Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Recipe for roasted cabbage, apple and pecan salad with mustard vinaigrette {vegan, gluten-free}

Now that it's Spring, officially, I know you're ready for greener-than-green recipes starring pungent ramps and crunchy peas and crisp spears of asparagus. I'm ready, too, but here in New England, Spring in March is more theory than reality, with snow still blanketing the garden. Nevertheless, I've got something green-ish for you, this lovely side dish of roasted cabbage with apples and pecans. I'm determined to eat more cooked cabbage this year, and roasting turns the leaves soft and sweet. Combine that with some crisp apples, not too tart, and toasted pecans, and this is a side dish that will compliment any main course protein (roasted chicken, grilled steak, baked fish). The ingredients are available year-round, and that's exactly when you should make this salad.

Roasted cabbage, apple and pecan salad with mustard vinaigrette

Serves 4.


For the vinaigrette:
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp agave nectar
Pinch each of kosher salt and fresh black pepper
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
1/2 green cabbage, cut into large chunks
1 apple, diced (I like Macintosh)
3 Tbsp pecan halves


Preheat the oven to 400°F.
On a rimmed baking sheet, spread the cabbage chunks. Sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, and a pinch each of salt and black pepper. Toss the cabbage gently, and spread into a single layer. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, until the cabbage is softened and beginning to brown at the edges. Remove the pan from the oven.
When cool enough to handle, transfer the cabbage to a cutting board and cut into dice. Add to a mixing bowl, along with the diced apple.
Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake vigorously, to emulsify the dressing. Pour as much as you need over the cabbage and apple, and toss. Allow the vegetables to sit in the dressing while you finish the pecans.
Heat a small nonstick dry frying pan over medium heat. Toast the pecans for 2-3 minutes, until they are just fragrant but not browned. Add the nuts to the cabbage, and toss.
Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold. If you like mix-ins, add some dried cranberries or goat cheese, or both.

The Pantry Quiz #79

Do You Know?

Pomegranate molasses is a thick, slightly tart syrup used in sauces, salad dressings, and desserts, and in some savory stews. If you don't live near a Middle Eastern grocery, it can be hard to find; however, you can make it at home, by boiling down store-bought pomegranate juice with which of the following:
1. Lemon
2. Molasses
3. Sugar
4. Water

Please leave your answer in the comments, and let us know whether you have this ingredient in your pantry.
[Last week's answer: Wasabi powder makes the best substitute for dry mustard, because they both will add a sharp heat to your recipe. The other ingredients will turn your dish yellow, but mustard doesn't actually do that, so you're replacing the heat, not the color.]
You can find many of the answers to The Pantry Quiz by using the search box at right, at the top of the page, to hunt for clues. Come back next Saturday for the answer to today's quiz question.

Recipe for corned beef with tangy horseradish-mustard sauce (pressure cooker, slow cooker or stovetop)

Growing up not in the St. Patrick's Day tradition, but in the corned-beef-on-rye-at-the-deli tradition, I'm a huge fan of corned beef. Fortunately, right after St. Patrick's Day, corned beef goes on sale in my local supermarket, and I snag a few pieces of low-sodium flat-cutcorned beef to stash in the freezer. (Low sodium is the key, so be sure to look for that on the label.) Usually I cook it in the slow cooker, or even on the stove top, but this year I put my new electric pressure cooker to the test. I don't want to brag, but, honestly, this was the best corned beef I've ever made, and it was by far the easiest. No fussing required, ready in under two hours, perfectly tender, not salty, great for sandwiches the next day. All around perfect, with a kick from horseradish in the mustard sauce. Skip the traditional New England boiled dinner of corned beef and soggy vegetables: serve your corned beef with a platter of oven-roasted carrots, cabbage and potatoes, or this roasted cabbage, apple and pecan salad.

Corned beef with tangy horseradish-mustard sauce

From the pantry, you'll need: bay leafblack peppercornsDijon mustardprepared horseradishmayonnaisebeer (I use non-alcoholic).
Serves 6-8.


3.5- to 4-lb low-sodium flat cut corned beef
12-oz bottle of beer (I use O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer)
1 bay leaf
3 black peppercorns
4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp prepared horseradish
4 tsp mayonnaise
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper


You can cook corned beef in the pressure cooker, in a slow cooker or in a Dutch oven on the stovetop. I've tried them all, and honestly, my new pressure cooker does the best job. If you have all of the options available, go the pressure route. Note that the amount of liquid varies with each method.
Pressure cooker method: Remove the corned beef from the package, and discard the spice packet. Rinse under cold water, and pat dry with paper towels. Trim any excess fat off the corned beef, but leave a thin layer to protect the meat. Place the meat in the pressure cooker. Pour the beer into an 8-cup measuring cup; add water up to the 6-cup mark. Pour the liquid into the cooker, along with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Following the directions that came with your pressure cooker, cook the corned beef on High Pressure for 90 minutes. Use Natural Pressure Release for 15 minutes, then release the remaining pressure with the Quick Release method. Use tongs to remove the meat to a platter, and set aside to cool for 5 minutes before slicing the meat.
Slow cooker method: Prepare the meat as above, and set it in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Pour in the bottle of beer. Add water to almost cover the meat. Toss in the bay leaf, and add 12 black peppercorns. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours, until the meat is fork-tender. Remove from the cooker, and set aside to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
Stovetop method: Prepare the meat as above, and place it in a Dutch oven or heavy stockpot. Pour in the bottle of beer, and add water to cover. Toss in the bay leaf, and add 12 black peppercorns. Over high heat, bring the liquid to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 4 hours, until the meat is fork-tender. Remove from the pot, and set aside to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
While the meat is cooking, mix together the mustard, horseradish, mayonnaise and black pepper. Cover and set in the refrigerator until the meat is cooked. The longer the sauce sits, the more tangy it will be.
Slice the meat, and serve hot, at room temperature or cold, with the mustard sauce. You can freeze the meat after it is completely cooled.

We have a brand new newsletter for you. It's free, and it's fun.

For the longest time, I've been trying to figure out what to do with all of the bits and pieces that don't make it to this blog.
Eureka! I've got it!
I'm so excited to introduce you to TIDBITS, our brand new newsletter, a special treat for fans of The Perfect Pantry®.

