Easy Pecan Recipes You Will Love (And So Will Your Heart)

Whether you say pee-can or peh-kahn, this tree-bearing nut is a top agricultural commodity for North Carolina. It ranks in the top 10 in the United States for pecan production and farmers produce three to five million pecans annually. Georgia is number one in the U.S. and Albany, Georiga is the Pecan Capital of the U.S with almost 600,000 pecan trees. Pecan history facts go back to the 16th century. While most of us enjoy pecans during the holidays, the nut is available all year and is a great, healthy snack.

Pecans are rich in copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin E. The tree nut boasts 14 vitamins and minerals in one serving. It also provides a good source of protein. April is National Pecan Month and I am constantly searching for recipe ideas on my Pinterest Account, especially my lower-carb board.  The nut is a certified American Heart Association heart-healthy food and has been linked to cholesterol reduction.

I think most people tend to think about pecans more in the winter and it is overlooked the rest of the year unless it's in a Planter's Nut mix that you may snack on when you open your pantry. Grocery stores display pecans front and center around Thanksgiving and Christmas for pecan pies and sweet potato casseroles, but typically, there is little publicity around them the rest of the year.

Even though I have a great holiday recipe using pecans for a sweet potato souffle, I thought it would be fun to showcase a few recipes that don't remind us of the holidays. For lunch the other day, I used pecans as a topping for my salad. I tossed mixed greens, tuna, avocado together and added some pecans for a little crunch. Have fun with using pecans as a topping for a salad by combining your own ingredients.

Easy Pecan Recipes. Toss them in a Salad.

Here are some other healthy recipe with pecans to add to your dinner rotation. The National Pecan Shellers Association has a fabulous free cookbook on its website that it put together for its 75th Anniversary. There are some great recipes using pecans in this pecan-focused cookbook you can download for free.

5 Other Recipes With Pecans You Must Try that are Heart-Healthy

Fettucine with Zucchini and Pecans 

Toasted pecans with zucchini, asiago cheese, basil, and fettuccine make this recipe simple for a weeknight meal. This is delicious, and you could go lower-carb by using zucchini noodles.

Fettucine, Pecans, Zucchini and Shaved Parmesean make for an easy all-in-one meal. Add tofu, chicken, seafood for more protein.

Banana-Pecan Smoothie

Pecans add great flavor to this power-protein smoothie with vanilla yogurt as a base. For even more protein, use vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt.

Stuffed Eggplant with Pecans, Sundried Tomatoes, and Feta Cheese

I love eggplant and am always wanting new ideas for the vegetable. This recipe looks easy, quick and delicious. Pecans are part of the stuffing for the roasted eggplant.

Paula Deen's Pecan Chicken Salad with Pecans 

You're either a fan of grapes and pecans in your chicken salad or not. Personally, I love the two flavors mixed in for the crunch in place of traditional celery. Paula adds sour cream to this recipe to add to the uniqueness. Great on a croissant.

Pecan Crusted Salmon

If you do google search for pecan crusted fish then you can use a pecan breading for most any type of fish. I like pecans with salmon. I chose this dish for ease. No need to get out a processor and using mayonnaise as a base helps the crust stick to the fish when baking. No need to the cucumber dill sauce unless you want to do so. I skip it because my kids won't eat it.  Not a mayo fan, then you may like this recipe with dijon mustard, instead. You can also use pecans for all types of fish.

Easy Pecan Recipes you will love and so will your heart. Pecans are heart-healthy, packed with 14 vitamins and minerals and filled with protein. Pecans don't have to be reserved for holiday use. These simple recipes will have you serving pecans all year. April is National Pecan Month.

Disclosure: My thanks to Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry in Ashburn, Va for being a HinesSightBlog sponsor.  My sponsors allow me to keep writing at my desk and bringing you the best in editorial content.

If your business has an interest in becoming an editorial sponsor, please contact me at Leigh@HinesSightBlog.com for rates. 

Spring Clean Your Skin Care Routine with this DIY Facial Tip from North Carolina's Luxury Umstead Spa

Spring is a time for renewal. After a long winter, our skin can also use some pampering. One of my favorite products is a resurfacing peel that I use three times a week.  Skincare experts say that one should try to get a professional facial with the change of each season.

The Five-Star Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary, North Carolina is one of the best places in the Southeast to get a facial, but spa experts tell me that it's also wise to use some natural ingredients at home to give your skin the renewal it needs, especially in the Spring after a dry winter.

DIY Spring Facial Tip for the Umstead Spa in Cary, N.C.
The Umstead Spa in Cary, N.C. 

DIY at-Home Spring Facial Tips from the Umstead Spa

Wash face with a mild cream cleanser, rinse well and pat dry. 
In a small bowl, mix half of one lemon (Organic lemon is best), with 2 tablespoons of raw honey.
Mix until the product is a smooth and blended consistency, then apply to skin and leave on for 10 minutes
Remove with warm water or a warm towel to reveal a smooth, bright and glowing complexion 

Lemon and water. I think we can all get those ingredients easily.

The Spa at the Umstead Hotel in Cary, N.C.
Spring will be a great time to enjoy the outdoor areas at the Umstead Spa in Cary, N.C. 

Skin Perfecting Facial (80 minutes, $185)
This skin rejuvenating facial exfoliates and brightens the skin, cleaning the pores to rid it of dull, dry winter skin, and revealing a fresh face for spring.

Combining healing herbal products, a peel suited for guest’s personal skin care needs, and a Vitamin C mask to boost skin’s natural radiance and beauty, this facial helps even out skin pigmentations, promotes skin firming, helps fight breakouts and aids in moisturizing.  Spa-goers can enjoy a luxurious hand and foot massage while the mask is penetrating and replenishing the skin.

