Tag Archives: Walnuts

Change-Your-Life Raw Brownies


Sugar is my Achilles’ heel. Always has been, and at the risk of sounding indolent, probably always will be. Nevermind that fact that I can pound wheatgrass shots and veggie juices with the best of ‘em, I just can’t seem to shake this particular monkey off my back. I can’t ever have just one serving/slice/square/bite of anything containing some incarnation of sweetness, oh no, I have to have several Everest-sized servings. I am always on the lookout for a dessert recipe that will minimize the damage I do when I go on one of my infamous sugar benders. I adore any sweet treat with fruit, nuts, whole grain flours, honey… you get the idea. My distorted junkie logic assures me that this is license to go for the gold and have those two extra helpings.

When I saw this recipe for raw, vegan brownies, brownies that merely contained dates, walnuts, almonds, and raw cacoa, my eyes did a little bit of bugging. “Could this be the recipe that finally saves me from my self-destructive sugar addiction?” I wondered. And so off I motored to Whole Foods as fast as my sugar hangover from the previous night’s festivities would allow, miniscule grocery list in hand, in search of raw cacao powder and a boatload of Medjool dates. FOUND.
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Delicious Warm Red Cabbage Salad

Think cabbage is boring? Then try this salad and prepare to be amazed! Toasted walnuts, crisp apple slices, sweet golden raisins, balsamic vinegar, and goat cheese pair beautifully with the cabbage, and make for a truly delicious salad.

Delicious Warm Red Cabbage Salad

1 small red cabbage (about 20 ounces)
3/4 cup walnut pieces
2 1/4 teaspoons walnut oil
fine grain sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 small red onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 Gala apple (or other red apple), cored, cut into sixths, and sliced crosswise
3 ounces goat cheese
1-2 tablespoons parsley, chopped

1.) First, toast the walnuts. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine walnuts, walnut oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of pepper in a bowl, and stir to coat. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 5-8 minutes; until darkened and aromatic. Remove from oven and set aside on a plate.

2.) Heat oil and vinegar in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant; about 30 seconds. Add onion and saute for a few minutes; until softened. Add cabbage, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes until only just slightly wilted – you want to maintain a nice crunch to the cabbage.

3.) Remove from heat and season with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Toss with apple pieces, walnuts, and raisins. Garnish with chunks of goat cheese, sprinkle with parsley, and serve warm.

Pick-Me-Up Wheat Berry & Flax Seed Breakfast Bowl

I like to start my day with a nourishing bowl of pure, whole foods. Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels – wheat in its purest form. If you’re feeling especially industrious, you can even make your own whole wheat flour by grinding the berries! Wheat berries have a toothsome, nutty flavor and a satisfying chewy bite. They’re incredibly fibrous, low in calories (a cup has only about 300 calories), and full of protein and iron.

Wheat berries are also soft on the wallet because they have not been modified or processed in any way by the manufacturer (for which you will always pay, both in health and in cash). You can find them at Whole Foods in the bulk bins for less than $2 a pound.

As for flaxseed, we’ve all heard what a miracle these little seeds are. Often called “one of the most powerful foods on the planet,” flax seeds are full of fiber (4 grams from only 2 tablespoons!), lignan antioxidants, and alpha-linolenic acid omega-3′s. Lignans have been credited with helping to stop harmful cell growth. Many plants contain lignan, but flaxseed contains 75 times more than any other source we currently know of. To illustrate how incredible this little seed is, the package for Bob’s Red Mill flaxseed states that you’d need to eat 30 cups of fresh broccoli.

Not to mention, walnuts are well-known for their high fiber content, B vitamins, magnesium, omega-3′s, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E. Blueberries are also high in fiber, antioxidants such as anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper, selenium, zinc, iron, and are well-known for their ability to destroy free radicals and promote eye, brain, and digestive tract health. Take that, cocoa puffs!

Wheat Berry & Flax Seed Breakfast Bowl

1/2 cup cooked wheat berries*
2 tablespoons flaxseed
a healthy handful of blueberries
a handful of deeply toasted walnuts*
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar or pure maple syrup
a dollop of yogurt, for garnish (optional)

1.) Combine wheat berries, nectar, and blueberries over medium heat in a small skillet. Saute until heated through and use your wooden spoon to break apart the blueberries a bit.

