FIVE INGREDIENT COOKING: Nuts — tasty and nutritious

Pam Griffin

Cashew Crusted Chicken

1 (12 oz.) jar apricot preserves

1/4 cup prepared Dijon-style mustard

1 tsp. curry powder

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1 cup coarsely chopped cashews

Preheat oven to 375.

Combine the preserves, mustard and curry powder in a large skillet and heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until preserves are completely melted and smooth.

Place cashews in a shallow dish or bowl. Dip chicken breasts in skillet sauce, then roll in nuts to coat and place in a lightly greased 9 x13-inch baking dish.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Boil any remaining sauce and serve on the side. Makes 4 servings.

Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts

8 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash

1 1/2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 tsp. salt, divided

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided

3 cups warm milk, divided

1 (14-oz.) chicken broth, divided

1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400.

Combine squash, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.

Place half of squash, half of milk, and half of broth in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed mixture into a large saucepan. Repeat procedure with remaining squash, milk, and broth.

Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated (do not bring to a boil). Stir in remaining salt and pepper.

Ladle soup into each of 8 bowls; sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons nuts. Makes 8 servings.

Romaine and Green Apple Salad with Pecans

6 cups torn romaine lettuce  

1 large green apple, cored and thinly sliced

1/4 cup red wine vinaigrette dressing

1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1/4 cup crumbled bleu cheese

Toss lettuce, apple and dressing in large serving bowl.

Sprinkle with pecans and cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Five ingredients do not count salt, pepper, butter, oil and optional ingredients.