Walnuts RSS feed for this section

Fig Honey Kefir Tart with Pecan Date Crust

Summer-Fig-Tart_Yes,-more-please!

Figs…an  inverted flower fruit, sweet, with a sexy shape. I often crave their flowery delicate sweetness and incredible texture. I remember the first time I had a fig I was at a little orchard on a “Family Sunday Comida” in a little town out side the city. My Grandpa Alfredo had a cousin with a great house, a ridiculously oversized pool, and a fruit orchard. You can imagine that for a kid this combination was heaven. I had a place to run, to swim, discover fruits, plants while the adults were too busy playing dominos, cards, laughing out loud, and macerating their happy Sunday souls in Tequila. Hehehe… no worries Mexican mothers were always around watching over us.  Moms, aunts, great-aunts were in the kitchen serving food plates, and every so often screamed at us “Be careful!, get down from that tree!, No more!, A comer!… you get the family situation.

Trino, was my Grandpa’s cousin’s name. I remember he gathered all the kids and told us we could cut every fruit we want, as long we ate it. Then he cut a handful of figs and handed one fig to each kid, whiled he explained what we needed to look for on a ripe fig; “Look for a dark purple color and a honey smell”. With that little said, we all kids had a mission, but first we tried the figs he handed us. At first I did not know what to do, how to eat it, or what to think about this strange looking black-purpled fruit, but when I decided to bite into it, my eyes opened wide and my taste buds went crazy.  After one fig bite, I wondered where have figs  been all my short life and why don’t all fruits taste like figs. Soft and warm from the sun, utterly sweet and floral, all in one cosmic bite; it made me think that the bees around the area could start chasing me if I kept eating the figs from the tree.

Summer-Fig-Tart_Fresh-figs,-Kefir-Cheese,-Dates,-Pecans-Gluten-free-crust,-free-bake-tart_

Since then figs have stolen my heart. I look for them when in season, if possible. Black Mission figs are my favorite because of their flavor, texture, color and because it brings back these memories. Figs are one of the few things I like in purple. Texas has a brief fig season June-July mostly. It is August I know but I ran into these California Mission figs and I could not say no to them.

This tart is a no-bake fresh dessert. It combines all what I love in a Summer dessert; fresh fruit, something light, creamy, and cold with out being overly sweet. The crust its a combination of Pecans and Walnuts, dates cardamom and orange blossom water. A breeze to make with the help of a food processor. Despite the use of dates, this crust is just sweet enough. For the creamy component I chose Kefir Cheese and a drizzle of honey mixed into it. This makes a silky and tangy cloud for the fig slices to snuggle.  Two layers of fresh fig slices, chopped, toasted pecans, salt flakes, a drizzle of honey or Balsamic, make this irresistible. Besides it is a really good source of delicious healthy treat. Despite the figs and the dates, this little tart is made with 8-10 dates which amounts around one date per person, A good handful of nuts and good oils, and the tastiest creamy, dreamy, probiotic Kefir cheese its a must! sorry I would not dare to suggest a substitution on this one, trust me.

An incredible dessert and simple to make this Summer, this Fig Tart is truly love at first bite.

Summer-Fig-Tart_ingredients_easy-dessert

Just make it its delicious!, for the recipe you will need….

Continue Reading →

View Post or View Comments 4

Butternut squash Cannelloni with Walnut-Sage Béchamel Sauce

Butternut-Squash-Cannelloni-with-Walnut-Sage-Sauce_Yes,-more-please!Its warm in the Lone Star State. We’re still waiting in Texas for some cool Autumn weather. We are still in the 80’s around here if you know what I mean. The only indication of Fall, besides the calendar, are the beautiful pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes, root vegetables and leafy greens at the markets.

This last Sunday, I found small butternut squash, acorn squash, and some white mini pumpkins. While some people are turning them into candle holders, I think they are the perfect individual size for dinner. They cook fast and leave no left-overs.

Buternut-squash-Cannelloni_the-vegetables

With this in mind, and the romantic idea of having a Fall season, I turned my oven on and thought about the most autumn dish I could bake, and this is what I came up with: Butternut Squash Cannelloni with a Walnut-Sage Bechamel sauce. Dreamy. This recipe has a long name and a short preparation. It is not hard to Imagine pasta sheets filled with delicate butternut squash, baby spinach, onions and goat cheese; rolled and smothered with a light creamy, nutty walnut-sage béchamel sauce, some mozzarella on top and.. Kazam! You have Fall on a plate. Nutty, creamy, warm, cheesy, the kind of dinner you want to snuggle with…In Texas we snuggle in shorts and t-shirts. Or you can fake it and watch a movie with maple trees, and turn your A/C to 64F grab a little blanket and for a few hours pretend is Fall….Not that we have done this…ehem, ehem.

Mean time we will patiently wait in shorts and T-shirts for the winter… maybe I should make Margaritas instead!… Enjoy the recipe.

Buternut-squash-Cannelloni_pasta-and-sauce-ingredients

Butternut squash Cannelloni with Walnut-Sage Bechamel Sauce.

Serves 4

12 cannelloni pasta tubes or 12 lasagna sheets.

For the filling:

1 small butternut squash peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cups baby spinach or baby kale
1/2 medium onion small diced.
1 glug extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches of nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz. Chèvre Goat cheese

For the sauce:

1/2 cup blanched and toasted walnuts
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons butter
Zest 1/2 lemon
1-2 pinches nutmeg (freshly grated preferred )
2-3 Sage leaves whole*
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-6 cranks of fresh ground black pepper

Fresh mozzarella ( liberal amounts upon your preference)

3-4 Sage leaves to garnish

*Note: Sage its a powerful herb, I levee it whole to just perfume the sauce and leave it whole as garnish also enhances the dish and brings out delicious aromas. I prefer not to chop the sage on dishes like this, because it becomes a bit bitter, and is not very pleasant to bite into them, they will overwhelm the delicate flavor of the butternut squash. However, If you love sage and its a flavor you enjoy, feel free to adjust to your taste.

Preparation:

1. Using a little glug of olive oil Sauté the onions and butternut squash until tender. Finally add spinach salt, pepper and nutmeg; toss well then remove from stove and let it cool down. Add the goat cheese in crumbles once the filling is cool, toss gently.
2. Pre-cook your pasta sheets according the directions on your package. Remember to salt your water to flavor the pasta. Remove the sheets from boiling water 3-4 minutes before, according to directions. Shock them in iced water to stop cooking, and avoid to stick together.

Buternut-squash-Cannelloni_pasta-and-sauce-preparation
3. Make the sauce.  Start by blanching the walnuts in warm water for 5 minutes, this will eliminate any bitterness from the walnut skins. Drain the walnuts and toast them on a large skillet for a few minutes. Blend the walnuts with 1/2 cup of the milk until smooth. Then incorporate with the rest of the milk.

Walnuts
4. In the same large skillet, over medium heat, place the butter until melted and bubbly. Add the flour and whisk well to combine until no lumps and the buttered flour looks light golden-yellow in color. Start adding the walnut-milk in smaller additions and whisk at all times to avoid lumps, until the 2 cups of milk are incorporated. You might need to reduce the heat to medium low while whisking. After all the milk is incorporated season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and sage leaves. Bring too a slow simmer and remove from heat. The consistency should be of a light creamy thickness, if to thick, add more milk, to lose, place it back to the heat and whisk until desired consistency.
It should cover the back of a spoon see picture below.

Butternut-Squash-Cannelloni_how-to-make-bechamel-walnut-sage-sauce
3. Prepare a baking dish with butter, or a little olive oil, add a bit  of the sauce on the bottom.
4. Start by filling the cannelloni’s pasta tubes or by placing the filling on one end of the precooked pasta sheets and roll them up tightly. Proceed to do the same with each pasta sheet. Place the cannelloni rolls into your baking dish as you go.
5. Cover all the pasta rolls with the walnut-sage sauce, reserve some of the sauce.
6. Cover with mozzarella slices, then pour the remainder of the sauce, top with some sage leaves.

Butternut-Squash-Cannelloniwith-sage-and-walnut-sauce_assambling-the-rolls
7. Bake at 375F for 20-30 minutes until cheese is melted and top is blistered.
8. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Note: Not too fond of rolling? make it into lasagna layers, you also can add some cooked ground turkey or sausage to the butternut -spinash filling and it will be equally delicious. I just love the way the Cannellonis portions out. Enjoy!

Butternut-squash-Cannelloni-with-Walnut-Sage-Sauce_out-of-the-oven-

Butternut-squash-Cannelloni-with-Walnut-Sage-Sauce_Yes,-more-please!-

 Music Pairing: Autum Leaves – Miles Davis

View Post or View Comments 2

Zucchini Ginger Brown Rice Bowls

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_ready-to-serve-Yes,-more-please!

Light and refreshing is what best describes this recipe. A one bowl meal! It’s no fuss, maximum flavor, raw zucchini with a gingery-soy sauce over a nutty sesame seasoned brown rice. This Zucchini Asian flare recipe, is so light, refreshing and savory, you are going to want to eat it more than once a day.
I know what Brown rice does not have a great reputation among the grains because it tends to be mushy and it can taste like cardboard… Well my friend, I have you covered on this one, you will love the quick easy method that I use. Cook the brown rice as you would cook pasta. Use  a large pot with plenty of water and pinch or two of sea salt. The brown rice boils loosely for about 25-30 minutes; stir often and check for an al-dente consistency. When is up to my desired doneness I strain it and the heat of the steam dries the excess water in the brown rice,  leaving you with perfectly cooked,  fluffy individual grains, with great texture cooked trough and slightly  al-dente.

Using this method, I cook larger batches of brown rice and use them later for a quick sautéed, salads, soups or in this case; this humble and refreshing Zucchini Ginger Brown Rice bowl.

As you can see there is hope for this misunderstood grain. I assure you once you try this method you will love brown rice again.

Enjoy the bountiful zucchini season and stay fresh!

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_ingredientsZucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_short-grain-brown-rice

Zucchini Ginger Brown Rice Bowls

Makes 2 meal bowls

3 medium size zucchini any color is up to your preference.
1/2 cup toasted and finely chopped cashews or walnuts
2 green scallions finely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (any color)
1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger.
1 small garlic clove grated

For the dressing:

1 Tablespoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame seed oil
2 Tablespoon Rice Vinegar

For the rice:

1 cup short grain brown rice
8 cups of water
2 pinches of salt.

Season the rice with:

1 Tablespoon sesame seed oil
1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
2 Tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar.

Preparation Method:

1. Bring to a boil a large pot filled with 8 cups of water and 2 good pinches of sea salt. Once is boiling add the brown rice, bring back to a boil, and then lower the temperature for a slow simmer. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
2. While your rice is cooking, shred your zucchini, ~omit the seed core on the zucchinis~ I used one of my favorite uni-taskers, I absolutely adore this julienne peeler! you can get it any cooking supply store or get it on-line. Toast your walnuts, chop the scallions, grate your ginger and garlic.

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_julienne-peeler
3. In a large bowl combine the shredded zucchini and one good pinch of salt, toss well and let it stand for a few minutes. This will draw out some of the excess water out of the zucchini.Toss water from bowl and place zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and gently squeeze with your hands as much water as possible. remove from towel and with your hands fluff up the shredded zoodles. This step is very important, because avoids watering down your vinaigrette.
4. In a large bowl Combine the drain shredded zucchini, finely chopped toasted walnuts, toasted sesame seeds, green scallions, grated ginger, grated garlic.
5. Combine the soy sauce, sesame seed oil, rice vinegar. Set a side you will dress your zucchini right before serving. Please check on your rice.