In every issue, you'll enjoy:
  • Peeking into my not-always-super-organized kitchen and pantry to see what's going on;
  • Learning about my favorite new food discoveries;
  • Following the progress of my herb garden (if the snow ever melts);
  • Enjoying some bits & bites from around the universe;
  • Finding out what I'm really eating when I'm not creating recipes for the blog; and
  • Getting a bonus recipe, one that won't appear here on The Perfect Pantry.
There will be more, but I have to keep a few secrets.
Tidbits comes out only six times a year, so it won't overwhelm your inbox. And you will not receive Tidbits unless you subscribe to it*. No stealth subscriptions, no automatic mailings. If you subscribe, you'll get it. If you don't, you won't.
Or, click on the "subscribe" button in the red bar at the top of the page. So easy.
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Enjoy, and thank you!
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Maybe you remember the 1960s – all but the youngest Boomers do. But even if you weren’t there in person, you may have heard a bit about that tumultuous decade.
Vietnam. Woodstock. The Summer of Love. Kent State.
Social upheaval was rife throughout America, as college students occupied campus buildings (decades before they occupied Wall Street); police and protesters battled one another at the Democratic convention in Chicago, and the Civil Rights movement smoldered, then burned fiercely – in Selma. And Detroit. And Watts.
Not all the changes during that decade were violent, though. A gradual shift was happening in American tastes, as well. The can-opener cuisine of the 1950s was being replaced by something new and fresh – literally. Canned tomatoes gave way to fresh heirlooms, Cheez-Whiz in a jar to organic goat cheese, and we’ve never looked back.
The 10 years between 1974-1984 were a watershed decade for pizza. Biscuit crusts and canned anchovies disappeared, to be replaced by airy yeast-based crusts topped with fresh (and exotic) ingredients, seared to perfection in wood-fired stone ovens.
Chef Jeremiah Tower, in his book Jeremiah Tower Cooks, lays claim to creating the first of the single-serve “gourmet” pizzas – on August 28, 1974, at a birthday celebration for Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ 3-year-old restaurant in Berkeley, California.  The concept took off, and Chez Panisse’s wood-oven pizzas became wildly popular.
It wasn’t until 1982, however, that gourmet-style pizza traveled beyond northern California. Chef Wolfgang Puck, enthralled by the imaginative pizzas created by Ed LaDou at San Francisco’s Prego restaurant, promptly stole LaDou for his own new launch, Spago, about to open in West Hollywood. Over the next 3 years, LaDou and Puck created and served more than 250 different pizza  “concepts” to their Hollywood audience of star (and star-struck) patrons.
LaDou eventually went on to create the menu for California Pizza Kitchens; while Puck opened a series of restaurants all over the country, including outposts in airports and shopping malls. And gradually, pizza beyond pepperoni (barbecued chicken; spinach and garlic; roasted vegetable, et. al.) went mainstream.
I decided to experience for myself what those first signature pizzas might have tasted like. I’ve got a pizza stone, great flour, and access to a typical 21st-century American supermarket – which offers many of the ingredients that, back then, were so exotic.
And since Jeremiah claims to be the gourmet-pizza godfather – let’s start there.
Of his Potato, Fontina Cheese, and Fresh Sage Pizza in Jeremiah Tower Cooks, Tower says, “Many pizzas are more exotic or esoteric than this one, but simplicity of flavors should rule, without too many ingredients. This is my everyday (if I were so lucky) favorite.”

Let’s check it out.
Looks like a fairly typical recipe, eh?
Wow, that’s a lot of olive oil. And I can tell by looking at the flour/liquid ratio that the dough, even using high-protein bread flour, is going to be unworkably sticky; so I cut back the water by 1 ounce (2 tablespoons). The result is a nice, smooth dough.
Note: It could be that Chef Tower measures his flour differently than we do here at King Arthur. We use the sprinkle flour into your cup, level with a straight edge method; he might simply dip his measuring cup into the flour and scrape off any excess, which can result in an extra 25% flour in each cup, compared to our method. This discrepancy is why, when you’re using a recipe from an unfamiliar source, it’s good to try to determine how the author measures his/her flour. 
Once it’s risen, Tower directs that the dough be divided into four pieces, each shaped into an 8″ round.
These rounds are pretty thick; but that’s OK, I enjoy thick-crust pizza.
For topping, the chef calls for thinly sliced (1/8″ thick) “yellow, waxy” potatoes (I choose Yukon Gold); Fontina cheese; fresh sage, and freshly grated Parmesan.
I have to start winging it at this point; like many chef cookbooks, the directions are a bit scanty. For instance, while Parmesan is listed in the ingredients, it’s never called for in the directions; ditto salt and white pepper.
And, if Chef Tower can tell me please how to thinly slice a soft cheese like Fontina, I’ll be eternally grateful (er, greatful).
I forge ahead, brushing the crusts with olive oil, sprinkling with chopped fresh sage, then layering on the potatoes. I figure this is a good time to use the salt and pepper, before adding the cheeses.


