Showing posts with label walnuts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label walnuts. Show all posts

Roasted Balsamic Brussels sprouts


Oven roasted brussel sprouts in balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. 

Here is a dish that I make quite often to accompany fish, chicken pork or meat.  Sometimes I will sprinkle the brussel sprouts with walnut halves or quarters and let them caramelize in the oven along with the brussel sprouts.  Other times I will substitute the balsamic vinegar with lemon juice and olive oil.  It tastes equally good.  Or I will add some broccoli to the mix.  

You can substitute frozen brussel sprouts instead of fresh, but you will have the thaw them out before putting them in the oven, as with any other frozen vegetable.  They will caramelize better when they are thawed out.  Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings approximately 6 oz.

2 lbs fresh brussels sprouts
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Clean and wash the fresh Brussel sprouts. Toss them in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Coat them well. Place them in a cookie sheet in one layer and bake them in a 450° oven for about half hour, till caramelized.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 6.004 oz (170.2g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 139
Calories from Fat 80
Total Fat 8.9g
Saturated Fat 1.4g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 38mg
Potassium 595mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.9g
Dietary Fiber 5.7g
Sugars 3.3g
Protein 5.2g

Gluten free Oatmeal Cookies with Craisins and Walnuts

As the holidays are upon us, we rush to finish our Christmas shopping and our baking. When a big snowstorm hits us, we await anxiously for it to pass so that we can finish our shopping. Some of us welcome the onset of a snowstorm that might leave us home-bound. On those days, we take out our baking pans and begin experimenting on recipes. That’s how I came up with this Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookie recipe. I had this recipe in my files along with some of my other old recipes that I have kept over the years. This time I wanted to try making them with gluten free flour. I substituted regular flour with King Arthur gluten free all-purpose flour. I added dried cranberries (craisins) and chopped walnuts. The cookies turned out full of flavor, chewy and crunchy. They go well with coffee or tea during an afternoon break, or as a morning treat. Enjoy!

Gluten free Oatmeal Cookies with Craisins and Walnuts

Makes 30 servings approximately 1.4 oz each

½ cup butter + 6 tbsp. butter melted
½ cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1½ cups King Arthur gluten free all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups Quaker oats old fashioned (the ones you cook)
1 cup craisins (dried cranberries)
1 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Melt the butter. Combine the butter with the sugars in a bowl till creamy. Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat well. Combine the gluten free all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. Add to the mix and blend well. Add the oatmeal, the craisins, and the walnuts. Blend well together.

In a greased cookie sheet or lined with wax paper cookie sheet, drop the dough by 1 tablespoon. I used an ice cream scooper. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes till the edges are browned. Remove from the oven and wait to cool before removing from the pan.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (40.4 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 166
Calories from Fat 78
Total Fat 8.7g
Saturated Fat 3.7g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 25mg
Sodium 124mg
Total Carbohydrates 19.7g
Dietary Fiber 1.3g
Sugars 7.2g
Protein 3.1g






Baklava with walnuts and almonds and its History

The History of Baklava

Many will argue about the origins of Baklava. Greeks will attest it’s their own creation. Turks will say that the Greeks claimed it since it was perfected while Greece was under the Ottoman Empire for 400 years. Lebanese will make their own version of baklava by using an array of nuts like pistachios, walnuts, cashews or pine nuts. In other areas, they will use dough with eggs, or plain dough, unlike the “phyllo” dough. Greeks perfected the use of dough by inventing the “phyllo” dough, paper-thin sheets of dough (“phyllo” in Greek means “leaf”). A baklava recipe with the use of syrup with rose water and cardamom and a filling variety of nuts will most likely be from the Arab countries. The use of syrup with cinnamon and cloves with walnuts and almonds filling will be from the Balkan countries.

Even with all these declarations, it is believed that it was the Assyrians who came up with this dessert in 8 B.C. Greek seamen travelling to Mesopotamia, brought it to Athens and eventually they perfected it by developing the “phyllo” dough. Baklava reached the kitchens of the Byzantine Empire until its fall in 1453 A.D. Under the Ottoman Empire, baklava was served to the Pashas and the very rich. Eventually, the dessert reached the western world and was brought to America by Greek immigrants, or as others might say, by Turkish or by Lebanese immigrants. I’d like to believe that it was the Greeks who brought it to the Western world and since the Greeks perfected the paper-thin dough, I’d say it’s more of a Greek origin than any other.

There are areas in Greece that they use olive oil instead of melted butter to make baklava. I remember my mother and grandmother making baklava while I was young and they used clarified butter. The butter was made from pure cow’s milk. The color of the butter was white and not yellow like the butters we see here in the US. The ingredients, of course, were more organic back then.

I’ve seen and tasted many versions of baklava while here in the US. I tried the pistachio filled baklava, baklava drizzled with chocolate, baklava with pecans, but I’m partial to the Greek baklava with walnuts and almonds, or just plain walnuts as I remembered it from my childhood. This version of baklava is the way my mother and grandmother used to make with the only difference that I added the chopped almonds to the filling. I still use butter to brush between the phyllo dough sheets.