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_fresh-grated-ginger
6. Check for rice doneness. I usually look for a soft but firm grain, that tastes cooked and has a god bite. Usually is around 25-30 minutes, the doneness I prefer. See the picture below.If you want to go a little further on cooking is up to your preference, give the rice another 5 minutes, re-check and taste; always taste!
7. Once your rice is cooked, with the help of a colander or a sieve, strain the rice. Allow the hot steam to dry the extra water, give it around 5-7 minutes. Once all the excess water is drained and still warm, transfer the rice into a bowl and season with the sesame oil, sesame seeds and rice vinegar toss until well combined.

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_how-to-cook-brown-rice
8. Once your rice is seasoned, Add the Soy sauce sesame seed oil, and rice vinegar dressing to the zucchini mixture. Toss well.

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_add-dressing

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_tosswell
9. Using two deep bowls, divide the rice and top it with the zucchini mixture. Sprinkle some extra sesame seeds and for spice maybe some Thai pepper, red pepper flakes, or some Sriracha-hot sauce! Enjoy!

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_assambling-the-bowls

Zucchini-Ginger-Brown-Rice-bowls_ready-to-servel

Fresh, light, easy lunch or dinner…

Music Pairing: Nanobots – They Might be Giants

 

View Post or View Comments 3

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_so close you can smell it!

These cranberry walnut Bran muffins are a delicious source of fiber and because of its high fiber content and wheat germ they are a great source of folic acid. They deliver approximately 14-15 carbs per muffin and loads of antioxidants from the dry fruit and nuts.
I like these muffins instead of toast for breakfast with some yogurt or fruit.  As a snack they reduce cravings for refined breads or cookies especially in the middle of the afternoon…  They give me plenty of energy and keep me very full from afer lunch until dinner.
The texture is a bit more dense than your regular muffin, but despite all the fiber content the flaxseed acts like a binder and moisten the inside giving it a soft crumb easy to eat and digest. The cinnamon adds the perfect aroma when you bake them the house smells like apple pie (with out the calories).
These muffins are so versatile; you can create any flavor combination so you won’t get bored, there are infinite combinations; like raisins & walnuts, dates& pecans, golden raisins & orange zest, cinnamon & apples, candied ginger and cashews, anchovies & peanut butter….okay, well almost anything… They are so easy and quick to make and to bake that once you have the recipe you can whip a batch of these babies in no time.
I usually bake this muffins once a month,  The recipe it’s so fast to prepare and freeze friendly if 16-18 are to many for you, you can freeze half a batch, and reheat them in the toaster oven.
So fall in love with them and start baking a batch!!!

Cranberry-Walnut-Bran-Muffins_Fiber-never-tasted-so-good!

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_I love them!

Cranberry- Walnut Bran Muffins

Makes 16-18 muffins -Vegan friendly!!!

4 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
3/4 cup water
2 cups wheat bran
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup wheat germ
1 pinch of cinnamon
¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond, coconut, rice)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cranberries
½ cup walnuts

Sprinkle with:

1/2 cup raw sugar cane

Directions:

1.-

Preheat the oven at 400F/200C
Line with cupcake liners or lightly grease muffin tins.
Measure all your ingredients. (it helps a lot when you are baking so you don’t forget any of them! it is worth the step at least the first couple of times you are making them)

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_mise en place

2.-

Whisk the flaxseed and ½ cup of water until foamy.

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_whipping the ground flaxseed

3.-

Combine dry ingredients.(except for the cranberries and walnuts)
Combine wet ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Add together wet and dry until well combined (do not over mix).
Add Cranberries and walnuts fold gently.

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_Dry ingredients and mixing

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_muffin batter and folding the cranberries and nuts

4.-

Scoop into muffin pan, each 2/3 full and sprinkle with some raw sugar cane.
Bake for 12-15 minutes.

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_scooping muffins

Cranberry-Walnut-Bran-Muffins_raw-sugar-sprinkled

5.-

Wash the dishes while they are baking….

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_Wash your dishes while the muffins are in the oven!

6.-

Cool on a rack…

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_muffins on cooling rack

Cranberry Walnut Bran Muffins_spread some vegqan butter

Eat them a little warm with some vegan spread…delicious!

 

View Post or View Comments 0

Privacy Policy Contact Us Yes, more please!

Top