Last week, I was lucky enough to have been asked to go back on Rogers Daytime to do a cooking segment. I was actaully the first guest to use the newly renovated kitchen, which was so cool!
I suggested that I make my Sweet & Spicy Pecans because, after the last time I was there, I actually had more people ask me about those nuts I brought than for the salmon recipe I made! Plus, Derick Fage’s Dad kept coming back for more, so I figured that was a good sign they were tasty. 😉
In the Easy Recipes section on my blog, you’ll see my recipe for Sweet & Spicy Roasted Nuts that are done in the oven. I love that recipe and make it all the time. It combines various nuts, it’s easy, the nuts are super tasty and they only have to roast for about 30 minutes.
That said, what I like about the method I showed on Daytime is that, if you need a nice salad in a flash, nothing kicks up a simple salad better than a few sweet & spicy pecans, and these are done in just a few minutes. Paired with some seasonal fruit or berries and a little goat cheese and voila! A fancy looking, tasty salad is ready-to-serve and sure to please a crowd.
Check out the segment here:
You’ll notice that on the show, I couldn’t get the heat up high enough to be able to cook them properly, but the method is still the same, so you’ll get the gist, and the recipe is detailed below as well as in the Easy Recipes section.
More than just a salad topper, I also love these nuts popped onto a pitted Noor date (I buy the big bag of organic ones at Costco and store them in the fridge) stuffed with either goat or blue cheese. Noor dates are smaller than Medjool dates, so they are perfect for “one-biters”, as we talk about during the segment.
These nuts are also tasty as a topping for plain Greek yogurt, which tends to be pretty bland, so I like adding fresh fruit and a few sweet & spicy pecans to liven it up a bit. I also love adding a few of these nuts to my traditional trail mix of raw almonds, walnuts and dried cranberries. Just a few go a long way. 🙂
My Big Fat Yummy Salad
I really like the organic red butter lettuce I've been buying at Costco, but any favourite lettuce will do. During the growing season, it's lovely to find various lettuces at Farmer's markets or even in your own garden.
I took inspiration from a recent post from Megan Gilmore, better known as The Detoxinista, and added fresh peaches and red onion to the salad I took on Daytime. I also made her Peach Vinaigrette (link below), which is absolutely delicious. On the show, I talked about her blog, Detoxinista.com, and showed off her new cookbook, "Everyday Detox" available on Amazon, that I highly recommend.
So, here's how I plan for a nice big salad. I make the nuts first (recipe below) and while they are cooling, I arrange my salad.
Step 1: I start with a large platter and cover it with my greens.
Step 2: I crumble goat cheese (not a ton, because a little goes a long way) over the top.
Step 3: I throw on any seasonal fruit or berries I have on hand. Fresh fruit works best, but if I only have dried cranberries, that's what I use. The idea is to combine sweet and salty flavours.
Step 4: I add any chopped vegetables I want, such as cucumbers, carrots, beets, avocado, and tomatoes. This is always based on what's in the fridge and my mood.
Step 5: I throw on a good handful of Sweet & Spicy Pecans.
Step 6: I drizzle on a home made vinaigrette (such as my apple cider vinegar dressing in the Easy Dips, Marinades & Dressings section or the peach vinaigrette mentioned above) or else I serve it on the side.
Let's Go NUTS!
I really like this method for pecans, but any nuts will do, such as walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds.
Sweet & Spicy Pecans
One Parchment-lined baking sheet
1 1/2 cups raw pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more or less, depending on your desired level of spice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
A few cracks of black pepper
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1. Prepare your baking sheet with parchment and set aside
2. Combine the spices in a small bowl
3. Heat your frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add in the raw pecans.
4. Using a spatula, keep them moving, allowing them to roast for about 5 minutes. You want them to darken slightly and smell fragrant, but not burn.
5. Add in the coconut oil and stir to coat the nuts.
6. Add in the spice blend (stand back a bit as the cayenne can make you sneeze!) and stir to coat the nuts. Allow the spices to "bloom" for a few moments. Create a space in the middle of the pan and add in the maple syrup (it will sizzle!!), then move quickly with your spatula to coat the nuts evenly. Allow to cook for a few moments and then transfer them to the baking sheet.
7. Arrange the pecans in a single layer and allow them to cool while you arrange your salad.
Note: Allow them to cool completely before storing in a glass jar or Ziploc bag/container. I keep mine in the fridge.
Voila! You have a lovely dish ready to please even the pickiest eaters. Feel free to add cooked chicken, pork or steak on top of your salad for a full meal, or else serve it alongside your favourite main dish.
In A Nutshell (pardon the pun 😉 )
Both in my life and in my kitchen, I love doing little things that make a big impact. This recipe is an example of that philosophy and I hope you enjoy these pecans as much as I do.
Because I want you to love your life one bite at at time.
P.S. Here is the link to The Detoxinista's peach vinaigrette recipe. I hope you follow her, sign up to her blog and try her delicious recipes. I have never been disappointed! Note: I often cut down the sweetness (maple syrup, honey, etc) in her recipes because I tend to find them too sweet for me, but use your taste buds as your guide. 🙂
P.P.S. As always, I would love to know if this post served you, and if so, please leave a comment. Feel free to share with a friend if you think they would enjoy it as well. Thank you!