4 Flavorful Pecan Recipes You Must Try

To celebrate National Pecan Day, we found four insanely delicious recipes using the super healthy nut!

Pecans

Happy National Pecan Day, Spa Week-ers! We must admit, we’re pretty excited to celebrate this day because pecans are one of the tastiest and most nutritious nuts around. Pecans not only boast some impressive health benefits, like lowering ‘bad’ cholesterol, but they are packed with nutrients that make your body look and feel better from the inside out!

Containing over 19 vitamins and minerals, pecans certainly pack a powerful punch.  In fact, just one ounce of pecans satisfies 10 percent of your daily fiber needs. This yummy nut is also rich in vitamins A, B and E, along with folic acid, calcium, potassium and zinc. But the perks of noshing on pecans don’t stop there!

Pecans are a notable beauty booster thanks to their high content of antioxidants.  In fact, pecans are ranked as one of the top 15 foods highest in the anti-aging nutrient, and are essential for a healthy glow. Antioxidants are also known to improve skin health and complexion, and we can’t think of a more delicious way to get our glow on.

If you’re as impressed by pecans as we are, try these mouth-watering (and healthy) recipes using the super-food:

Spicy-Sweet Squash Bowl via Pinch of Yum

Spicy-Sweet Squash Bowl

This recipe is a party in your mouth thanks to an amazing combination of flavorful ingredients. Try this recipe for dinner or as a side, and keep left-overs in the fridge for a quick and satisfying snack.

Mixed Greens with Pears, Goat Cheese, Dried Cranberries and Spiced Pecans via A Family Feast

Greens and Pecans

Who said salads were boring? This mixture of creamy goat cheese, tangy pears and zesty pecans certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. Yet, despite its decadent appearance, this salad manages to stay on the healthy side.

Pecan Crusted Honey-Mustard Salmon via Yummy Healthy Easy

Pecan Salmon

This salmon recipe is oh so easy, but tastes insanely gourmet! The combination of honey mustard and pecans makes a truly tasty crust, and traps in all the tenderness of this nutrient-rich fish.

Lightened Up Raw Pecan Pumpkin Butter via Oh She Glows

Pecan Butter

Almond butter doesn’t have anything on pecan butter, mixed with pumpkin and sweet spices. This pecan butter tastes divine on sliced apples, oatmeal or even in a smoothie. Bonus – it’s vegan, gluten-free, grain-free and soy-free!

Photo Credit

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

Moroccan Meals: Chicken Tagine

A trip to Morocco means marvelous meals of Chicken Tagine! Find out how to make this mouth-watering recipe at home.

Tagine Mock

Before embarking on a two-week trip to visit my family in Morocco, my mind was swimming with daydreams of exotic cities, stunning landscapes and some serious shopping. Yet, for more reasons than one, it was the delicious cuisine of Morocco that I really couldn’t get off my mind!

The most widespread and signature dish of Morocco is Chicken Tagine, which gets its name from the clay dish and lid set that it’s cooked in. You may have seen one of these unusual looking vessels before at specialty stores, but in Morocco they line the walls of shops in the souks and frequent roadside stands as you travel between cities. The cone-like shape of the tagine is designed to direct condensation back into the dish, promising the most moist and succulent meats you could imagine.

While the tagine technique can be applied to lamb, beef, fish and more, it’s chicken that truly shines (and is my personal favorite). Chicken tagine is served throughout the electrifying coastal country, and while the cooking method and main ingredients are mostly standard, each city has its own twist on the Moroccan classic.

Huge Tagine

For instance, in Casablanca, where almost 15 of my aunts, uncles, cousin and grandmother live in the same four-story home, the chicken tagine stands out because of sheer size – it’s enormous! Because this tagine feeds so many, an assortment of root vegetables are used in the dish for sustenance. Think carrots, potatoes, chick peas and even pumpkin – which was surprisingly tasty!

On our trip to Rabat, we visited with a family friend who happens to own a few restaurants in the country’s capital city. We were treated to a tagine, but instead of chicken the dish was made with red snapper, which also worked perfectly thanks to the fish’s firmness and mild taste that perfectly absorbs the spices and flavors.