Let me know if you try the Umstead's beauty tips.

North Carolina's Luxury Five-Star Spa, The Umstead shares a simple recipe to use at home for a spring facial.

Updated: April 2019
Disclosure: Post contains affiliate links with Beautycounter, a product I use regularly. My thanks to Costa Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Ashburn, Virginia for being a HinesSightBlog sponsor. My sponsors allow me to keep at my desk writing bringing you the best in editorial content. 

Garden Vegetables that Harvest in the Spring

One of my memories from my childhood is waking up at my Grandma's home, and seeing her in the garden. She was not a farmer to earn a living, but rather I guess it was part of her heritage to grow her own food. I really have no idea.  She died when I was 13. I never asked her, "Why do you grow your own food?" My Dad is gone now, too. I never asked him either why his parents had this garden. It is just what they did. I live less than two miles from North Carolina's State Farmer's Market, and I also belong to Papa Spud's, where I can get produce from the farms straight to my door. My family is lucky, I think.

What's Fresh from the Farm in the Spring in NC? Spring Vegetables

My grandmother grew corn, turnips, collards, strawberries, butter beans, new potatoes, and green beans. They also had grapes.  I really don't know all that she grew, but I certainly know that every day, she would cook fresh vegetables for a lunch buffet. She did it daily. She kept me while my Mom worked when I was little and I developed a palate for fresh vegetables at a very early age. 

Farm Days
Source:  Who Remembers This? on Facebook 

The photo of a woman snapping green beans was circulating on Facebook at one time, and it immediately took me back to summers when I would visit my Grandma. I remember shelling peas and snapping green beans as a child.

I look forward to eating more vegetables in the spring and in North Carolina, this is when produce is abundant at the Farmer's Market.

This is the garden harvest for spring that will be available at Farmer's markets. Of course, grocery stores have these items off-season, but this is when you will see it come in fresh from the farms. 

A guide to Spring Crops in North Carolina and beyond. Garden Fresh Vegetables in the Spring #eattherainbow #vegetables #healthyeating

Green Onions: Late March
Asparagus: Early April 
Strawberries: Early/mid-April
Arugula: Late April 
Lettuces: Late April 
Radishes: Late April 
Bok Choy: Early May
Salad Mix: Early May
Blueberries: Mid May
Chard, Rainbow: Mid May
Salad Turnips: Mid May
Snap Peas: Mid May
New Potatoes: Mid May
Broccoli: Late May
Squash, Yellow: Late May
Squash, Zucchini: Late May 

When I started the #OutaboutNC community in 2015, one of my biggest supporters has been chef Clark Barlowe of Heirloom Restaurant in Charlotte, N.C.  His dream was to open a restaurant that was entirely locally sourced. Every item from the alcohol served to dessert come from North Carolina. His restaurant has been named one of the top 100 foodie restaurants on Open Table. 

I've been in Clark's company several times now but have not made it to Charlotte yet. It's on my list. for a true North Carolina culinary experience.  

Farm Fresh, NC local produce at Heirloom Restaurant in Charlotte, N.C.
Happy Spring!

This post was originally published in Spring of 2016 and updated in 2019.  Recipes you may like for Spring.

Three Recipes Using Kale
Spinach and Grape Quinoa Salad 
Bok Choy on the Side 
Most Delicious Asparagus Ever  and other recipes.

Disclosure: *Papa Spud's is a referral link given to local customers.

The HinesSightBlog is sponsored by PSChevy. in Fayetteville. Test drive the 2020 Silverado HD today.  Thanks, PSChevy for keeping me at my desk writing and #OutaboutNC. 

The Most Delicious Asparagus Recipe Ever

Whether you are planning a bridal luncheon or an elegant dinner party, this recipe for marinated asparagus will score big with your guests. They will think you have slaved away in the kitchen for hours, however, the secret is that this recipe takes little time to prepare.

This simple and delicious side dish is perfect for spring, and summer when asparagus is in abundance at the Farmer's Market. It's great for an Easter side as well. My kids love asparagus simply roasted or boiled, but this recipe takes asparagus up a notch for guests.

It's best when it's made the night before an event, which I love because it gives me less to do on the day of a dinner party. I'm also a big fan of asparagus because it's also lower in carbohydrates.

the most delicious aspragus recipe. Perfect for Easter dinner. It marinates overnight in a balsamic vinegar dressing.

Elegant Marinated Asparagus

1 pound fresh asparagus spears
1 green onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning (used Good Season's Italian Dressing Packet)
2 tablespoons of diced pimento
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Cut ends of asparagus. Blanch asparagus 4 minutes until crisp-tender, then immediately submerge in ice water. Pat asparagus dry and place in shallow baking dish.

Combine all remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well.  Pour the dressing over asparagus, cover, and chill overnight.  Drain any excess marinade before serving.  Allow sitting at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

*Versions of this recipe are in almost every junior league or church cookbook that I own. This recipe is based on my trying different ones, and using the ingredients that I like best.

This marinated asparagus recipe would also be a great side to my Joey Burgers recipes. 

Pin for Recipe

The perfect asparagus recipe for Easter, a bridal luncheon or just for the family.  This Marinated Asparagus is the most delicious asparagus ever.  #springrecipes #recipes #asparagus #sides

This recipe was originally published in 2012 and was updated in April 2019.

My thanks to North Carolina car dealership, Performance Ford in Clinton, N.C, for being a blog sponsor. Test drive the new 2020 Ford F-150 Hybrid. Thanks for keeping me at my desk writing and #OutaboutNC. 

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