Tag Archives: pine nuts

Marinated Chickpeas with Quinoa and Dandelion Greens Salad

Marinated Chickpeas with Quinoa and Dandelion Greens Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Grilled Calamari with Grapefruit, Olives and Pine Nuts

Grilled Calamari with Grapefruit, Olives and Pine Nuts at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Gluten & Dairy Free Coffee Cake Topped with Berries & Pine Nuts

Gluten & Dairy Free Coffee Cake Topped with Berries & Pine Nuts from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Asian Citrus Watermelon Salad

Asian Citrus Watermelon Salad from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Mushroom, Tomato & Pesto Spaghetti Casserole using Heartland #glutenfree pasta

spaghetti casserole

The folks at Heartland Gluten Free Pasta asked me to create a original recipe using their spaghetti. While I had seen their gluten free and Hidden Vegetable pasta in the store, I had never tried it out. Well, I’m so glad I did because their gluten free pasta is the closest thing I’ve come to regular pasta. It tastes great, has a good texture (not gritty or gooey) and cooks up al dente just as easily as a wheat pasta. It also has a lovely butter yellow color to it, which inspired me to combine it with the reds and yellows of cherry tomatoes, the browns of mushrooms and the flavors of a creamy basil sauce.

You can save time on this dish by using pre-sliced mushrooms and store bought pesto sauce. Feel free to substitute my Tofu Sour Cream or no fat Greek yogurt, for the low fat sour cream. Finally, while it’s baking, set the table, clean up and pour yourself a glass of wine!

You can learn more about Heatland’s gluten free as well as conventional pastas on their website at heartlandpasta.com. You can also connect with them on Facebook and Twitter @HeartlandPasta.

spaghetti casserole

Mushroom, Tomato & Pesto Spaghetti Casserole

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Heartland Gluten Free Spaghetti
  • 10 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 16 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup low fat sour cream
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons of pesto (to taste)
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • Pine nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Set oven to warm setting (around 150-180 degrees F).
  2. Prepare Heartland Gluten Free Spaghetti per package directions until al dente. Drain, rinse and pour spaghetti back into spaghetti pot. Set aside.
  3. While spaghetti is cooking, heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. Add oil, then mushrooms and sliced cherry tomatoes to pan. Sauté over medium heat until mushrooms and tomatoes are soft – about 10-12 minutes.
  5. Add sour cream, pesto and lemon juice to pan and stir to combine ingredients. Turn off heat.
  6. Pour sour cream, pesto and vegetable over cooked spaghetti. Toss gently to evenly distribute sauce.
  7. Place spaghetti and sauce mixture into an oven safe casserole dish. Liberally sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top of spaghetti.
  8. Place casserole dish in oven for 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown and slightly crusty.
  9. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
  10. Optionally for those who like a little crunch, serve with a side dish of pine nuts so each dinner guest can add a few to their pasta.

Enjoy!

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Disclosure: I was compensated by Heartland for recipe development, photography and posting. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Baby Greens and Balsamic Reduction

Goat Cheese Pizza with Pine Nuts, Baby Greens and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’m crazy about balsamic vinegar reduction as a sauce on anything from roasted vegetables to fish. Drizzling it on food makes an ordinary dish burst with flavor and adds a little elegance to boot. Plus, it’s so easy to make. In this recipe, I used Holland House balsamic vinegar, brought it to a boil on the stove top, and then simmered it until it was reduced by half. Easy!

This pizza recipe is inspired by a gluten free pizza I had at Udi’s PIzza Café Bar in Arvada, Colorado and a Caramelized Onion & Fig Mini Pizza I had when I visited the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter test kitchen back in 2010.

I made this gluten free using Udi’s Gluten Free pizza crusts. If you’re not gluten free, feel free to use whatever pizza crusts you wish. Or you can make your own using my healthy whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

Leftover balsamic vinegar can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks and reheated slightly to drizzle on vegetables, fish, chicken, beef and even strawberries!

Goat Cheese Pizza with Pine Nuts, Baby Greens and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Baby Greens and Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Holland House balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons low saturated fat, buttery spread
  • 1 premade pizza crust
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 12 ounces baby greens
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts

Directions

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. (Make sure to watch carefully to avoid a messy boil over.)
  2. Quickly reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered until vinegar is reduced by half and thickens slightly.
  3. While your balsamic vinegar is reducing, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add buttery spread to skillet to melt.
  4. Add onions and reduce heat to medium. Slowly sauté onions until they turn slightly brown and are caramelized. Be careful not to burn onions. Reduce heat and add more buttery spread if needed. When onions are done, remove skillet from stove top and set aside.
  5. Set oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Place pizza crust on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.
  7. Using a spreader or offset spatula, spread a thin, even layer of goat cheese on pizza crust. If goat cheese is too hard to spread, put it in the microwave on high for 10 seconds to soften.
  8. Add an even layer of baby greens on top of the goat cheese layer.
  9. Carefully sprinkle pine nuts evenly over pizza.
  10. Cook for 10-12 minutes until greens start to wilt and pizza crust and cheese are heated through.
  11. Remove pizza from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over it. Apply a light or heavy drizzle depending on your individual taste.
  12. Slice pizza and serve.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: Makes 1 personal sized pizza.
  • Serving size: Serves 2 as an appetizer or 1 as an entrée.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto from The Everything Vegan Cookbook

