Walnuts can really boost the nutritional value of your meals, so boost your health the easy way this winter with these three wintery recipes:
Wild Mushroom and Walnut Soup
By Sarah Copeland
This luscious dish is an enticing change from the traditional mushroom soup. Porcini mushrooms and ground walnuts offer an earthy contrast to the mild broth.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1-1/2 pound wild and white mushrooms, sliced
- 2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted (see instructions below)
- 1 cup ground California walnuts
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup flour
- 6 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/3 cup sherry
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 cup whipping cream*
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sautéed mushrooms and/or blue cheese for garnish
*low-fat milk can be substituted for whipping cream
- In a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot on high heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms, walnuts, onion, garlic, celery and bay leaves and sauté until lightly browned (about 5 to 10 minutes). Reduce heat to medium, add flour and cook for another 2 minutes. Stirring constantly, slowly add hot broth and sherry and bring to a boil.
- Let simmer for 20 minutes and remove bay leaves.
- Remove from heat and using an immersion blender, pulse until mushrooms are nearly puréed or until desired consistency.
- Return to heat, bring to a boil and add thyme and cream. Stir to combine. Garnish with sautéed wild mushrooms and/or blue cheese, if desired, and serve.
For a subtle, smoky flavor, use 3 to 4 strips of bacon in place of butter. Make soup ahead of time; refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.
To reconstitute the dried porcini mushrooms:
Follow the directions on the package. Or, combine porcini and 1-1/2 cups boiling water in medium bowl. Let stand until porcini soften, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove porcini from water and chop coarsely.
Walnut Chili Mac
By Patty Mastracco
Quick and easy, kid-friendly chili. (Reduce the beef by half and replace with walnuts for protein texture.)
- 3/4 cup small elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef
- 3/4 cup chopped California walnuts
- 2 cups salsa
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) seasoned chili beans
- 1 can (4 ounces) green chiles
- Shredded cheese and sliced green onions (optional toppings)
- Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain well.
- In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, beef and walnuts. Cook for 5 minutes until brown, stirring frequently.
- Stir in salsa, beans and chiles. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in drained pasta and cook a few minutes more to heat through. Serve with cheese and green onions, if desired.
Walnut Stuffed Korean Street Tacos
By Shauna Havey
Healthy California Walnuts make a bold stand-in for meat in these easy and delicious Walnut Stuffed Korean Street Tacos. A spicy chili crema, marinated veggies, and an extra handful of walnuts crown a bed of walnut “meat” covered in gochujang sauce. Your family will flip for this healthy street food fave!
- 8 taco-sized whole wheat tortillas
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 2 fresh limes, cut into wedges
- 1/2 Cup California walnut halves
For the Walnut meat:
- 2 Cups California Walnut halves
- 2 Tablespoons gochujang sauce
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
For the marinated vegetables:
- 4 green onions
- 2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- ¼ English cucumber, sliced thin
- 1 watermelon radish, sliced thin
- 1 Cup matchstick carrots
- fresh cayenne peppers, sliced thin (optional)
- 1 ½ teaspoons black sesame seeds
For the Crema:
- 1 Cup Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon hot chili sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. To prepare the walnut meat, place the 2 Cups of walnuts into a food processor and pulse to coarsely chop. Place a skillet over medium heat and add the gochujang sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Add the walnuts and stir. Turn down to low heat, cover, and keep warm.
2. Next, prepare the vegetables. Cut the white parts off the green onions and discard. Slice the green parts into thin strips and place them in a bowl of ice water. This will cause them to curl. Place the vinegar and honey into a bowl and stir. Add the cucumber, radish, carrots, peppers, and sesame seeds. Stir to combine.
3. Make the crema by mixing the yogurt with the chili sauce and salt.
4. Warm the tortillas. Scoop 1/8 of the walnut meat into each tortilla. Spoon the crema on top of the walnut meat. Add a handful of marinated vegetables and a few of the curled green onions.
5. Finish the tacos by topping them with sprigs of cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and the remaining California walnut halves. Enjoy!
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