Posts

Pistachio Stuffed Figs

Recipe: Sticky Pistachio Stuffed Figs

Hey, friends! Over Easter, I was asked to bring an appetizer to dinner, and so I brought this fabulously simple recipe that my sister-in-law (Kitchen, Uncorked) contributed to my second book, Vegetarian Comfort Foods. Honestly, everything this chick makes trumps anything I ever could.

She’s amazing.

But sister-from-another-mister love aside, I wanted to share this recipe with you. Like I said, it’s super simple, completely whole and plant-based, and wildly tasty.

Sticky Pistachio Stuffed Figs

Recipe by Natalie Browne

Ingredients

¾ cup shelled pistachios

24 dried figs

2 tsp. dried cardamom

1 tsp. cumin

1 orange, zest only

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Over low heat, toast pistachios until golden. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly until you’re able to handle them.

While the pistachios are toasting, slice the figs three quarters of the way through, and set aside. Finely chop the pistachios and place in a small mixing bowl. Mix in the cardamom, cumin and orange zest.

Spoon the pistachio mixture into the figs, patting it down as you go. Place the figs on a baking sheet, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until warm and slightly sticky. Serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy!

Love that Coconut Oil!

So…around last Sunday (Easter), I noticed that my 4-year-old daughter was getting a rash on her face. This was a little unusual, because she’s not normally the one with sensitive skin. (That would be my youngest son.) Thinking that this rash might be an irritation due to the amazing amount of sun we had recently become exposed to, or perhaps a reaction to hot tub chemicals, I decided to ease her rough, dry, reddish cheeks and chin with a lotion that was organic, un-scented, free of parabens, etc.

The next morning, she woke up and looked like her whole face had been burned. A little horrified, I continued to “sooth” her skin by applying more of this high-quality cream. To make a long story short, this went on for another couple of days before I realized that the cream that I thought was pretty pure was REALLY pissing off her skin, and I quickly switched it up to coconut oil. Within a day, and after two applications, her face was relatively clear.

Huh. I am a total proponent of natural, healthy alternatives to things like processed food and chemicals– why hadn’t I just used the coconut oil in the first place? And with everything that we’ve been hearing about coconut oil lately, what’s really going on with it? Is it as fab as everyone’s been telling us? My daughter’s skin certainly thinks so. So…what exactly is coconut oil, and how can we use it to our benefit?

Coconut oil is literally the fatty oil that is obtained from coconut. It has many uses:

– It’s used in cosmetics.

– It’s a substitute for an animal-based fat, like butter or lard. It can be used in place of these things when baking, cooking, greasing a dish, etc.

– It makes a great moisturizer. It’s goes on greasy, but is fabulous at healing dry, damaged skin. It’s great on eczema.

According to Dr. Oz, coconut oil can help our bodies to build resistance to viruses and bacteria, as well as well as fight off yeast, fungus, and candida. It can also regulate our hormones and blood sugar, and boost thyroid function. It can also lend a hand in the workout department, by escalating our metabolism, energy, and endurance. Pretty sweet, right?

Huffington Post lists these as their top 5 reasons to love coconut oil:

1- It lowers cholesterol

2- It acts as an amazing immunity booster

3- It helps in the weight-loss department

4- It’s fabulous for our skin and hair

5- It makes a great massage oil, which can help in stress reduction

Once thought of as just a saturated fat that is high in calories and not healthy for us to consume, coconut oil is now being hailed as a multi-purposed wonder food. It’s so exciting! So next time you need to sooth a sunburn, moisturize dry heels, or grease a baking dish, don’t forget about coconut oil! Happy Nude Food Friday! 😀