Posts Tagged ‘walnuts’

Express Post: Easy Mediterranean Pate

Alfredo’s favourite ever pate.

  • 20 green pitted olives (or use stuffed ones)
  • 3 T walnuts (a large handful)
  • 2T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 a red pepper
  • Component parts, ready for blitzing










Food process until completely smooth, or leave a little texture if you prefer.

Finished article! Delicious.











P.S. Walnuts and red pepper, a delightful match! They also feature in MY favourite pate- “Smoky Walnut Pate”, click for the recipe.

Delicious winter fare: Butternut squash and red onion pasta

I nearly wrote “autumnal” fare. I have had this squash for ages. Seriously. I forgot about it, and it’s still good. A testimony to the miracle of nature. Late autumn brings forth fruits that last for a long time to see us through winter. You know…in the days when we didn’t pop to Tesco for a pot of basil in winter…..

Butternut squash on pasta? Overly starchy? Definitely a dish for a cold day!

The pasta is wholewheat, and the sweetness of the squash is balanced by salty olives (optional) and sundried tomatoes, and some crunchy walnuts. The onion can be lightly sauteed or added raw at the end. It sounds like it wouldn’t work raw but I have eaten it both ways and I think it definitely does. Adding it raw adds a bit of bite to the flavour and texture  contrast (I preferred it. And so did my inner vitamin-loving self)

  • 1 small butternut squash, steamed or roasted, flesh scooped out and mashed
  • 2-3 sundried tomatoes, soaked and chopped
  • a handful walnuts, chopped
  • 4-5 black olives chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped raw or gently sauteed in extra virgin olive oil (minimum oil, or it gets greasy at the end)
  1. Mix all ingredients
  2. Add to cooked pasta (wholewheat or alternatively brown rice pasta, spelt etc)
  3. Finally, dress with:
  • Extra virgin olive oil  (a glug) apple cider/white wine vinegar (smallish dash)  and 1-2 pinches of sea salt. Sorry, no measurements, but it’s just about tasting it.

I am afraid we have no photos of the starchalicious plate.

But, trust me, mmmmm. 

Just a small portion for me thanks. I need a gap for the last roast chestnuts of the season 🙂

Vitaminspeak: While nutrition tables are all a little different, and each squash will vary (multiple factors) a 200 gram cup of cooked butternut squash contains between 20-50% of our RDA for Vitamin C, and is extremely rich in beta-carotene (the plant form of Vitamin A, which is an anti-oxidant) Adding some fat (eg the walnuts and olive oil) aids in the absorption of the Vitamin A. Adding the olive oil at the end, unheated, as a “dressing” makes it tastier and more nutritious still! Enjoy!

Cinnamon and Walnut-encrusted Bananas

I can, in fact, confirm, that these are heavenly. This recipe is brought to you from SaraFae from Addicted To Veggies  (follow the link for her original recipe) She posts vegan recipe three times a week with beautiful photos, plus, she is fun to read). If you already have date paste to hand, (which I conveniently did) these take ten minutes. Of course, you could use maple syrup or honey instead.

Are you ready for some wholesome deliciousness? Then let’s begin! These quantities are for 2 medium bananas.

  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar*

*(she used a larger quantity, of “coconut crystals” or coconut palm sugar. I have no idea where you get it, and no doubt it costs a fortune. Whether you use sugar here, and how much you use, is down to personal taste, but it really needs little or none, especially if you use a syrup to coat the slices, which is far sweeter than date paste)

Blitz to a crumb in the mini chopper, or alternatively, use a ziploc bag and a rolling pin and smash to smithereens.

Then take:

  • 2 teaspoons date paste  (or maple syrup/honey/liquid sweetener)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons of water

Mix well and toss in 2 medium bananas, sliced,  until all slices are coated in the wet mixture.

Coat your wet banana slices in the walnut crumb. You now have four choices:

  •  Eat now
  • Freeze for about an hour and a half. This is a gorgeous ice-creamy treat.
  • Dehydrate for approximately 2 hours until the outer crumb is a little crunchier. The fruit sugars are slightly more concentrated, and of course, they come out warm. A recipe for a heavenly mouthful, quite frankly.
  • (similar) use your oven as a dehydrator by putting it on it’s very lowest setting, with the door ajar, and follow dehydrating instructions as above. I thinkthe coolest AGA oven would work for this too.

Ready for dehydrating. Some more were in the freezer.

They did not last long enough.I was genuinely sad when we finished eating them. (Does that make me sad? ) A definite keeper!

By the way:

  • I ran out of walnut crumb, because the bananas were massive, so I did some in unsweetened dessicated coconut. Absolutely gorgeous. (In fact, one of my go-to sweet treats is banana slices dipped in dessicated coconut. Yum)
  • I tried both the freezer versions and the dehydrator, and both were fantastic.
  • SarahFae did a chocolate dipping sauce to go with it, made out of healthy plant ingredients  🙂  Here is that link for her recipe again if you are interested , if even to see beautiful food photos. Seems like a great sofa treat with someone you love.

Please try this, somebody, pleeeease! Love thyself, but deprive not thyself either.  Plant-lovingly yours.

Poor photo. But delicious.

Smoky walnut pate

Sometimes you just need a new spreadalicious experience, and so, this pate was born. It is made of ingredients that I generally always have on hand, and it is ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS.

A word on sundried tomatoes. These are great to have in your store cupboard and I use them in quite a few things. Go for the ones that are simply tomatoes, dried in the sun with salt, not the ones in jars with lots of other less-than-desirables. They are quite leathery before soaking, and keep for ages. You could keep one bag in the cupboard, and soak the contents of another bag in extra virgin olive oil in the fridge. that way you always have  nice soft EVOO-esque ones for raw tomato sauces and other creations.

Note: You may as well soak your walnuts alongside your sundried tomatoes, overnight, or a few hours before you whizz this up.

Smoky walnut pate

  • 1 cup of walnut pieces (or pecans.You will not regret using pecans)
  • 4-6 sundried tomato halves*. (I guess, if you have a less salty palate, try using 4, or if your red bell pepper is  small, use less also, so the sweetness and saltiness balance.)

COMBINE WELL in food processor/chopper, then add:

  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t smoked paprika
  • 1 red bell pepper, quite well chopped

Whizz until it is silky smooth and all the red pepper is homogenised. Be patient, and stop periodically if needbe to scrape down the sides or give it a bit of a mix so all the chunks are “caught”.  This is SO GOOD. I am quite blown away by the fact that I made it up, every time I eat it!

I hope someone enjoys this, and I am more than happy to hear suggestions for tweaks from all you creative foodies out there who are more in touch with their palates than me!

*A short P.S. on quantities. I have to say that these quantities may not be suitable for a regular food processor; these are the quantities I use in my mini chopper which is more of a one portion thing. Depending on your food processor these quantities may need to be adjusted. Personally I think that even if you have a large machine, a mini chopper is so useful for small food processing jobs and it is so inexpensive, at least, here in the UK, it is about £16-£18. Happy blitzing.

%d bloggers like this: