Tag Archives: Almonds

Spicy Green Beans with Tamari Roasted Almonds

Spicy Green Beans with Tamari Roasted Almonds

Spicy Green Beans with Tamari Roasted Almonds

I have a confession to make.  I don’t really care all that much for green beans.  I try to like them.  I eat them steamed, roasted, even grilled, but they never get more than a “meh” from me.  I really want to like them, all green and fresh and crisp but something about the flavor is off for me.

Beans, ginger, and a chili

Beans, ginger, and a chili

This season, I was determined to find a way to cook green beans that I would actually enjoy.  After much searching, Marc came across this recipe.  It looked promising.  Sesame oil, good.  Ginger and garlic, good.  Hoisin sauce, very good.  Almonds soaked in Tamari soy sauce, very very good.

Almonds bathing in tamari

Almonds bathing in tamari

Turns out, this recipe is awesome.  I love good Chinese food and this has all the elements of Chinese take out.  Even better, it made me like green beans.  In fact, I had leftovers the next day, a true testament to the deliciousness of this dish.

Beans in their delicious sauce

Beans in their delicious sauce

Spicy Green Beans with Tamari Roasted Almonds

Adapted from The Produce Bible by Leanne Kitchen


1/2 cup almonds

Tamari soy sauce, for soaking

3 tbls toasted sesame oil

1 cup rice (uncooked)

1 hot red chili, seeded, finely chopped

1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 cups green beans (about a pound), cut into 2 inch pieces

1/3 cup hoisin sauce

1 tbls brown sugar

2 tbls mirin (rice cooking wine)

To make:

First, make the tamari almonds.  Put the almonds in a bowl and pour in enough tamari to cover.  Let stand for 30 minutes.  Drain off the tamari (save the tamari, it can still be used).  Heat the almonds for a few minutes in a hot skillet, shaking occasionally.  Roughly chop and set aside.  Wipe out the skillet.

In a sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil.  When the oil is hot, dump in the rice.  Stir to coat the rice and toast for a few minutes.  Add in the appropriate amount of water and cooking according to the rice instructions.  Set aside.

In the same skillet that you used for the almonds, heat two tablespoons of toasted sesame oil.  Add in the finely chopped ginger, garlic, and chili; cook for 1 minute.  Add in the green beans, hoisin sauce, and brown sugar.  Cook until the beans are slightly tender, but still with some crunch, about 5 minutes (or until they are as soft as you like).  Add in the mirin and cook for 1 minute more.

 To Serve:

Put the rice in a large serving bowl.  Top with the green beans and all of the wonderful sauce.  Finally, add the roughly chopped almonds.  Serves 6 as a side.

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Filed under Dairy-free, Dinner, Rice, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Flourless Almond-Citrus Cake

Flourless Almond-Citrus Cake

I have been on a cake bender lately.  My cakes of choice have been those that have copious amounts of citrus and/or nuts.  There is something about this time of year that begs for tea and a simple, elegant cake.  I started with this one and was totally hooked on the simplicity but depth of flavor provided by toasted walnuts.  Then, I made this one and thought I might pass out from the sheer deliciousness of the bright-tart-sweet-slightly-bitter flavor of whole oranges and lemons.

Almonds ready to grind

My recent cake obsession culminated in this Flourless Citrus-Almond cake.  This cake cuts to the chase and dispenses with flour in favor of blanched almonds finely ground in the food processor.  There is no butter or oil.  Instead, egg yolks provide richness and some fat while whipped egg whites are folded in to create a lovely light texture.  The flavoring is equally as simple, lemon and orange zest and a hint of cinnamon.  The result is a flavorful cake that makes a delicious breakfast treat in place of the usual coffee cake, pairs beautifully with afternoon tea, or can be served to guests as a sophisticated dessert.

Almond, egg yolks, and peel

If you source your ingredients carefully, this cake is gluten-free.  You can serve the cake unadorned with a small scoop of almond ice cream, with some whipped cream, or make a simple citrus glaze to spread over the top.  I served mine with a glaze made from the juice of an orange and a teaspoon of lemon juice.  I mixed the juices with about 8 tbls of powdered sugar, until it reached a spreadable consistency.  I spread it on top of the cooled cake before serving.