If you were to take your best guess at where much of my energy and enthusiasm for baking and writing about food comes from, what would you say?  Wait, I’ll make it even easier and narrow it down to just a few choices.
  1. 3 3/4 Hour Energy Drink! It’s AMAZING! It’s DELICIOUS!
  2. Long walks in the snow, bundled up like a Yeti, while singing show tunes.
  3. My KAF friends and family, including you all leaving comments, talking about food memories and traditions.
  4. A double espresso teamed with a Murder, She Wrote marathon.
And the results?
  1. I’m afraid of the stuff, seriously.
  2. Go out in the snow? Bwaaahaaaahaaaaa haaaaaa!
  3. Spot on!
  4. Silly goose, that’s how I get my energy for typing  blogs and recipes.
In all honesty, though, without the phone calls, emails, letters, and comments that come through from enthusiastic bakers all around the world, it would be much harder to keep the creative juices bubbling when it comes to food. I consider myself so lucky to be able to talk, learn, and share so much about food every day. If you see me answer your blog comment with “thanks for sharing,” know that I mean it from the bottom of my heart.
In fact, I keep a little black notebook near my left hand and every time I see a great food idea, I add it in. Each blog planning meeting my notebook and I show up full of new ideas. Blogs for Sweet Potato GnocchiBanana Cream Cheese Roll, Asian Dumplings, and so many more had their origins in that little black book.
I’m not sure where or when the conversation about Anadama bread took place, but I do remember thinking “Wow! It’s been ages since I’ve made that!” I can remember, too, when I made a loaf nearly every week, to be toasted and devoured with butter and strawberry jam. So, I send out a universal thanks to whoever sent me the nudge, because Anadama bread is back in our lives and I couldn’t be happier.
Come, learn to make New England Anadama Bread with me, and then we can both share.

In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together:
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup dark molasses (spritz the measuring cup with cooking spray to help the molasses slide right out)
Over this, pour 1 cup boiling water. As you can see, I like to use the hook to manually mix everything together. Saves me washing a spoon.

To make sure I get all of the molasses out of my measuring cup,  I usually scoop up some of the hot liquid and swirl it in the cup, then pour it back into the bowl. Making fun squiggles is just a bonus.
Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm.

To the cooled and fragrant liquid, add:
Mix on low until a shaggy ball starts to form, and then knead for about 6 to 7 minutes. The dough will be stiffer than regular bread dough, but should still feel moist to the touch.

BUT WAIT! What if you get through your kneading stage and the dough, despite your best efforts, still seems too dense and heavy? Do you really need to toss it out and start again? Is there any hope at all?
Check out the cracks and fissures in my dough, a sure indication that my dough is too dry. If I let it go like this, it won’t rise very well (think about blowing up a dry balloon, not so easy)  and my resulting bread will be crumbly and heavy.
This dough can absolutely be saved, and quite easily too. But I have to tell you, the pictures are a bit, well, thought provoking? Laughter inducing? Just plain weird?
OK, I’ve warned you, so take a look.

Dear God! Yes, I KNOW what it looks like. Believe me, I’ve tried to make it look like something else, really I’ve tried, but some things just can’t be polished.
What is it really? It’s the saving grace for dry dough. First, you want to take a bench knife or chef’s knife and chop the dough up into walnut-sized pieces. No need to be precise, you just want to disassemble what you’ve assembled.