Chicken Tagine

Aside from the homemade chicken tagine that was served in Casablanca, it was on our trip to Marrakesh that we discovered the most delicious version of the dish. Sitting atop a rooftop restaurant overlooking the city’s Jemaa el-Fnaa square, we indulged in a traditionally prepared chicken tagine that was served in much smaller portions. Endless markets filled with fresh ingredients were likely to thank for the mouth-watering meal, and the striking setting made it all the more mesmerizing.

If you want to try to chicken tagine without traveling to Morocco, you’re in luck, because we found an authentic recipe straight from Marrakesh. If you don’t have a tagine, don’t worry, a heavy skillet, dish or pan can easily be substituted and used to deliver results that are just as delicious. Try out this recipe from Crawfish & Caramel and tell us what you think of chicken tagine in the comments below!

Photo Credit

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

Indulge In Internationally-Inspired Recipes and Spa Treatments

Dreaming of traveling to a faraway destination? Get your fix with internationally-inspired recipes and spa treatments!

International Recipes

While we wait for spring (and hopefully warmer weather), daydreaming about exotic destinations serves as welcome form of relief. Whether we’re laying on a beautiful beach in Thailand, skiing the slopes of Sweden or riding a camel in the Moroccan dessert during these far-fetched fantasies, the mere idea of a lavish vacation has been enough to get us through.

However, if you’re anything like us, there’s simply not enough hours in the day to accommodate the indulgence that we deserve. That’s why we decided to bring a slice of these decadent destinations to you with mouth-watering recipes and internationally-inspired spa treatments that will really transport you to a relaxing place. After all, during Spa Week, from April 21-27, you can go to the spa for only $50 – which is far more affordable than the vacation of your dreams!

Spaghetti Squash Noodles with Thai Peanut Sauce via Family Fresh Cooking

Thai

Spaghetti squash is one of our favorite low-carb ingredients because it so closely mimics the taste and texture of pasta. This Thai dish uses the yummy vegetable and a bevvy over other mouth-watering ingredients to create an enticingly ethnic dish.  

After getting a taste of Thai food, tickle your senses some more with a $50 Spa Week treatment inspired by the faraway locale.

Swedish Meatballs via Skinny Taste

Swedish Meatballs

This healthy spin on Swedish meatballs uses ground turkey rather than beef as a leaner option that’s still packed with protein. Another bonus – this recipe can easily be made gluten free by omitting the bread crumbs!

Pair your Swedish culinary experience with an equally indulgent trip to the spa where you can get a $50 Spa Week Treatment inspired by the Scandinavian destination!

Vegan Moroccan Salad with Eggplant via Donna & Tora

Moroccan Salad

What this vegan recipe lacks in ingredients, it gains in flavor thanks to exotic spices and interesting elements. Vitamin-rich cauliflower and chickpeas also boost energy and leave you feeling oh so satisfied.

After dishing on this decadent meal, head to the spa for a $50 treatment that utilizes products and techniques native to Morocco.

Head over to spaweek.com to find even more internationally-inspired spa treatments – all for $50! Book your appointment today!

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor of Spa Week Daily. 

Why We Love Mighty Leaf Tea

We can’t stop sipping Mighty Leaf Tea–find out how you can win a year’s supply during Spa Week! 

Mighty Leaf TeaAlthough the incredible healing properties of tea were discovered centuries ago, Mighty Leaf Tea has revolutionized the ancient ingredient in a fraction of the time. Since it’s inception in 1996, husband-and-wife duo, Gary Shiner and Jill Portman have been shaping the industry through products that promise the ultimate artisan tea and taste experience.

Mighty Leaf Tea operates under the philosophy that quality counts, which is why they globally source the finest ingredients available for their handcrafted blends. While this strategy may be traditional in the basic sense, Mighty Leaf Tea products are far from conventional, thanks in part to their handcrafted Tea Pouches that benefit the consumer and environment alike. The unbleached Tea Pouch has the power to unleash the ultimate essence of the artisan teas, yet is easy on the Earth with a compostable design.

