Green Gazpacho

This cold soup is amazing! The flavor is so complex – Ottolenghi knocks it out of the park.

2 celery sticks (including the leaves)
2 small green peppers, deseeded
6 mini cucumbers
3 slices stale white bread, crust removed
1 jalapeno
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 c walnuts, lightly toasted
6 c baby spinach
1 c basil leaves
1/4 cp arsley
4 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 c olive oil
3 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 c water
9 oz ice cubes
2 tsp salt
Pepper

Roughly chop up the celery, peppers, cucumbers, bread, chilli and garlic. Place in a blender and add the sugar, walnuts, spinach, basil, parsley, vinegar, oil, yogurt, most of the water, half the ice cubes, the salt and some white pepper.

Blitz the soup until smooth. Add more water, if needed, to get your preferred consistency. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning.

Lastly, add the remaining ice and pulse once or twice, just to crush it a little.

Serve cold.
Serves 6.

Serve at once, with the croutons.

Blondies

  
These blondies are perfect for a picnic and take no time to whip up.

Ingredients:
1 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick of butter
3/4 c brown sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP bourbon
2/3 c chopped walnuts
1/3 c chocolate chips
1/3 c white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8×8 pan and set aside.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

Melt butter add sugar over medium heat, remove from heat. Stir in egg, vanilla and bourbon. Mix with flour mixture, stir to combine. Add nuts and chips, stir to combine and pour into pan.

Bake 20 – 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Blue Cheese & Walnut Shortbreads with Chutney



These are a super fancy looking appetizer that is easy to make, thanks Cocktail Food for the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c blue cheese
  • 3 TBSP ghee or soft butter
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 c walnuts chopped
  • Mango Chutney (TJs)
  • 1/2 c walnut halves, toasted
  • 36 parsley leaves

Combine first 7 ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until a ball starts to form. Remove. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325.

Place the chilled dough on a piece of plastic wrap cover with another piece and roll out 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 1 inch circles and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes until lightly browned. Let cool.

Spread 1/4 tsp cream cheese on each shortbread. Top with a parsley leaf, walnut half and chutney.



Pork Belly and brussel Sprouts

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Two things that go great together – pork belly and brussel sprouts! This dish is hearty enough to eat as a main.

Ingredients.
12 oz pork belly, I use Trader Joes
1 lb brussels sprouts
1 apple
3 large cloves of garlic
¼ c chopped walnuts
3 TBDP crumbled goat
1/4 c dried cranberries
1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

In a food processor, fitting with the shredding blade, shred the sprouts, apple and garlic.

Slice the pork belly into small squares or strips, then cook in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and stir occasionally until pork is crispy. Drain off most of the fat.

Add in the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the goat cheese. Cook over medium heat for 5 – 7 minutes until sprouts are cooked.

Serve topped with goat cheese.

Serves 4 – 6.

Garlic Walnut Pasta

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This dish is not for folks with food issues – I call it a triple threat cos it’s got gluten, dairy and nuts – the garlic makes it special!

Ingredients:
4 – 6 cloves garlic, green germ removes
1 c walnuts, toasted
8 oz creme fraiche
10 oz of pasta

Cook pasta according to package.

Toss nuts and garlic in a processor and finely chop. Add creme and pulse to combine.

Reserve a cup of pasta water. Then drain pasta, toss with sauce adding a little water if too thick.

Serves 4.

Pumpkin Bars

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I love pumpkin. i always have a couple cans of pumpkin puree on hand to indulge my vice. Best of all pumpkin is a veggie – so you get dessert and a veggie!! I had white chips so I used a combo of white and semi-sweet.

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
1 c all-purpose flour
1 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c walnuts, chopped
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c egg whites or 4 eggs
1 15 oz can pumpkin
1/2 c canola oil
1/4 c fat-free milk
1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 13×9 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, granulated sugar, pecans (if using), baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add eggs, pumpkin, canola oil, and milk to flour mixture along with 1/3 cup chocolate pieces; stir just until combined. Spread the batter very evenly in the prepared pan. Sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons chocolate pieces.

Bake about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, sprinkle lightly with powdered sugar. Cut into bars.

Shaved Brussel Sprouts

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Every time I dine out and have shaved Brussel sprouts they seem so fancy and laborious. Actually with the help of a food processor they are one of the easiest dishes to make, and everyone will see you as the fancy cook!

Ingredients:
1 lb Brussel sprouts, ends trimmed
Zest and juice of 3 lemons
1/2 c toasted walnuts
2 TBSP olive oil.

Use the slicing blade on your food processor to thinly slice the Brussel sprouts.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat, add Brussel sprouts and cook until crispy. Toss with walnuts and lemon zest and juice, cook for 1 minute.

Serves 4 – 6.

Oatmeal Carrot Whoopie Pies

The inspiration for these cookies came from Scolari’s in Alameda. These are a healthier version – swapping in some apple sauce for 1/2 the butter, double the carrots, reduce the sugar and up the spices.

Ingredients:
1/2 c brown sugar
4 TBSP unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg
1 Vanilla
1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
2 c finely grated carrots
1/3 c raisins
1/2 c walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine sugars and butter in mixing bowl; beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on medium speed until well combined.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; stir to combine.

Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on low speed until just blended

Fold in oats, carrots, and raisins.

Scoop dough onto baking sheets lined with Silpat mats or parchment paper using a 1/2 oz. cookie scoop. (NOTE; 1/2 oz = 1 Tablespoon)

Bake 10 – 12 minutes.

Once cooled, spread desired amount of frosting onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie.

Frosting:
4 oz lite cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 c powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and until smooth. Add vanilla, stir until well combined. Add powdered sugar- beat until smooth.

Makes 24 sandwich cookies
3 WW PP per cookie.

Walnut Sauce Pasta

I took one of my favorite Patricia Wells pasta recipes and made a few changes by lightening up and adding some roma tomotoes. The garlic and walnuts together make for a heavenly sauce. Try adding a little fresh snipped parsley to give it a nice brightness.

Ingredients:

1/2 c walnuts
3/4 c half-n-half (or heavy cream)
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3 roma tomatoes, chopped

1/2 lb of whole wheat pasta (or regular)

Boil a large pot of water and add about 1/4 cup salt.

Heat a pan over medium high heat, add walnuts and toast shaking the pan frequently. Keep an eye on them as they go from toasted to burnt really quick.

Peal garlic and slice in half remove green germ and toss in food processor, add salt and pulse till finely chopped.

Add walnuts to garlic and pulse until fine crumbs.

Add half-n-half and blend for several minutes until thickened.

Cook pasta according to package. When cooked, drain pasta, reserving a little water. Return to pan, add sauce and put on over low heat, add tomatoes, and stir. Cook for 2 minutes and serve in large bowls.

Serves 2, but can be easily doubled.
11 WW PP