You know what I feel right now?
Because it’s officially spring, and this super-long, ridiculously challenging cold spell, a.k.a. WINTER, has finally ended?
Well that, for sure. After months of ice-cold temperatures, icy roads, and ice falling from the sky (do you sense a theme here?), we’re SO ready for what comes next: Mud Season.
But beyond that, I’m relieved that the hypothesis I challenged myself with months ago – that it shouldn’t be difficult to change the flour in favorite recipes from all-purpose (white) flour to whole wheat – has proven true.
Let’s backtrack a bit.
Whole-grain is on everyone’s lips these days, the mantra of the nutritionally conscientious. Eat more whole grains. Add healthy fiber to your diet.
And, from the FDA: “Consume at least half of all grains as whole grains.”
And yet… who wants to take a well-loved, cherished family recipe, one you’ve proudly baked and shared for years, and risk transitioning it from all-purpose (white) flour to whole wheat?
Well, many of you do, judging by the questions we hear every day on our baker’s hotline.
And honestly? So do I. The older I get, the healthier I want to stay. And the same can be said for all of us, from babies to Boomers: a strong, healthy body is one of the keys to a happy life.
Since I bake SO much of what my extended family eats – bread, rolls, pizza, and other treats – I decided to step up and actually take those chocolate chip cookies, that beloved white sandwich bread, those signature cinnamon muffins, and bake them with whole wheat.
Thus my hypothesis: the process HAS to be easy. I know I won’t do it if it’s difficult.
Whew! That’s the sigh of relief I breathed a few paragraphs ago. I’ve now substituted whole wheat flour for white in sandwich bread and dinner rolls, pizza and cinnamon buns, cookies and bars of all flavors and persuasions and, as of today, all my favorite breakfast treats: muffins, batter breads, scones, biscuits, and pancakes.
The result? Hypothesis proven.
It’s NOT difficult to change your favorite white-flour recipes into fiber- and nutrient-rich whole-grain treats.
C’mon, I’ll show you.
First step: the best whole wheat flour.
Here’s my favorite: our 100% whole-grain organic white whole wheat flour.
Yes, 100% whole grain. Just because there’s “white” in its name doesn’t mean it’s “white” flour. Wonderfully mild-flavored and light-colored, white whole wheat is ground from white wheat berries. While darker, more assertive traditional whole wheat flour is ground from red wheat berries.
You can see the difference in color in these cinnamon Doughnut Muffins; that’s a muffin made from 100% white whole wheat at top left, and one made from 100% red whole wheat at bottom left.
Red berries vs. white berries? Same as a yellow tulip and a pink tulip. Different colors, same flower.
And how about that organic label – what difference does that make?
Well, eating organic is another lifestyle choice I make – both to limit ingestion of chemicals, and to support the small farmers who choose to raise their crops and livestock using this method.
But when I can’t find our organic white wheat flour, I’m very happy using our regular white wheat.
OK, enough chatter – let’s enjoy some whole wheat breakfast treats, shall we?
Let’s start with scones. Aside from their pink topping (more on that later), these are just plain, everyday scones, unadorned by fruit, chips, or any flavor beyond vanilla.
I’ll test these plain vanilla scones three ways: using 100% all-purpose flour, as the recipe directs; using a 50/50 blend of all-purpose and white whole wheat; and with 100% white whole wheat flour.


I have many fond memories of bake sales.
Growing up, my brothers and I were very involved in sports. We often spent weekends in the car driving to see someone’s game or tournament. A 2-hour drive to your 9-year old brother’s baseball game was worth it if there was a bake sale at our destination.
“Mom…,” I would say, using my little-girl charm, “Can I have some money to buy a treat?” She could never resist handing over $5 to support whatever it was the team, club, or organization was raising money for.
That’s the thing with bake sales, for a small price you get a homemade goodie, while supporting a good cause. It really is a win-win.
If a group can get together to bake and sell treats to raise money for new uniforms, a service trip to South America, or the local Humane Society, why can’t bake sales be used to make a difference on a larger – national – scale?
Well, they can! Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, founded in 2008, has proved the power of bake sales. Gretchen and Larry Witt started Cookies for Kids’ Cancer during their son, Liam’s, battle with cancer. The Witts were shocked by “the lack of effective treatments for pediatric cancer due to lack of funding.”
Lack of funding can be changed by raising awareness and money. And that’s what Gretchen and Larry have been doing ever since. By encouraging people all over the country to have bake sales to support pediatric cancer research, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has donated $5 million in grants since 2007.
King Arthur Flour was inspired by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and their mission, and joined as a sponsor in 2012. Take a look at some of our favorite bake-sale recipes –Emily Malpino, King Arthur Flour inventory planning manager, got involved in baking for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sales because she likes baking and she loves kids.
“Anything to help kids is important for me,” Emily said. “There’s not much that’s more rewarding then helping kids in need.” Emily’s favorite bake-sale recipe is Oatmeal and Flax Cranberry Cookies (also available in a tasty gluten-free version). This healthy oatmeal-raisin-with-a-twist cookie is very satisfying – and they freeze perfectly!
IMG_1595Gwen Adams, writer and recipe tester for The Baking Sheet, likes to make these Black and White Biscotti. These biscotti look elegant, and taste delicious. But the best part is that they’re easy to make.
This is what Gwen has to say about getting involved: “No one should ever have to hear the word ‘cancer’…especially not children. If spending a few hours in the kitchen, doing what I love, will aid in any way in the search for a cure, it’s really a no-brainer. Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is such a wonderful organization; that makes getting involved fun. From baking, to making colorful posters and setting up the table, to knowing that 100% of the proceeds go to research for those sweet kiddos…I just feel good all over.”
Barbara Sleeper, a member of our King Arthur Flour human resources team, got involved with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to share her baking skills with those in need.
“In my personal life, we regularly celebrate our family’s good fortune but always remain aware that there are others who haven’t been so lucky.” Barb loves to make Chocolate Chip Cookies. This recipe makes cookies with the perfect balance of crunchy edges and chewy centers – and it’s King Arthur Flour guaranteed!


