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Monday, January 4, 2016

Cooking with DELICIOUS #foodie Sahale Snacks!

As a member of Crowdtap, I was recently given the opportunity to try a number of yummy products made by Sahale Snacks, and although I have enjoyed pretty much every sampling I've ever done, this was by far the best!
My husband is a chef at our historic Inn, the Elkhorn Inn, and thus I am his Official Foodie (LOL), and Sahale Snacks are delicious and unique enough that we were delighted to learn about and try them, so we could start buying them and incorporating them into Dan's dishes at the Inn!
In addition to "classics" like Herb-Stuffed Roast Cornish Game Hen, we love "exotic" and international dishes, and have many of them on our Inn's menu, including entrees from Vietnam, Israel, Chile, and the Caribbean. And the Sahale Snacks Nut Blends are really excellent for adding some gourmet "foodie" excitement to your dishes, as well as for simply snacking on!
  The products we were got to try were their Honey Almond Glazed Mix and Pomegranate Vanilla Flavored Cashews Glazed Mix, and the Almond Vanilla Latte and Salted Caramel Apple Pecan Layered Nut Bars- and hubs started snacking on the bars before I could even get a photo!

I (fortunately! LOL) do not have a "sweet tooth", and I don't like overly sweet snack bars, and usually avoid buying them, and so I was VERY pleasantly surprised at how delicious the Layered Nut Bars were- and the unique flavors each one had. Each one has a variety of flavors and textures which make them Very tasty, and they're truly yummy with a cup of coffee or an ice-cold glass of milk!
But my favorite products, so far, are the Nut Blends, as they are great for tons of different recipes, as well as for topping salads, yogurt, or just snacking!
The first place I went to for recipe inspiration was the Sahale Snacks Recipe Page on their blog:
The first recipe I chose to try- with a few little changes, of course!- was Roasted Butternut Squash with Maple Pecans Glazed Mix and Crispy Sage.
First I pan-friend the sage leaves in olive oil and set the oil aside, as the menu calls for. We used Acorn Squash, which we cut into large pieces, covered with the sage oil and chopped garlic, dusted with cinnamon and cayenne pepper, and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes until it was tender. Then we sprinkled it with a bit of Kosher salt, and topped it with Sahale Honey Almonds Glazed Mix  and the fried sage leaves- and it was DELICIOUS! We served it with roast chicken and it was a wonderful side dish! The cinnamon and cayenne was a really delicious combination that enhanced the sweetness of the squash, and the almonds and dried fruit (this mix has almonds, cranberries, toasted sesame seeds, sea salt and honey) added both crunchy and chewy textures, as well as taste, making it really special! Next time I will use even MORE sage! :-) 
Other spices that we'd like to try for this dish are nutmeg and ginger, Harissa and Ras El Hanout, Moroccan spice mixes, and Garam Masala, an Indian spice mix, which Chef Dan uses in many of his dishes. Squash and pumpkin can be made in a variety of ways, including Vietnamese and Korean ones...
Roasted Acorn Squash with Sahale Honey Almonds & Sage

The next recipe we used the Honey Almonds Glazed Mix for was to top Pasta with Ramp Pesto, and the honey-glazed almonds were a delicious, textured counterpoint to the garlic-y goodness of the pesto! (And yes, those are meatballs, because my hubs has to have meat balls with his pasta, even with pesto. LOL)

Chef Dan is planning to use the Pomegranate Vanilla Flavored Cashews Glazed Mix to top a salad and a shrimp dish he is thinking of, so that will be our next foodie experiment with Sahale Snacks!

I Love authentic Asian food, and I REALLY want to try the Thai Cashews Glazed Mix  which has soy-glazed cashews, peanuts, pineapple, sesame seeds, and is lightly glazed with sake, rice wine vinegar, and dried lemongrass- that sounds AMAZING to top shrimp, noodles, stir-fried veggies, and other dishes with!
The other Sahale Snacks I'm aching to try are the  Maple Pecans Glazed Mix,  Balsamic Almonds Glazed Mix, and Pomegranate Flavored Pistachios Glazed Mix - I LOVE pistachios! 
The "Crunchers", such as the Sahale Crunchers Almonds with Parmesan Cheese + Herbs  and Mango Tango Almond Mix (which has almonds, peanuts, lime-infused mango pieces, and chipotle chili, and makes my mouth water just thinking about it!) sound EXCELLENT for topping entrees, as well as different kinds of salads, which we always do for Dinners at the Elkhorn Inn

More recipe inspiration- for when we have fresh figs!
The only problem we have here is that the Walmart, Kroeger, and Food City in our part of southern West Virginia don't carry them- so we have to order them online- and fortunately you can do that on the Sahale website!

So YES- a big "two thumbs up" for Sahale Snacks from Foodie Elisse and Chef Dan- if you haven't yet tried them you absolutely have to! (And check out Crowdtap, too- it's an excellent site for anyone interested in new products and marketing- and you can win gift cards, too!)