Tag Archives: walnuts

Coconut-Walnut Quick Bread (Gluten Free)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 c rice flour
  • 1/2 c oatmeal
  • 1/2 c golden flax
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 eggs (or egg replacement)
  • 3/4 c evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c flaked coconut
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts

coconutwalnutquickbreadOn an evening so algid I better love the oven, but my wife has the car today and we’re out of butter and milk, and have no bananas, sweet potatoes or canned pumpkin. Working off of this recipe as a basic quick bread template, I substituted what was on hand for what the cupboards lacked… all to a delicious, gluten free and health(ier) loaf of easy-to-grab-in-a-frozen-morning-hurry bread.

For the quickest way to get your bread on, start out by blending sugar/oil in the food processor. Add eggs, milk; blend. Add flour, oatmeal and flax; blend (this will help chop up that nasty texture-betraying oatmeal). Put in 1/4 c  shredded coconut and 1.4 c walnuts; pulse the machine so as not to chop those nuts unnecessarily. Pour into greased loaf pan, sprinkle remaining coconut/walnuts on top and bake at 350° for 30m (or until a butter knife inserted comes out clean).

The deployment of flax and use of coconut oil instead of butter assuages my potential guilt, whether it be carby or sweet. Sugar was still involved in the making of this loaf, but at a reduction from previous quick bread recipes. It earns 4 spoons, with a one-spoon reduction only for its sorrowful lack of dark chocolate chips. We were out of those.

Chard & Mango Salad (or, “Chard Day’s Night”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c kaleidoscope chard, chopped
  • 1 c spinach, chopped
  • 1/3 c parsley, minced
  • 1/3 c mango, diced
  • 1/2 c walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 c sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 c feta cheese, crumbled or whatever
  • 1/3 c-ish vinaigrette of choice

chardmangosaladChop, mince, dice and toast! Once the prep is out of your way, these are all handy-licious things to grab out of the fridge and throw together. I might have overdone it on those walnuts, but who doesn’t love their healthy Omegas?

The Dinner Slawlad

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/3 c walnut halves/pieces
  • 1/2 mozarella ball, in tiny cubes
  • 1 S carrot, shredded
  • 1/4 c baby corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp celery, minced
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 c red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinager
  • 2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 dashes black pepper

slawlad

I spent a lifetime not liking cole slaw, but I had never had anything but mayonnaise-based cole slaws and thus considered no other slaws of which to speak. About two years ago a little place called Farm Boy’s in Chapin, SC would become the new slaw-spiration in my vastly expanding relationship with cabbage. It was easy to accept with joy the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables, and the general price of a head of cabbage means there’s almost always one in the fridge. This cost:benefit ratio makes it an exciting endeavor to make an entree out of cabbage. Don’t you scoff.

Start your thinly sliced garlic simmering on the L side of ML. Let it infuse while you prep other ingredients. Whisk together sugar and vinegar; set aside. When you’ve got mixed in all the solids but cheese and walnuts, increase the oil to the high end of ML. Toast walnuts with garlic for a minute or two, stirring frequently, then mix in vinegar/sugar mixture. Pour warm dressing and walnuts over and into the bowl of cabbage. You can mix in the cheese now, or wait until serving time — if it sits in the vinegar it will emerge with almost a paneer-like texture. This is not necessarily a bad thing; plus it turns pink.

Let the entire cabbage conundrum  sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving or chilling. I let it sit at room temperature for a couple hours before serving, then I waited a day of refrigeration before serving the rest — both ways work fine. This is going to become a meal staple as the weather begins to warm into its boil: prepare yourselves for more summer slawlads at 5 spoons!

