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Winning Walnut Recipes Ideas for Healthy Eating
Winning Walnut Dishes Big on Flavor, Crunch and Nutrition

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Walnut, Cherry-Apricot Tart
Summer-Fresh Confetti Walnut Quinoa Salad
Warm Orzo and Walnut Salad With Garden Vegetables, Chevre and Herbs

(Family Features) - Snack attack? Reach for a handful of walnuts and feel your healthy halo glow!

"It's true," says registered dietitian Ellie Krieger. "Eating walnuts every day is one of the easiest ways to improve your diet and your health." As host of a national network cooking show, Krieger focuses on fresh, healthful cooking that's easy for families.

"Eating healthy should also be tasty and enjoyable," says Krieger. She suggests keeping on hand and using regularly ingredients that have big flavor and big nutrition:

Full-Flavor Pantry Staples

  • Dijon mustard - bold flavor, no fat
  • Nuts - especially walnuts
  • Vinegars - balsamic, rice, wine, soy sauce
  • Low-fat dairy - yogurt, plain, buttermilk
  • Fresh herbs - cilantro, dill, basil, mint, parsley
  • Aromatic bulbs - onion, garlic, shallots
  • Dried fruit - cranberries, cherries, raisins, figs
  • Natural sweeteners - molasses, honey, maple syrup

Creative cooks use big-flavors for boosting the appeal of a dish while keeping it healthful. "Adding walnuts to a dish is an easy way to boost antioxidants, omega-3 fats, fiber and protein - along with great crunch and flavor," according to Krieger.

Of more than 800 entries in a recent national recipe contest, the winning entries illustrate versatility in flavors and ingredients in healthful dishes featuring walnuts. For more winning savory and sweet walnut recipes, and the latest research on the health benefits of walnuts, visit www.walnuts.org.

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Walnut, Cherry-Apricot Tart

Rosanne Nicholson of Olympia, Wash. created a tart featuring chocolate, dried fruits and walnuts.
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For crust
  • 8 ounces (approximately) soft coconut macaroon cookies
  • 1 cup ground California walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
For filling
  • 1/3 cup golden or dark raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup brandy or water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped California walnuts
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar for dusting top

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Crumble macaroons; you should have 2 cups. To make crust, stir macaroons, ground walnuts and butter together in large bowl. Press mixture evenly over bottom and sides of 11-inch, removable-bottom tart pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool before filling.
    2. To make filling, put raisins, cherries and apricots in small bowl. In microwave or in small saucepan, bring brandy or water just to a boil. Pour over fruit, and soak 20 to 30 minutes. Drain off any remaining liquid.
    3. In medium bowl beat eggs with mixer on low speed 3 to 4 minutes, until quite foamy. Add brown sugar, flour and vanilla, and beat until smooth. Add drained fruit, walnuts and chocolate chips, and stir to combine. Pour filling into prepared crust, spreading evenly. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until filling is lightly browned and set; a toothpick inserted in center should come out clean when tart is done. If top gets too brown during baking, drape a sheet of foil loosely over tart for remainder of baking time. Place tart on rack to cool before removing sides of pan. Before serving, dust top with powdered sugar sprinkled through sieve or strainer.
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One 11-inch tart, serving 8 to 10
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Summer-Fresh Confetti Walnut Quinoa Salad

Priscilla Yee of Concord, Calif. created this winning dish inspired by the bounty of a summer garden.
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  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil, plus additional oil if needed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, plus additional lemon juice if needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked corn kernels, or frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 6 to 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved, to make about 1 1/2 cups
  • 3/4 cup chopped California walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably flavored with garlic and herbs
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped, pitted, Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

    1. Combine water and quinoa in 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover pan, turn heat to low and simmer until water is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside off heat about 5 minutes, then stir and fluff quinoa with fork.
    2. In large bowl, whisk together walnut oil, lemon juice, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Add corn, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, walnuts, feta, olives, parsley and quinoa, and stir and toss to coat with dressing. Refrigerate until serving. Taste salad, and season with additional salt, walnut oil and lemon juice, if desired.
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Makes 6 to 8 cups salad, serving 8 to 10
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Warm Orzo and Walnut Salad With Garden Vegetables, Chevre and Herbs

Mary Hawkes of Prescott, Ariz. created this winning recipe with her garden's abundant harvest, including fresh herbs.

  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup chopped California Walnuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup halved small red grape tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced English (European) cucumber, unpeeled
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 ounces goat cheese, or chevre, crumbled (plain, or a garlic and herb flavored cheese)
  • Additional chopped or whole chives, for garnish

    1. Spray 6 (6 to 8 ounces) ramekins or custard cups with nonstick cooking spray.
    2. Have all measured ingredients at hand when you are ready to prepare salad.
    3. Cook orzo in boiling salted water 9 to 10 minutes, or according to package directions, until just tender. Drain well. (If you are cooking orzo well ahead of time, after draining toss with 2 tablespoons additional olive oil, to keep from sticking, then reheat in microwave before assembling salad.)
    4. In large bowl, combine walnuts, tomatoes, bell pepper, cucumber, olives, olive oil, parsley, mint, chives and lemon juice; mix well. Reheat orzo in microwave if necessary, until it is hot, and add to other ingredients. Stir and toss to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cheese. Divide orzo salad evenly among prepared ramekins, packing it tightly.
    5. Invert onto individual serving plates, then gently remove ramekins. Garnish with chives, as desired. Serve warm.
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Makes about 4 1/2 cups salad, serving 6

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Note: Salad can also be served cold, or at room temperature. For a simpler presentation, omit ramekins and spoon salad onto plates.

SOURCE: Walnut Marketing Board

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