Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good Food Friday Treats :: walnut inspired eats

My kitchen this week has turned into a nut crackers delight; a result of being given a very large bag of walnuts. I've cracked and I've cracked and let me tell you, quite frankly, I don't want to crack another nut for a long time. My hands feel broken and I'm finding walnut shells in the weirdest of places, because as you crack, they fly. Thankfully, there is a reward for all that, and I now have several jars of walnuts lined up, ready for enjoyment.

Have you taken a look at a walnut closely? They look like a teeny tiny brain. Interestingly enough, they support brain function as well as sport a host of other nutritional benefits (a rich source of Omega 3's, immunity boosting qualities and huge cardiovascular benefits too).

Needless to say, my recipes are based on walnuts for this Good Food Friday.

Pear Salad with Walnuts and Roquefort
(original recipe from 500 Salads by Susannah Blake)

1 bunch of rocket
1 bunch of watercress
5 tbs roughly chopped walnuts
100 g of Roquefort cheese, crumbled (I substituted this for Meredith Goats Cheese)
2 ripe pears

for the vinaigrette:
1 clove of garlic finely chopped
6 tbs olive oil
4 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
salt and freshly ground pepper

Remove stalks and tear the leaves of watercress and rocket and place into a bowl. Sprinkle the chopped walnuts and half the cheese in also.

To make vinaigrette, whisk garlic with oil and vinegar. Season to taste with honey, salt and pepper and pour the mixture over the greens. Mix well.

Peel the pears and remove the core. Cut into slices and place pears into the bowl with the salad and toss. Once stirred, top with the remaining cheese and walnuts!

This next recipe, I wasn't going to post but my are these biscuits amazing! So, you are getting it not because they are 'healthy' but coming into Christmas, they would be a perfect addition to your baked gifts. I'm now helping you get organised for Christmas too! This place is like a one stop shop. Of course, homemade goods are always healthier because you know what's in them!

Chocolate Puddle Cookies
(taken from 101 cookbooks)

Toast 3 cups of walnuts lightly and allow to cool. Chop and put into a bowl.
Once the toasting is done, pre-heat the oven to 160 degrees.
Add 3 cups of sifted icing sugar, 3/4 cup coco powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Mix and then add 3 egg whites (straight into mixture, not beaten) Mix well.
Place dollops of the batter onto baking trays lined with baking paper. Don't put more than 6 per tray - they spread out A LOT!
Cook for 12 - 15 minutes. If you don't cook for long enough, you can't get them off the paper. They will go glossy whilst they are cooking and then start to crack. Once they start cracking they are more on the ready side.

I warn you. These spell DANGER! They are so delicious, it is really hard to stop eating them! That said, you may still include me on your list for a bag of your baked goods this Christmas!

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