Sun Dried Tomato PestoSince I found out that I have food sensitivities to dairy products, I’ve been checking out vegan blogs and cookbooks for substitutes for my favorite recipes that use cheese and yogurt. That’s why I requested a review copy of The Everything Vegan Cookbook by Jolinda Hackett with Lorena Novak Bull, RD.

Vegan recipes like Thai Tom Kha Coconut Soup, Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Quinoa, and Cucumber Cilantro Salad should entice anyone, meat eater or not. It also contains vegan versions of normally cheese filled favorites like lasagna and mac and cheese. The Everything Vegan Cookbook also has meat substitution recipes like Spaghetti with Italian “Meatballs” and lots of tofu based recipes like Simmered Coconut Curried Tofu.

The Everything Vegan Cookbook is a good cookbook for someone starting on their vegan journey who wants to replicate old, non-vegan favorite dishes. Its  recipes are easy to follow and usually contain three to five steps – perfect for busy families. It’s also a good cookbook to cook from when having vegan visitors  or when a tween or teen decides to try out the vegan lifestyle. With over 300 recipes, there’s enough variety to please everyone. Also, each recipe comes with basic nutritional information like calories, fat grams and fiber grams.

Nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute

One of the first recipes that caught my eye (besides the tofu vegan ice creams) was the pesto. I love pesto but can’t handle the cheese in it. Instead, this recipe uses nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute.

I had some nutritional yeast left over from making the Smoked Turkey with Maple-Herb Brine on Thanksgiving. I found it at Sunflower Market in the bulk bins, but you can find nutritional yeast at any health food store as well as online at Amazon.

The pesto was a hit with my family. Even my husband, who is the number one cheese lover in the family, had seconds. I served it on brown rice pasta and whole wheat pasta. Delicious!

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

From The Everything Vegan Cookbook

Yields 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. If using dehydrated sun dried tomatoes, reconstitute in warm water until soft and pliable, about 15 minutes.
  2. Puree together all ingredients, adding oil last to achieve desired consistency.

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Nutritional information

Per two tablespoons

  • Calories 133
  • Fat 13g
  • Sodium 193 mg
  • Fiber 1g
  • Protein 3g

Weight Watchers POINTS = 4

This Mama’s tips

  • Since I didn’t have enough, I substituted arugula for half of the basil. You could probably experiment with spinach, cilantro and other leafy greens.
  • If your pesto comes out too thick or dry, add more olive oil.
  • The pesto doesn’t heat up well in the microwave. Instead, it gets dried out. So heat your noodles, add the pesto and mix it in.
  • The pesto makes an excellent spread for crackers. Other suggestions are a spread for sandwiches or for a pesto pizza.

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Disclosure: I received a review copy to facilitate this review.

Gluten Free Pine Nut and Date Pudding from the Grand Canyon Cook Book

Gluten Free Pine Nut and Date Pudding

Here’s another gluten free dessert inspired by the Grand Canyon Cook Book. This recipe caught my eye because I LOVE bread pudding, but have to stay away from it due to my food sensitivities to gluten, baker’s yeast, milk products and sugar.

My son who’s a big fan of Lärabars, which are date based, loved this healthy snack. Serve it warm out of the oven with a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt. It also heats up well in the microwave. Served cold, this gluten free dessert reminds me of pecan pie! You may just want to tuck this recipe away for Thanksgiving.

Either way, enjoy a sliver (a little goes a long way) with a hot mug of Crio Brü or a glass of soy milk.

Gluten Free Pine Nut and Date Pudding

Serves 8

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix sugar and eggs. Add dates, brown rice flour, salt, baking power, and pine nuts.
  3. Pour into a greased, shallow baking dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Gluten Free Pine Nut and Date Pudding

Nutritional information

Per slice:

  • Calories 151
  • Calories from Fat 59
  • Total Fat 6.6g
  • Saturated Fat 0.6g
  • Trans Fat 0.0g
  • Cholesterol 23mg
  • Sodium 156mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 23.3g
  • Dietary Fiber 2.3g
  • Sugars 16.0g
  • Protein 2.8g

Nutrition Grade B+ from CalorieCount

Weight Watchers POINTS = 3