Last week, my daughter was home on vacation from culinary school. It was delightful to have her around again, with the added bonus that I didn’t have to cook dinner for an entire week.
The second day she was home she headed to the grocery store with her dad and they proceeded to buy everything in sight. Luckily, Dave came to his senses and put his food down over the $130.00 side of beef, or we’d be in big trouble with the bank. Our fridge was packed full to bursting with fresh treats.
We dined on veal Marsala, chicken in cream sauce, rice with cinnamon-spiced pecans, beef shanks braised in beer, and raspberry Bavarian. Don’t judge me when I tell you I ate an entire tray of baklava; it was just a small tray…
Alas, she’s gone back to class now, the fridge is nearly empty, and nary a crumb of baklava can be found. Until payday rolls around again, we’re dining from the cupboards and freezer and using what we have. And I have to be honest, we’ve had some pretty tasty snacks along the way.
Case in point, these No Bake Energy Bites. With just a few pantry staples and some fun add-ins, you can make dozens of these round little beauties, perfect for breakfast on the go, after-school munching, and post-workout energy boosts.
To start your mixture you’ll need a nut butter for binding, honey for sweetness, rolled oats for structure, and dry milk for protein. Here are the measurements I used:
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup dried whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
As you can see, I knew I wanted coconut in this batch so I added it early. More on this in a minute.
Blend everything together until it well combined. The mixture will be thick and sticky.
For mix-ins, you’ll want to use about 2 cups total. I already stirred in 1/2 cup toasted coconut, so I still had 1 1/2 cups to add. I put in 1 cup mini chocolate chips, and 1 tablespoon chia seeds*. You can see on the left that I added 1/4 cup coconut milk powder too, a last-minute inspiration.
*Chia seeds are wonderful additions to no-bake bars and bites, but they can cause stomach issues if you eat too many at once. Stick to 1 tablespoon total for this recipe.
For add-ins, you have a plethora of choices:
unsweetened coconut, toasted or not; chopped dried fruit; nuts; seeds; wheat germ; oat branmini chocolate chipsJammy Bits, or whatever floats your boat on that particular day.
I saved my last 7 tablespoons for a bit later. I happen to like our Jammy Bits but they aren’t a family favorite, so I’ll make some with and some without.
Best way to mix this all together? Your clean hands. Dig right in there and moosh and squoosh until you have a nice, moist blend.
Use your hands, two spoons, or a tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to make ping-pong sized balls. You can roll them between your palms to smooth them out, or leave them rustic. No judgy pants here.
Above you see the plain bites on the left, and the Jammy Bit bites on the right.
Who could resist a couple of these little lovelies for breakfast? “Hey kids, want to see Dad juggle his breakfast?”
Dang it! I wish I had thought to bring a few of these to work today. Do you know how hard it is to look at these photos and not have one to nibble on?!
Oh, wait, you do. Sorry. I guess we can both be in the same boat until we get home, right?
I hope you’ve been having fun cooking and baking with your family, too. I’d love to hear about what you’ve been up to in your kitchen.
Please make, rate, and review our recipe for No-Bake Energy Bites.
Print just the recipe.

