to the sauce. And by the way, Brazil nuts serve as a great thickener to any sauce. Just grinding them into a buttery paste in the food processor before adding them to the sauce will make you a Brazil nut devotee forever!

Summer is not so far away now, so I’m gearing up to be prepared with something special to share. Below you’ll find the recipe for a great tasting Summer Tomato Brazil Nut Sauce as well as the winter version. And if wishing really hard could make things come true, then I’ll wish for summer to arrive ahead of schedule—even if it’s just a few days early– and look forward to cooking up a batch of thick, red, saucy and sumptuous Summer Tomato Brazil Nut bliss to serve with these easy to make dumplings.

I made this recipe to bring to a veggie potluck, so I kept them homespun and unencumbered with extra ingredients. That turned out to be a smart idea and allowed the dumplings to be appreciated for their simplicity. The rave reviews were my reward, and I even had two requests for the recipe, which I’ll gladly share. But somehow I have the desire to tinker with the recipe.

Next time I make them I plan to light a little spark—perhaps I’ll include chopped sweet onions or green onions, minced carrots, and minced garlic—perhaps finely chopped spinach that might turn the dumplings into a vastly different gastronomic experience. If I make these in the summer, chopped zucchini or pattypan squash would be tasty add-ins.

If you’re wondering whether yams and sweet potatoes will be available in summer, don’t worry. Many markets carry the Jewel yams even during the summer.
The easiest way to enjoy these delicious dumplings is to prepare them a day or two before serving, place them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate them. You can even prepare the sauce in advance, and refrigerate it in a covered container. Shortly before serving, combine the dumplings and the sauce in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and warm at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.

SWEET POTATO DUMPLINGS WITH TOMATO BRAZIL NUT SAUCE

Yield: 28 golden dumplings or about 6 servings

3 pounds yellow or orange sweet potatoes (yams)

1 3/4 cups whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, shiny side down. Place the sweet potatoes on the baking sheet and bake for 50 to 70 minutes, or until they are softened.
2. While the potatoes are baking, place the flour in a large bowl. Fill a 6- to 10-quart stockpot two-thirds full with water, cover, and set aside.
3. When the potatoes are done, peel them and add them to the flour. Add the salt and turmeric, and mix well to form a stiff dough. You may find it’s easier to mix the dough with your hands.
4. Bring the stockpot water to a boil over high heat. Spoon out heaping tablespoons of sweet potato dough and roll each one between the palms to form a dumpling about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. When you have formed about 4 or 5 dumplings, carefully lower them into the boiling water with a spoon and boil them for 2 to 3 minutes or until they begin to float to the surface.
5. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked dumplings to a dish and repeat the rolling and boiling process with the remainder of the dough.

Winter Tomato Brazil Nut Sauce

Yield: 6 to 7 cups

3 cups water
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, coarsely broken with a fork
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 1/2 teaspoons organic sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup raw Brazil nuts

1. Combine all the ingredients, except the Brazil nuts, in a stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat, if needed, to avoid burning the sauce.
2. While the sauce is simmering, grind the Brazil nuts to a buttery meal in several batches in a mini chopper/grinder or small electric coffee grinder.
3. Add the nut meal to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes longer. The sauce will thicken considerably. Thin the sauce with a little water if needed.

Summer Tomato Brazil Nut Sauce

Yield: 6 servings

3/4 cup raw Brazil nuts

3 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes

1 medium onion, cut into quarters

1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 sprigs fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
4 to 6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed in a mortar and pestle
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1. Place the Brazil nuts into the food processor and process until creamy and buttery. Use a rubber spatula to transfer the nut butter to a small bowl and set aside. There is no need to wash the food processor.
2. Coarsely chop the tomatoes in the food processor. If you prefer a smoother, less chunky sauce, process a little longer to desired consistency. Transfer the tomatoes into a large skillet or wok.
3. Finely chop the onion in the food processor and add to the skillet.
4. Add the bell pepper, basil, garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, rosemary, and marjoram to the skillet, and cook about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently.
5. Add the salt and Brazil nut butter and cook a few minutes longer until thickened. Adjust seasonings if needed.

Posted in Brazil nuts, Nut Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Magic of Brazil Nuts

Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on January 26, 2009

I’ve been experimenting with plant-based nut recipes for several years now and have used a variety of nuts to create really unique salad dressings. But I had never made a dressing with Brazil nuts—until now. This dressing surprises people. They just don’t expect such awesome flavor in just a couple of tablespoons. And would you believe, there’s not a drop of vegetable oil in this dressing!

Thick and ultra creamy, this dressing is perfect for those who crave salad toppings that feel naughty to the core. But would you believe this thick and indulgent dressing is one heart-healthy salad enhancer. Keep in mind though, that with nut-based foods, a little bit goes a long way, yet still offers plenty of satisfying flavors.

You might be wondering why I’ve ditched the oil that’s usually found in classic salad dressings. Truth is that vegetable oil is just added fat calories and who needs that? Every tablespoon of vegetable oil, no matter what kind—even the much-revered olive oil, is 100% fat that plants 120 calories on your body. You’ll notice that the source of fat in this dressing does not come from minimally nutritious vegetable oils found in most salad dressings.

Instead, healthful mono- and polyunsaturated fats from Brazil nuts give this dressing its richness and natural thickening. Brazil nuts have other charming characteristics, too. They’re revered for their outstanding source of selenium, a mineral known for its powerful antioxidant capabilities.
brazil
Researchers at the University of Illinois conducted a study published in the July 17, 2003 issue of the journal Cancer Research suggesting that the high levels of selenium in Brazil nuts may play a role in preventing breast and other cancers. Selenium aids in inhibiting the production of free radicals that can damage our DNA and deserves special recognition because compromised DNA paves the way for cancer cells to grow.

Brazil nuts are so well endowed with selenium that all it takes is one nut a day to provide the RDA for that mineral. Each nut contains 120 mcg of selenium, while adults require only 55 mcg a day. Pregnant women require slightly more, 60 mcg, of the mineral while lactating mothers need 70 mcg per day. A study published in the February 2008 issue of American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that eating two Brazil nuts a day could avoid the need to take any selenium supplements.

This important antioxidant mineral also helps to prevent inflammatory, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases. Turn to Brazil nuts for a good source of protein, fiber, and impressive levels of potassium and magnesium. And if that weren’t enough, the nuts contain plenty of iron, zinc, and even the important trace mineral copper that plays an important role in collagen formation needed for bone formation.

Enjoy this Brazil nut treasure on any bowl of greens, and you might be craving salads more often.


ARTICHOKE BRAZIL NUT DRESSING

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

1/2 cup whole Brazil nuts

1 (13.75 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 to 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Grind the Brazil nuts into nut butter in a small electric grinder/chopper or coffee grinder and transfer to a blender.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until creamy and smooth.
3. Transfer the dressing to a serving bowl and serve with a ladle or use a funnel to pour it into a narrow-neck bottle for easy pouring. Covered and refrigerated, the Artichoke Brazil Nut Dressing will keep for 1 week.

Posted in Antioxidants in Nuts, Brazil nuts, Minerals in Nuts, Nut Nutrition, Nut Recipes, Nuts and Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

 
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