This is also a very traditional dessert to make during the Christmas holidays and Easter. With the Christmas holidays upon us, here is my version of Greek Baklava. Enjoy!

Baklava with walnuts and almonds

Makes 30 servings

8 oz phyllo dough
1 1/2 cups walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
3 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cloves
6 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup butter

30 whole cloves (optional)

MIx together the chopped walnuts, chopped almonds, sugar, cinnamon and ground cloves. Set aside.

Melt the butter. Brush a 12x7.5 pyrex pan with melted butter. Remove one of the two packages of phyllo dough from the box. You can refrigerate or freeze the other package. Open up the phyllo dough and cover it between two clean kitchen towels. Phyllo dough dries quickly, so it is best to keep it covered while working on the baklava. Take a sheet of phyllo dough and lay it on the pan. Brush with melted butter. Continue to layer the pan with approximately 10 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing them in between layers with butter, and extending the ends over the pan (like the Spinach Cheese pie (Spanakotyropita)).

Pour the walnut, almond/sugar mixture and spread evenly. Fold over the extended phyllo dough and layer the rest of the phyllo dough sheets, one by one by brushing in between with butter. Cut diagonally and place it in a preheated 350° oven for 45-50 minutes till golden brown. If desired you can place a whole clove in the middle of each piece before baking.

  Ready for the oven

The syrup

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
Rind of one lemon

Bring to a boil 2 cups sugar and 2 cups water. Add the cinnamon stick and the lemon rind. Boil for about 5 minutes till is slightly reduced and clear. Remove from heat.  Remove the cinnamon stick.

As soon as the baklava is cooked, take it out of the oven and pour the syrup over baklava while it's still warm. Wait for it to cool and serve.
Ready to serve

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (49.8 g) approximately 1.8 oz
Amount Per Serving
Calories 148
Calories from Fat 59
Total Fat 6.5g
Saturated Fat 1.4g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 4mg
Sodium 49mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.5g
Dietary Fiber 1.2g
Sugars 16.0g
Protein 2.4g
...or ready to give as a gift!






Chocolate Rum Balls/Truffles

I’ve been making these chocolate rum balls for many years. Another Canadian recipe that I had to convert from the metric system to the American system. After many trials and tribulations and before the internet, I was able to convert this recipe to the American standard system of measurements. So for many years now I use the recipe measurements below.
 
These chocolate rum balls are quite unique. The rum gives them that extra punch. Even though it’s a ¼ cup you can taste it in them. It’s not enough though to get you drunk. So enjoy them…with the rum.   

Chocolate Rum Balls/Truffles

Makes 34-50 rum balls (approximately 1” in diameter; 0.7 oz each)

4 squares unsweetened chocolate -- 4 oz (like Baker’s cooking chocolate)
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature
1 ½ cups ground almonds
1 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup rum*
1 tsp instant coffee

Melt chocolate over a double boiler. Let it cool. In the meantime, blend together the cream cheese, the ground almonds, the icing sugar, the rum and the instant coffee. Add the melted chocolate and mix. Refrigerate for a couple hours so that you will be able to form the mixture into a ball.

Once cooled take a melon scooper, dip it in water and scoop a bit of the mixture. Shape it into 1” balls and set them aside. You can dip them in your favorite coatings like icing sugar, ground almonds, chopped walnuts, cocoa, green sugar, chocolate sprinkles. 

*Note: You can omit the rum altogether if you would like, and add 2 tsp. of vanilla

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 0.653 oz (18.5g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 76
Calories from Fat 45
Total Fat 5.0g
Saturated Fat 2.0g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 7mg
Sodium 19mg
Total Carbohydrates 6.5g
Dietary Fiber 0.7g
Sugars 5.1g
Protein 1.5g

Merry Christmas! Enjoy!

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Orzo with arugula and dried cranberries


This is a nice summer dish that can accompany any meat.  You can substitute the arugula with spinach.  I tried it, and it tastes good both ways.  Before serving I sprinkled the salad with sliced roasted almonds that you can get at any grocery store.  You can even serve it warm in the winter time.  

Enjoy!!!


Makes 6 servings (The nutritional information below is for 2 oz of dry orzo. For some reason the website that I put in the ingredients it only takes the orzo as a dry ingredient. 2oz of dry orzo is about 6oz of boiled orzo).

1 cup dry orzo
1 cup chopped arugula
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 tbs diced shallot
1 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 oz Pecorino Romano shaved cheese
½ cup toasted walnuts or sliced almonds (optional)

Boil the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside. Wash and pat dry and chop the arugula. Add to the orzo. Dice the shallot and the parsley and add to the orzo. Add the olive oil, the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, the dried cranberries and the shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. Toss together and refrigerate till it’s time to serve. You can add ½ cup toasted walnuts or sliced almonds.



Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 2.053 oz (58.2g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210
Calories from Fat 97
Total Fat 10.8g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 253mg
Total Carbohydrates 22.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Sugars 1.9g
Protein 5.3g