 

Freshmaker for Two (or, “Not Every Salad Deserves a Post, but…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 c chopped fresh arugula
  • 1 c “zesty mix” microgreens
  • 1 sliced roma tomato
  • 1/2 sliced avocado
  • 2 tbsp Vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp feta cheese
  • 1/4 c homemade vinaigrette

Summer is near-upon us. I make a lot of salads in the summer. Now I will need to make a lot of salads with consciously varied creative interest for any and all who might Stumbleupon my blog. It seems like it would be hard to not get tired of salads, no? Right now I’ve got the CSA on my side with different weekly deliveries of glorious salad (and other!) potential. I am going to use it to my advantage tonight; it’s been a long day wherein I had to pay someone to tell me that I drank too much coffee. Instead of spending time in my kitchen I sat in waiting rooms without coffee. To be told that I drank too much coffee.

It’s true, it’s true; I just can’t believe I had to give what I saved yesterday on not needing new brakes instead to an Urgent Care. Who’s got two thumbs, one stomach fire and no health insurance? This dumb girl.

Seeing as how my afternoon was wasted, both in time and amount of coffee consumed, dinner had to be something easy… and salads, well, are pretty handy. If you do them right. If you don’t, you’ll be hungry an hour later and wishing you’d just ordered Chinese for the same payoff. The common misconception about salads is that they cannot be made a meal unless some manner of hot, delicious animal adorns their top. Not true. Just make sure you’re including ingredients that make up for the protein you might otherwise lack, and, hey guess what — vegetables have protein! There’ll be small quantities in the spinach and microgreens, a little more in the avocado and a good deal more in the feta and walnuts. There will be enough, via the combination of everything above, to make a hearty salad that rivals anything a “meat and three sides” plate could deliver. I always feel better about the choice I’d made for dinner after a good salad, and tonight’s was beyond the need for any exception: 4 spoons!

Spicy Crockpot Chicken with Parsely-Walnut Pesto (or, “The Corned Beef is All Yours Today”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c chicken tenders
  • Ancient Harvest® garden pagodas
  • 1 c parsley sprigs (stems removed)
  • 1/2 c walnuts
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 3 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1.5 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Start your chicken out on the train to Easytown — plop it in the slow cooker with 2 tbsp garlic paste, cayenne and black pepper and cover with water. Set the cooker on L and walk away for a few hours. It’s a great set up, actually, because your pesto will only taste better after it’s sat a minute:

Put parsley, walnuts, Parmesan, salt, flax, 1/2 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp garlic paste into the food processor and puree the heck out of it. When it’s good and chunk-free (even the little chunks! be vigilant!), move it to an airtight container in the fridge and pray your patience will bring a huge, delicious payoff.

At dinnertime, boil water and cook your gluten-free pasta; drain. While it’s still hot mix in all but 1tbsp of the pesto, making sure to get a little all up in the crooks and spirals of your self-proclaimed “pagodas” — really, they taste nothing like a Buddhist or Taoist temple of worship, but the flavor of your earlier endeavor should eclipse this misnomer. Strain your chicken and mix it up with the remaining tbsp of pesto, then marry the pasta and the meat. Mazel tov, 4 spoons!

And because it is St. Patrick’s Day, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Please note that, despite often having my Irish red hair belie my Italian heart (and that birthmark on my head that grows black hair), I did not make corned beef today. Did I just forget? Not have it in the pantry and have no vehicle with which to go procure some from a grocer? No and yes. I have never liked it, and even if I wasn’t dead-set (so to speak) on getting to an animal-free diet you would never catch it on any plate of mine. And a day that forces it down your throat (along with copious amounts of alcohol)? I am no fan. Despite the red damn hair. Here, let me have another disenfranchised genetic Irish speak:

“I have never been greatly tied emotionally or sentimentally to my own Irish background. The Irish in America are sometimes more Irish than the Irish and I suppose some of my indifference is a reaction against that.” – Flannery O’Connor Letter, 7/25/63

To summarize: I have red hair and a genetic heritage linked in part to the Irish culture but will consume neither corned beef nor copious amounts of alcohol. Happy St. Patty’s!