sunbutter brownies

Sunbutter Brownies
Gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free Sunbutter Brownies are rich and moist and call for just a few ingredients

berry salad in lemon balm and honey

Berry Salad in Lemon Balm and Honey
#330328the cooking doctor
Enjoy this refreshing salad with a sweet addition of lemon balm infused syrup!

breakfast quiches

Breakfast Quiches
Mini quiche baked in muffin pan will quickly become a family breakfast favorite.

quick eggplant & tomato pasta

Quick Eggplant & Tomato Pasta
A deliciously easy weeknight vegetarian meal.

almond joy cupcakes

Almond Joy Cupcakes
#330331my simple kitchen
These almond joy cupcakes are so delicious!

Sugar Free Candied Pecans

I was so excited to have been partnered with The Bitchin’ Kitchin’ as this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment. I’m a big admirer of Ellie’s as I love her writing style and her recipes are to die for. She lives in Hoboken, NJ but is originally from the Bahamas and likes sharing Bahamian dishes on her blog like this one for Bahamian Fire Engine that is on my to do list to cook.
However, I decided instead to make her Candied Pecans. Now this is something that you can make during theChristmas holidays as a gift or to use in baking. However, I was going through the freezer the other day and found a gallon freezer bag filled with pecans that my husband’s old landlord, Tommy, had given us. He has a huge pecan tree on his property – along with a fig tree and a huge gardens – and when he’s not working on his properties around town with his son, he spends most of his time canning, pickling or making jam. Last time we visited him his wife gave us jars of canned and picked vegetables and big bags of pecans. Visiting Tommy’s better than going to the farmer’s market!
I’ve kept the pecans in the freezer and have been using them in dishes like Bourbon & Chocolate Pecan Pie, but I wasn’t going to wait around until Thanksgiving to use up the rest. So Ellie’s recipe was serendipitous!

Sugar Free Candied Pecans three ways

Ellie’s Candied Pecan recipe is based on one from Joy The Baker. Both use ground cayenne pepper to give the candied pecans a little kick. I decided to change things up by using ground chipotle chile pepper instead. Then I got inspired to change up the flavors a bit by using ginger in one batch and pumpkin pie spice in another instead of the chile pepper. I also doubled the recipe because I had a lot of pecans to use up – 9 cups in all!
I used liquid egg whites because I find those easier to measure accurately, and you’re not wondering what to do with the extra yolks afterwards. Also, if you’re experimenting with spices, you can safely taste the batter since the egg whites are pasteurized. Finally, I used Swerve Sweetener [affiliate link] to lower the calories, health up recipe and make it sugar free.
You can used candied pecans in trail mix or chop them up to use in pancakes, waffles, muffins or sprinkled onyogurt. I love them as a snack mixed into popcorn, too! And don’t forget sprinkling chopped up candied pecans on more savory dishes like Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes. Enjoy!
  • 3 tablespoons pasteurized liquid egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated Swerve Sweetener
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper (or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger or pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups raw pecan halves


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy.
  3. Add Swerve Sweetener, spices and salt. Whisk the mixture until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the pecans and gently toss to coat with a large spoon or spatula.
  5. Once coated, spoon the pecans onto the parchment paper. Spread pecans evenly over the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes until pecans are toasted a golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely so the Swerve Sweetener hardens.
  8. Remove pecans from the baking sheet and break up clusters into individual pieces, if you wish. If you’re not using the candied pecans right away, store in a ziplock baggie or airtight container in the freezer.
  9. via: