(Family Features) Mealtime traditions are common among many families, from taco Tuesdays to weekend favorites. You can add a special touch to one of the most popular traditions – taco night – with a plant-based twist.
With a nutty, smoky and truly meaty taste and texture, pecans offer a perfect plant-based protein to incorporate in favorite dishes like tacos. However, great taste is just the beginning – pecans pack a nutritious punch with a unique mix of health-promoting nutrients while shining in a wide range of flavor profiles.
To help make your next taco night all the rage among loved ones, the American Pecan Promotion Board recommends serving up authentic vegan taco recipes using pecans in place of meat in dishes like Smoky Chipotle Pecan Burrito Bowls and Vegan Pecan Al Pastor Tacos. Their texture makes them uniquely suited as a meat alternative that doesn’t sacrifice flavor so it can taste like the original and leave your family clamoring to keep taco night on the weekly menu.
Learn more and discover delicious plant-based recipes at eatpecans.com.
Smoky Chipotle Pecan Burrito Bowls
Recipe courtesy of Dominique Williamson on behalf of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 cup pecans
- 1⁄2 cup portobello mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons tamari sauce or soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon chipotle in adobo sauce
- 1 pineapple, diced
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1-2 jalapenos, diced
- 1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1⁄4 cup lime juice
- salt, to taste
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 cup vegan mayo
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons vinegar
- 2 tablespoons plant-based milk
- 1 teaspoon agave
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- To make pecan “meat:” In bowl of boiling water, soak pecans, covered, at least 30 minutes, or overnight in room temperature water for softer texture.
- Drain pecans and place in food processor with mushrooms. Pulse mixture to texture resembling meat crumbles. Avoid over-pulsing.
- In pan over medium heat, add pecan mixture, taco seasoning, tamari sauce, minced garlic, liquid smoke and vegan Worcestershire sauce. Cook 7-10 minutes then add chipotle in adobo. Cook 3 minutes.
- To make pineapple salsa: Combine pineapple, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, red onion, lime juice and salt, to taste.
- To make chipotle crema: Combine chipotle peppers, vegan mayo, garlic, vinegar, milk, agave and salt.
- To assemble bowls, place pecan mixture in bowl followed by pineapple salsa and chipotle crema.
Vegan Pecan Al Pastor Tacos
Recipe courtesy of the American Pecan Promotion Board
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 2 pounds chopped pecans
- 1 cup onion
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 dried guajillo peppers
- 2 tablespoons oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 7 ounces (1 can) chipotle peppers in adobo
Toppings and Garnishes:
- flour or corn tortillas (6 inches each)
- diced onion
- In bowl of boiling water, soak pecans, covered, at least 30 minutes, or overnight in room temperature water for softer texture.
- Drain pecans. In food processor, pulse pecans to meat-like crumbles. Do not overprocess to pecan butter.
- Finely chop onions, garlic and guajillo peppers.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil and saute onions until transparent, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine.
- Add chipotle peppers in adobo and cook 1 minute. Add crumbled pecans and stir well to combine.
- Remove from heat and serve on tortillas.
- Serve with cilantro, onion, lime and pineapple.
Source: American Pecan Promotion Board
(Family Features) As many people start getting back into normal routines, they’re returning to familiar on-the-go lifestyles by heading back to work, traveling to new destinations and enjoying time with loved ones.
While you get out to explore and gather with family and friends again, remember you’ll need fuel for your adventures. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, most Americans fail to get enough whole grains each day, opting instead for mostly refined grains.
Foods like tasty whole-grain popcorn offer an easy health hack so you can make every bite count. Try getting in the habit of popping 9 cups of popcorn in the morning and dividing it into two containers. Season one container with salt and herbs, the other with a pinch of sugar and cinnamon so you can alternate between sweet and salty throughout the day. Bringing delicious options like these while on the go can help satisfy hunger pangs while adding the fiber your body needs.
Because mouthwatering whole-grain popcorn is versatile and 3 cups is equal to one serving of whole grains, it’s a simple yet flavorful option for meeting dietary recommendations. It can be a breeze to add it to snacks like Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars, Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix or Sweet and Savory Curried Popcorn. You can even satisfy kids’ cravings with Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn, a six-ingredient recipe made in a matter of minutes.
Visit popcorn.org to find more nutritious snack ideas.
Sweet and Savory Curried Popcorn
Yield: 8 cups
- 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
- 1/3 cup ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
- Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
- In saucepan over medium heat, melt ghee, brown sugar, honey, curry powder and cumin; stir until dissolved. Bring to light boil; remove from heat.
- Toss ghee mixture and salt with popcorn; transfer to serving bowl.
Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 9 cups
- 5 cups popped popcorn
- 3 cups whole-grain oat cereal
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup peanuts or other nuts
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- In large, microwavable bowl, stir popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.
- In small saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
- Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.
- Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars
Yield: 12 bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup whole natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds.
- In small saucepan over low heat, boil honey, brown sugar and butter 2 minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
- Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan; refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator.
Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn
Yield: 6 quarts
- 6 quarts popped popcorn
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Place popcorn in large, sealable plastic container or 2 1/2-gallon plastic sealable bag.
- Spray popcorn lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
- Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt, paprika and Italian seasoning over popcorn and shake to distribute evenly.
- To serve, scoop popcorn into reusable plastic cups.
Source: Popcorn Board
(Family Features) Adding nutrition to meals is all about the ingredients you include. The next time you’re looking to add nutrients to your recipes, consider adding an ingredient like pecans, The Original Supernut, which are versatile and easy to add to meals and snacks.
Visit americanpecan.com for more nutritional information and recipe ideas.
Source: American Pecan Council
(Family Features) Invite some friends to bring their favorite holiday cookies to nibble on at your party.
Make your cookies stand out with a secret ingredient favored by both home bakers and chefs – molasses, which is a 100 percent all-natural, pure sweetener. It complements chocolate, nuts and spices, and gives cookies that irresistible “I-can’t-eat-just-one” homemade taste.
For more recipes and information, visit grandmasmolasses.com.
Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Yield: 6 dozen cookies
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup Grandma’s Original Molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Melt butter in saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in milk, molasses and vanilla.
- Sift together sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Blend into milk mixture. Stir in oats and nuts.
- Drop level teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Grandma's Molasses
- 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice, divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened and divided
- 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup chopped nuts
- 3 medium bananas, sliced and divided
- 1 (8-ounce) can sliced pineapple, drained and cut in half
- 10 to 12 maraschino cherries, drained and patted dry
- Additional chopped nuts for garnish
- 1 (1-ounce) square semi-sweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, sour cream, 4 tablespoons lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Chill.
- In large bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add flour and nuts; mix well.
- On lightly greased pizza pan or baking sheet, press dough into 12-inch circle, forming rim around edge. Prick with fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
- Arrange 2 sliced bananas on cooled crust. Spoon filling evenly over bananas. Dip remaining banana slices in remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice; arrange on top along with pineapple, cherries and additional nuts.
- In small saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate with remaining 1 tablespoon butter; drizzle over pie. Chill thoroughly. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.
Makes one (12-inch) pizza
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Tip: Crust and filling can be made in advance and held until ready to assemble. Cover crust and store at room temperature; store filling in refrigerator. Best if eaten same day as assembled.