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T
he Nut Gourmet
 

Yin Yang Nutty Adventure!

© Zel Allen

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled The Nut Gourmet by Zel Allen . View all columns in series
With the addition of nuts in your daily diet, you'll benefit from a great nutrition boost. Here's a tasty appetizer that combines two spreads in one with a unique presentation. You can even prepare and present the spreads separately, if desired, and enjoy their versatility. Each spread can double as a hearty sandwich filling along with your favorite trimmings like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, or pickle.

While famous sculptors used a hammer and chisel to create their artistic form, my tool of choice is nothing more than the simple spoon. Here's to delicious eats and a touch of creative joy!


Yin-Yang Nutty Bean Spread

Yield: about 4 cups

Chunky Cannellini Mac Spread
3/4 cup raw macadamia nuts

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), drained
2 teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed

  1. Place the macadamia nuts into the food processor and process briefly to break the nuts into smaller chunks.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until thick and slightly chunky. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl.
  3. If you prefer a smoother spread, first process the macadamia nuts into a paste in the food processor. Then add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
  4. Transfer to one side of a serving dish and set it aside. Wash and dry the processor work bowl and blade.

Walnutty Black Bean Spread
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup raw walnuts
1 tablespoon umeboshi plum vinegar *
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons dried onion flakes

  1. Combine the beans, walnuts, vinegar, water, cumin, chili powder, and salt in the food processor and process until smooth. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl.
  2. Add the onion flakes and pulse until they are incorporated. Transfer to the serving dish beside the Chunky Cannellini Mac Spread, and work with the back of a spoon to form the two spreads into the yin-yang symbol. Begin by forming the Chunky Cannellini Mac Spread first. Then, the Walnutty Black Bean Spread will fall right into place. Covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator, leftover Yin-Yang Nutty Bean Spread will keep for about one week.

* Umeboshi plum vinegar is a unique vinegar made from the brine used to salt and pickle ume plums used in macrobiotic cooking. The vinegar has a tangy, salty, and delicately sweet flavor and is used sparingly as a seasoning. You can find this item in natural food markets but can easily substitute with seasoned rice vinegar.

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About The Author
With a focus on healthy eating, compassion for animals, and environmental consciousness, her vegan journey led Zel Allen to partner with her husband, Reuben, to publish Vegetarians in Paradise. Their online publication is read by more than 125,000 visitors monthly http://www.vegparadise.com. In addition to her articles, the e-zine spotlights her humorous illustrations and her......more
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