Roasted Pecans with Quinoa
Ah, it's the simple things, isn't it? I love musing about the joy in mundane moments. It's really a treasure when we finally find a way to live well in the small simple things happening each day, all around us. The sneaky smiles of a four year old, the sentimental hugs of a six year old (yes, I speak of MY four and six year olds..but do fill in the blank with your own little loves). The before-bed prayers petitioning God to grant us only what we really need and the presence of purpose when we connect to our breath. Deeply, now, with me....breathe in.....and out! Love that, don't you?
It's the same sometimes with food for me. Sure, I savor the labor of love and complex flavors of more complicated concoctions. But sometimes, simplicity speaks volumes to my body and my mind. You know what I mean! Headed out the door when we notice that tummy rumble. Or sitting satisfied on the couch between kids when we realize we need just a little satiation to continue reading stories. Or sometimes, it's just a desire to drown out what's all around me with a taste tantalizing crunch!
Yeah, sometimes eating just feels good.
In those moments I like to keep it simple, mindfully simple. Nothing too complex or time consuming. Just something to draw me to another tastey place. Of course, I keep mind over matter to keep me from stuffing myself silly (sometimes!). Treats keeping me company in simple moments like this:
- Fresh fruit. Simple. Sweet. Fruit.
- A spoonful of homemade hummus.....something about the taste and texture of the homemade stuff satisfies right from the spoon! I also eat almond butter right from the spoon (I guess it's also about the convenience of grabbing the jar from the fridge, not dirtying a dish and savoring a simply filling snack on a spoon!)
- Oh, just a couple little squares of dark, dark chocolate. Nothing compares to this late afternoon indulgence!
- Nuts! Ideally I love raw, unadulterated sometimes even soaked and dehydrated (a story for another time!) nuts. Mostly almond, walnuts or pecans.
And, that, my friends, brings me to my next contribution for this collection of eating well recipes! It's simple, crunchy and ultimately satisfying. Pecans offer healthy mono-saturated fats (like oelic acid) and many phyto-chemicals (plant nutrients) contributing to their overall antioxident value. Just to name a few of those phyto-friends: ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin. Then, of course, there's their naturally in-tact vitamins (many of the B-vitamin complex groups and vitamin E) and their mighty minerals (rich in manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium).
Many whole, raw nuts offer these same healthy characterictics so if you are not much of a pecan fan, feel free to substitute almonds or halved walnuts in this recipe.
Then, you'll see, we're gonna take it up a knotch by stirring in some quinoa, another plant-based power house offering a complete protein profile.
A little handful of these while I'm typing here at my desk is enough to get me through another article before lunch!
Simple yet incredibly satisfying, this snack offers real-food flavors, the crunch you're looking for and phyto-nutrients galore. Vitamin E and B complex groups, magnesium, selenium, good fats and more. No guilt in a little handful of this easy-prep recipe.
- 16 ounce bag raw Pecans
- 1 whole egg (I prefer organic, cage free)
- 1 egg white (I found 2 whole eggs offers a little too much goo so I split one)
- ½ to ¾ cup uncooked quinoa (depending on your taste preferences)
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or non-liquid sweetener of your choice)
- 2 teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan salt
- 3 tablespoons cinnamon (yep, it's a hefty dose!)
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Prepare a jelly roll pan (or large baking sheet with a rim) with parchment paper (or spray with cooking spray very lightly).
Crack the eggs into a large bowl (separating one of them and discarding the yoke—not because the yoke is bad for you, it would just be too much goo for this amount of nuts). Beat the eggs vigorously until they are a little foamy. Dump the nuts in and stir to coat. Add all of the other ingredients and stir to evenly distribute.
Dump the nuts on the prepared pan. Put it into the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes. Stir and break up the nuts that are sticking together. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes. Watch that the edges are not burning. A light roast is great to preserve some of the nutrients.
Remove pan from oven. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
I store my nuts in the fridge or freezer to preserve their flavor and so the don't go rancid. Plus, they have a nice little satisfying crunch when taken fresh from the fridge.