In celebration of Nut Day on October 22, go nuts this Meatless Monday!
Mass decorating and leaves-raking can make everyone go a bit nutty in between (Canadian) Thanksgiving and Halloween. Let’s pause this Meatless Monday to pay homage to the real nuts with this meat-free fall side dish: pecans and butternut squash flavoured by orange juice and plums. Nut Day is also October 22, so snack on leftovers or your nut of choice (almonds, pecans, walnuts?) to celebrate!
- Peanuts aren’t nuts, but rather a variety of pea that grows underground. (Other nut imposters include almonds, pistachios, cashews, horse chestnuts, and pine nuts.)
- Appropriately, the word “pecan” may come from a North American Algonquin term that means “a tough nut to crack.”
- The Ancient Greeks and Romans thought that pine nuts were an aphrodisiac; today, pine nuts are popular in Italian cooking.
- In addition to their rich taste, nuts can provide enough health benefits to satisfy even the most fervent health nut.
Orange Glazed Butternut Herbed Pecans
From Matthew Kadey’s “Go Nuts”
2/3 cup (160 mL) pecans
1 tsp (5 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp (1 mL) paprika
1/4 tsp (1 mL) + 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) sea salt
1 lb (450 g) butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 4 cups/1 L)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
1 tsp (5 mL) orange zest
2 Tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) dried plums (prunes), sliced in half
2 oz (60 mL) crumbled soft goat cheese
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
In small bowl, stir together pecans and oil. Add thyme, rosemary, paprika, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, and stir to coat nuts with mixture. Place nuts on baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, or until browned, being careful not to burn pecans.
Meanwhile, place butternut squash in steamer basket and steam until tender, about 6 to 8 minutes. In skillet, melt together butter, honey, orange zest, and orange juice over medium-low heat. Add squash, dried plums, and remaining salt; cook, stirring gently, for 2 minutes, making sure squash is well coated with orange glaze.
Serve squash topped with pecans and goat cheese.
Each serving contains: 320 calories; 6 g protein; 19 g total fat (5 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 38 g total carbohydrates (17 g sugars, 6 g fibre); 291 mg sodium