2.) Sprinkle with walnuts and flaxseed. Scoop into a bowl, and serve with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

*To cook wheat berries – Rinse 1 cup of wheat berries under cool running water, then combine in a saucepan with 3 cups of cold water and 1 teaspoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes to an hour; until they give willingly when you bite into them.

*To toast walnuts – Place in oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes; until browned and fragrant.

Red Quinoa & Blackberry Breakfast

Red Quinoa & Blackberry Breakfast
Serves 1

1/2 cup cooked red quinoa (or white, if you can’t find any)
a big handful of blackberries (about 7-10)
a handful of deeply toasted walnuts, roughly chopped*
1-2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar

*To toast walnuts, place in oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 5 minutes; until browned and fragrant.

1.) In a small skillet over medium-low heat, warm quinoa, honey/agave nectar, and blackberries. Once sizzling and warmed through, increase heat to medium, and use your wooden spoon to break up blackberries so their juices color the dish.

2.) Turn off heat, add walnuts, and enjoy your nutrient-packed breakfast!

Caramelized Beets with Caraway & Walnuts

Denis Cotter’s Wild Garlic, Gooseberries… and Me is my cookbook of the moment – gorgeous! Cotter’s inspired photography and deliciously seasonal recipes focus on the salt of the earth – vibrant, fresh vegetables. I recently made his recipe for “Caramelized Beets with Caraway & Walnuts” due to this year’s newly acquired obsession with beets. I just can’t get enough of them. If you love beets (or even just like them, as this recipe will surely convert you), this recipe will be one you turn to time and time again.

The dried-up red roses just so happened to be sitting on the kitchen counter when I made the beets – souvenirs from Valentine’s Day that I am reluctant to get rid of, no matter how big of a mess their falling leaves and petals are making! I was struck by how similar their bewitching color was to the beets…

Caramelized Beets with Caraway & Walnuts

1 bunch of red beets (1 1/2-2 pounds)
2 1/2 teaspoons ground Dutch caraway
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons raw cane sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, quartered (I buy Trader Joe’s “Walnut Pieces” for pennies)

1.) Cut beet greens, if any, down to two inches long. Leaving a few inches of stems will prevent the beets from drying out during roasting. Scrub beets under cool running water, taking care to rinse around the stem. Preheat oven to 330 degrees.

2.) Bring a large pot of fresh, cool water to a boil. Boil beets for 20 minutes. When cool, scrub off skins with your fingers – they slide right off. If you have a stubborn spot, use a vegetable peeler. Slice beets thinly (1/4 inch will do) and place in glass baking dish. Toss with the caraway, oil, vinegar, and sugar. Add enough water to reach all of the beets. Loosely cover with parchment paper and bake for an hour.

3.) When beets are starting to look glossy, the liquid has mostly evaporated, and the beets are starting to caramelize, remove from oven, toss with the walnuts, and serve.

This recipe was adapted from Denis Cotter’s Wild Garlic, Gooseberries… and Me. Copyright 2007. HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Roasted Beets with Toasted Walnuts

Beets are a recent discovery of mine (don’t laugh, mmk?  Pity me!)  At 21, and fully ensconced in a life revolving around food, I figured it was time to finally give these suckers a shot.  I had my first beet in October, and shall I say I now know the full meaning of “beet red?!”  My fingers are perpetually stained with their unruly juices.  So, please, wear black when you’re roasting beets, mmk?

I had some toasted walnuts on hand, left over from a batch of Heidi’s Red Quinoa Walnut cookies.  After roasting the beets in the oven with some balsamic vinegar, I chopped up the walnuts, splashed the beets with some walnut oil, and promptly entered a state of foodie bliss.

Roasted Beets with Toasted Walnuts

1 bunch of beets (about 3 medium), scrubbed and greens cut to 2″ length
1/4-1/2 cup chopped deeply toasted walnuts
1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
splash of walnut oil

1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cleaned beets on a sheet of tin foil. Splash beets with a healthy coating of balsamic vinegar and a few tablespoons of water.

2.) Wrap the beets up tightly in the tin foil, place in a baking dish, and roast for 1 hour; until fork tender.

3.) Remove from oven, cut off their tops, and allow beets to cool until you can comfortably handle them. Then scrap off their beautiful skins skins, using a peeler to eradicate any stubborn bits. (This part is MESSY, so maybe even use gloves if you have a mani).

4.) Splash with a bit of walnut oil and then sprinkle with the walnuts. Serve.