Caramel Cashew Chex

Caramel Cashew Chex Mix

Make a lot! Assuming 1 ounce by weight, this will make about 50 portions
12-14 ounce box of Chex, Crispix or similar breakfast cereal
12 ounces cashews
2 sticks butter (unsalted is best)
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
½ teaspoon baking soda
Large paper grocery bag
1.    Pour cereal into grocery bag. Add cashews.
2.    In a saucepan, melt the butter.
3.    Add brown sugar and corn syrup.
4.    Bring to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
5.    Add baking soda, stir to mix. This will make the syrup foamy.
6.    Pour over nuts and cereal.
7.    Scrunch the bag down so it will fit into your microwave, and microwave on high for 2 minutes.
8.    Carefully stir everything, and scrunch the bag down, microwaving on high for 2 more minutes.
9.    Carefully pour mix onto buttered cookie sheets. (Wax paper does NOT work, even if buttered. Peeling shreds of paper off the candy is less fun than it sounds.) Spread into an even layer, let cool and harden.
10.  Break into small pieces and store in an airtight container, preferably not where I can get at it.
Nutritional data:
Calories:        151
Fat:                7.8g
Sat fat:           3.2g
Chol:           9.8mg
Sodium:     52.6mg
Carbs:          19.3g
Fiber:             0.5g
Protein:          2.6g

Walnut-Pear Bleu Cheese Salad

Walnut-Pear Bleu Cheese Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2

A double-handful of mixed greens
1/2 of a ripe pear, thinly sliced
1/2 of a cucumber, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon walnut pieces
1 tablespoon bleu cheese crumbles

  1. Place greens in a bowl.
  2. Add dressing, toss to coat.
  3. Divide lettuce and place on two plates
  4. Add equal amounts of pears, cucumbers, walnuts and bleu cheese to each.
  5. Note: You can make this vegan by either removing the bleu cheese completely, or replace it with something else savory. (Maybe wasabi-coated tofu crumbles? I haven’t tried it, but I think it would work.)

Nutritional data:
Calories:        131
Fat:                 9g
Sat fat:         1.9g
Chol:       12.5mg
Sodium: 154.1mg
Carbs:          8.4g
Fiber:           2.4g
Protein:        5.8g

Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
Serves 2

2 tablespoons white balsamic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Nutritional data:
Calories:        104
Fat:                 7g
Sat fat:            1g
Chol:            0mg
Sodium:   62.5mg
Carbs:        10.1g
Fiber:              0g
Protein:           0g

Roasted Nut Pumpkin Butter

Roasted Nut Pumpkin Butter
Serves: 20 (approximately 1 tablespoon portions)

1/2 cup (2 ounces walnuts)
1/2 cup (2 ounces pecans)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon Splenda brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place all nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 10 minutes, checking them at 8 minutes to prevent burning. The nuts should be a deep golden color and very fragrant when you open the oven door.
  3. Remove the nuts from the oven and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Process the nuts in a food processor until they reach a coarse nut butter consistency.
  5. Add all remaining ingredients, and process until well mixed.
  6. Store refrigerated in an air tight container.

Nutritional data:
Calories:       41
Fat:                4g
Sat fat:        0.4g
Chol:             0mg
Sodium:      0.1g
Carbs:        1.2g
Fiber:         0.5g
Protein:      0.7g

Grilled Shrimp and Strawberry-Spinach Salad

Grilled Shrimp and Strawberry-Spinach Salad
Serves 4

Strawberry-Spinach Salad

In an large bowl, toss together:
6 ounces baby spinach
1/2 cup sliced, toasted almonds
8 ounces fresh strawberries, sliced

To toast the almonds, heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add almonds and saute dry (no oil.) Toss occasionally. The almonds are done when they begin to turn light brown.

Make the dressing:
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons Splenda (or 5 tablespoons table sugar)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)

Pour dressing over spinach and strawberries. Toss to coat.

This salad does not make a good leftover salad. The spinach wilts, and the strawberries get mushy. Eat it freshly made.

Nutritional data:
Calories:     142
Fat:           10.5g
Sat fat:           1g
Chol:             0mg
Sodium:       39mg
Carbs:         9.8g
Fiber:          3.5g
Protein:       4.5g

Serves 4 (8 ounce portions)

I used 2 pounds of large shrimp (purchased peeled and deveined for ease of preparation), thawed and put in a Ziplock bag. I added 2 tablespoons olive oil and tossed to coat all shrimp.

I preheated my grill and place a vegetable basket on the grill.  When it was hot, I coated it with canola oil, and put the shrimp in the basket. I lightly seasoned the shrimp with Penzey’s Sunny Spain.

I put the lid on the grill, and let them cook for 2 minutes, then stirred them around. I repeated that three time. The shrimp are done when they are white and no longer translucent. (Small shrimp cook faster.)

Nutritional Data:
Calories:     200
Fat:              2g
Sat fat:         0g
Chol:        280mg
Sodium:    270mg
Carbs:          0g
Fiber:            0g
Protein:       38g