Whipped egg whites

The only other modification I might make the next time I make this cake is to cut back on the sugar.  There are only 8 tbls of sugar but the finished cake was pretty sweet.  I think it would be nice to reduce the sugar by a couple of tbls to let the flavor of the citrus and almonds shine through even more.

Ready to bake

Flourless Almond-Citrus Cake

Adapted from Bon Appetit “Tastes of the World” Cookbook*       


1 1/3 cups blanched slivered almonds

8 tbls sugar, divided

4 large eggs, divided

3 tsp packed grated lemon peel

2 tsp packed grated orange peel

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

To Make:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9-inch diameter cake pan with 1 1/2-inch high sides.  Use almond meal to “flour” the cake pan.  If you don’t have almond meal, you can use all-purpose flour (however, the cake will not be gluten-free any more).  Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment or waxed paper.

Place the almonds and 2 tbls of sugar in a food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground (you want the mixture to be the approximate texture of sand).  Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine egg yolks, 2 tbls of sugar, orange and lemon peel, cinnamon, and salt.  Beat until thick and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Stir in almond mixture.  Using clean beaters (and a spotlessly clean large bowl) beat the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Gradually add remaining 4 tbls sugar, beating until stiff but not dry.

Fold a large spoonful of the whites into the almond mixture until combined.  Gently fold in remaining whites.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tested inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 35 minutes.  Cool in pan on a wire rack.  Turn out onto platter and remove parchment paper. 

To Serve:

Glaze, top with whipped cream or jam, or serve plain.  Makes about 8 servings.

* This is not the actual Tastes of the World cookbook, this is the small, free version Bon Appetit sends when you get a new subscription

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Filed under Baked goods, Breakfast, Dessert, Recipes

Citrus-Almond Bars

Citrus-Almond Bars


In my opinion, one of the best things about winter is the availability of fresh, US-grown citrus.  We try to eat locally as much as possible but in the middle of winter, I really start to miss fresh fruit.  Come January, my definition of local expands to include Florida so we can load up on oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. 

Filling ingredients


 In addition to providing lots of nutrients, all this citrus brings a much needed dose of sunshine into otherwise dreary days.  We eat oranges plain, juice lemons to add to sauces, and use all kinds of citrus to make desserts.  These citrus-almond bars are one of our favorites.  This recipe offers a little twist on the traditional lemon bar by using chopped almonds in the crust and a mix of lemon and orange juice and zest in the filling.  There are more almonds studding the top of the filling with a little extra crunch.  Dust the whole thing with powdered sugar once it has cooled and your wintery day suddenly seems a little bit brighter. 

Baked bars, dotted with almonds


Citrus Bars 

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens Smoke Cooking 



1/3 cup butter 

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 tbls finely chopped almonds 


2 eggs 

3/4 cup granulated sugar 

2 tbls almond meal (you can substitute all-purpose flour) 

The zest of one medium orange 

2 tbls freshly squeezed orange juice 

The zest of one lemon 

1 tbls freshly squeezed lemon juice 

1/2 tsp baking powder 

3 tbls finely chopped almonds 

Powdered sugar for dusting (optional) 

To Make: 

 For crust, in a medium bowl beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for 30 seconds.  Add the 1/4 cup granulated sugar.  Beat until thoroughly combined.  Beat in the 1 cup flour and 3 tbls nuts until the mixture is crumbly.  Press the mixture onto the bottom of an ungreased 8x8x2-inch baking pan.  Bake in a 350 degree oven about 10 minutes or until lightly browned. 

Meanwhile, for the filling, in a small bowl stir together the eggs, the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, the almond meal, the orange and lemon zest, the orange and lemon juices, and baking powder.  Beat on medium speed about 2 minutes or until combined.  Pour over hot baked layer and sprinkle with 2 tbls of chopped nuts. 

Bake (350 degrees) for about 20 minutes more or until the edges are lightly browned and the center is set.  Cool pan on a wire rack. 

To Serve: 

Sift powdered sugar over the top if desired.  Cut into bars.  Store, covered, in the refrigerator.  Makes about 20 small bars.

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Filed under Baked goods, Bars and Brownies, Dessert, Recipes