Mighty Leaf Tea Pouch

Our mission here at Spa Week is to deliver total wellness, which is why Mighty Leaf Tea is our Exclusive Tea Sponsor for our Spring 2014 Event! This is extra-exciting because it means that you have a chance to win some amazing products – for free! One grand prize winner will be treated to a year of Mighty Leaf Tea deliveries and an Alessi Michael Graves tea kettle, but that’s just the start. In addition, the winner will receive a two-night stay at the Hotel Vitale in San Francisco! This luxurious getaway includes a chef’s tasting menu experience for two at the hotel’s restaurant, Americano, and two rejuvenating bathing rituals on the Rooftop Bamboo Garden of Spa Vitale with a Mighty Leaf Herbal Tea experience.

In case you needed another reason to enter this amazing giveaway, Mighty Leaf Tea is also offering one runner-up with a $100 shopping spree at MightyLeaf.com! If an artisan tea and taste experience sounds as divine to you as it does to us, click here and enter to win!

Noelle Chehab is the Junior Editor at Spa Week Daily.

Supercharged Spring Greens Recipes

Brighten up your plate this spring with fresh, healthy seasonal produce from our friends at Bite Me More!

earth-day-party-love-vegetables

In anticipation of the warmer weather ahead (joy!) we’re prepping our palettes for the barrage of fresh, bright greens to hit farm stands this spring. Bored of the same old salad year after year? That’s why we’ve reached out to the authors of bestselling cookbooks Bite Me More and Bite Me More Too, here to provide you with some recipes to liven up your salad bowl this spring.

WATERMELON & ARUGULA SALAD (serves 4)

Spring Recipes

Anything but boring, this salad is sure to excite with the combination of sweet nuts and fruit!

Ingredients

Honey Roasted Walnuts
1 cup walnut halves
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp chili powder

Citrus Dressing
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Watermelon Salad
3 cups watermelon, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
5 cups baby arugula
1 cup crumbled goat cheese

Directions

Walnuts: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine walnuts and honey, tossing well to coat. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt and chili powder. Pour over walnuts and mix well. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 8 minutes. Stir nuts and continue baking 6-8 minutes more until lightly toasted. Remove from oven and let cool before adding to salad.

Dressing: In a blender, combine olive oil, mint, lemon juice, lime juice, honey, salt and pepper. Process until smooth.

Serve: Place watermelon cubes, mint, arugula and honey-roasted walnuts in a large serving bowl. Toss with dressing and gently toss in crumbled goat cheese. Serve immediately.

GREEN GODDESS QUINOA SALAD (serves 4)

green-goddess-quinoa-recipe-home

This energizing salad is chocked with superfoods–featuring avocada, quinoa and kale all together!

Ingredients
1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup frozen shelled edamame

Creamy Avocado Dressing
1 ripe avocado
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil

1 ripe avocado, sliced to garnish each serving

Directions

1) Combine quinoa and vegetable broth in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed. Place quinoa in a large bowl and set aside.

2) Fill a large pot with about an inch of water. Place a steamer on the bottom of the pot and add the kale and edamame. Cover and steam over high heat for 2-3 minutes, until kale turns bright green and edamame is defrosted. Plunge greens into a bowl of cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain well and set aside.

3) For the avocado dressing, using a food processor or blender, combine avocado, lemon juice, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, cumin, salt and pepper. Pulse 2 to 3 times, until well combined. Add olive oil gradually and blend well.

4) Add kale and edamame to the quinoa and toss with avocado dressing. Garnish with sliced avocado.

SEVEN BEAN SALAD (serves 8-10)

7-bean-salad-recipe-home
Featuring all of your favorite beans and a tasty Lemon Dijon dressing, use this salad as a dinner side or the perfect spring lunch!

Get the full ingredient list and recipe at BiteMeMore.com

WHEAT BERRY & WILD RICE SALAD (serves 8)

 wheatberry-salad-recipe-home

With berries, rice, feta and apples, this dish doesn’t sacrifice flavor and is a super-filling option.

Get the full ingredient list and recipe at BiteMeMore.com

SHRIMP SALAD ROLLS (6 rolls)

 shrimp-salad-roll-recipe-feed

These adorable and tasty shrimp rolls will make the perfect appetizer at your next spring soiree!

Get the full ingredient list and recipe at BiteMeMore.com

Check out BiteMeMore.com for more perfect seasonal recipes ideas!

Arielle Sidrane is the Associate Editor at Spa Week Daily.