Do you sometimes feel your meals are missing a bit of texture and flavour? If so, it might just be time to add something flavoursome and crunchy such as macadamia nuts, cashew nuts and walnuts to your cooking repertoire. We think they really are the best way to add some extra zing to your meals. Check out these awesome and easy recipes using the healthiest nuts around.
1. Cauliflower, parsnip, and macadamia mash
This is an awesome side dish but can also be a satisfying meal all on its own. Simply chop a large cauliflower and two large parsnips, then simmer in salted boiling water until tender (around 10 minutes should do it).
Drain, then add 1/2 a cup of macadamia milk and a pinch of salt to taste. Process in a food processor until smooth then pour into a bowl and garnish with crushed roasted macadamia nuts and some micro sprouts. Just like that and you’re ready to serve – just stand back and wait for the stampede; it will disappear like hotcakes.
2. Cashew chicken in garlic sauce
This tasty chicken dish will make you feel like it’s a take away from a Chinese restaurant, or maybe even better! And as an added bonus, it’s pretty much fuss free cooking - just make sure that everything’s ready before you begin cooking. To start, heat your oven to 160oC then place 1 cup of raw cashews onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast for 10–15 minutes, checking frequently.
Then chop 2 garlic cloves and 4 spring onions, and season chicken breast strips with salt and pepper. Next, make your sauce by mixing together 3 tablespoons each of hoisin sauce, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar or Mirin with 1 tablespoon of cornflour.
Stir fry the chicken in a skillet until golden brown. Turn the heat down to medium and add the garlic and spring onions, then add your pre-prepared sauce. Toss together until everything is cooked. Stir in the crushed roasted cashew nuts and serve on top of rice or simply on its own.
3. Chicken and walnut sandwich
If you’re on the go, this cut lunch recipe is a great alternative to the boring old ham and cheese sandwich.
To prepare your sandwich, just mix together 2 teaspoons of your favourite mayonnaise with some chopped chicken and a handful of chopped walnuts, then season with a little salt and pepper. Toast your choice of bread (we love using focaccia for this recipe) and spread it with basil pesto. Then add your chicken/walnut mixture and some greens such as spinach or rocket - then top it with another slice of bread and lunch is done. You can take it away with you or eat it before heading out.
4. Roast chestnut salsa with olives and herbs
If you want to try something unique to pair with your favourite roast meat, this one’s for you. It’s simple but full of flavour and texture. You’ll need to start by roasting your chestnuts – just cut a shallow cross into the base of each chestnut then bake at 180oC for 15-20 minutes until the shells split open. Leave to cool and then peel.
Next, just mix your roasted chopped chestnuts with 1 cup of chopped mixed fresh herbs (think parsley, thyme, and rosemary), 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 3 chopped anchovies, 8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of capers, ¼ cup chopped pitted olives, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Top it onto your steak or chicken to bring your dish to a whole new level of deliciousness.
5. Easy chocolate almond pudding
Who said you can’t mix wickedly decadent with wholesome and nutritious! This tasty recipe does the lot, and it only takes a few minutes to prepare and less than 30 minutes to cook! To start, mix together 2 cups of almond meal and ¼ cup of cacao in a bowl. In another bowl, place 2 tablespoons each of honey and peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and stir over a double boiler (or microwave in short 10 second bursts) until melted and smooth. Add one cup of almond milk to the dry ingredients, pour over the melted ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth and well combined.
Pour into 4 small ramekins and bake in a preheated 180oC oven for 20-25 minutes. Try to let your pudding cool a little before diving in!
6. Blueberry and pecan smoothie
Can’t get enough of some sweet and nutty indulgence? How about a smoothie to pair with a light salad? Or have one first thing in the morning. It’s a refreshing way to start your day, and it’s easy to make too. Just place ½ cup of almond milk, ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup of ice, 1 tablespoon of honey, and ¼ cup of toasted pecans or cashews in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into two tall glasses and serve. Yummy!
Go nuts with nuts now!
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