Pecan Vegetable Tart


This dish takes a little while to prepare, but the effort is worth it!  If you happen to be vegan, or are hoping to impress your vegan dinner date, than this dish is for you!  The sweet and crunchy, high protein pecan crust is layered with colorful, savory root vegetables and topped with a sprinkling of balsamic dressed greens.  What’s not to love?

picture496Ingredients (makes one, 9 inch round tart)

1 1/4 finely chopped pecans

3 tablespoons vegan butter substitute

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

picture4951 yellow beet, peeled and sliced very thin

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 red onion, sliced thin

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon white sugar

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup thinly sliced beet greens


Step 1) Combine finely chopped pecans, vegan butter substitute, whole wheat flour, and brown sugar in a medium size mixing bowl.  Cut together using a pastry cutter (shown) or using two forks (held side by side in one hand, as a “homemade” pastry cutter).  When you are finished, the butter should be cut into tiny pieces smaller than picture499peas, and should be evenly distributed.

Step 2) Press the pecan mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch tart pan (a pie dish would also work fine).  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

picture498Step 3) While crust bakes, begin caramelizing onions.  Cook sliced onions in olive oil for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  After 10 minutes, add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon sugar, stirring frequently.  If onions begin to stick, add 1 tablespoon of water and stir.  Continue cooking over low heat until onions are soft and take on a caramel color.  Add balsamic vinegar to pan, and immediately remove from heat.

Step 4) Combine lemon juice and 2 picture500tablespoons sugar in a shallow bowl.  Dip very thin slices of yellow beet in the sweetened lemon juice, shake off excess juice, and set on a towel to dry slightly.

Step 5) Assemble tart.  First, layer towel-dried beet slices over the pecan crust, as shown.  [It’s important that your beet slices aren’t wet, or your crust won’t be crunchy!]  picture501Second, Arrange caramelized onions over beets.  Do not discard the vinegar in the sauté pan – we’ll use that in a few minutes!

Step 6) Bake tart in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Step 7) During the last two minutes of baking, add thin slices of beet greens to the (cooled) sauté pan coated in balsamic vinegar.  If the pan is dry, add an additional tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.  Without heat, simply stir the greens around a bit to pick up the flavors of the balsamic vinegar and the caramelized onions.

Step 8) Remove tart from the oven, garnish with greens, and carefully cut into wedges with a sharp knife.  Bon Appetit!


Heidi’s Paleo Pecans


I don’t follow a paleo diet myself, but I do try to maintain a welcoming kitchen.  Whether you are paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, or a good ol’ meat-and-potatoes-with-a-slice-of-pie kind of diner, you will find something to enjoy at Crowded Earth Kitchen!  These are for Heidi, but I’m sure she’ll share.  They’re fast and easy, perfect when you need a high protein, not-too-sweet snack.

picture737Ingredients (makes 1 1/2 cups)

1 cup whole, shelled pecans (I used raw, unsalted pecans)

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (or, substitute honey)

1 large egg white

picture7381 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon cardamom


Step 1) Drizzle maple syrup over pecans in a small mixing bowl.  Mix well to coat evenly.

Step 2) Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom over pecans.  Mix well to distribute spices.

Step 3) In a scrupulously clean bowl, beat egg white (no yolk – not even a speck!) until soft peaks form.

Step 4) Gently fold egg white into pecans.  Gently!  The idea is to coat the pecans with egg whites, while retaining their foamy appearance.  If you stir too long, the beaten egg whites will collapse and liquefy.  Boo.

picture739Step 5) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the pecan mixture on the paper.

Step 6) Bake pecan mixture in a preheated 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring once.  Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Step 7) Enjoy while watching The Flintstones.  Just kidding.