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Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies

Not sure why I hadn’t posted this recipe yet. This is my absolute favorite cookie recipe. I used to make them almost weekly to take to Ultimate Frisbee. Everybody loved them, especially since I made them bite-sized =)

The key to making bite-size pieces of heavenly deliciousness is mixing the batter by hand to avoid the butter to become too warm, and in turn, too soft.

Not only are these cookies delicious, they are also loaded with brain-boosting walnuts (which are loaded with omega-3 fats), anti-cancer properties of oats, as well as semi-sweet chocolate, which is loaded with anti-oxidants.
In addition, with a couple modifications, these cookies make super-delicious vegan cookies.

Ingredients (Make more cookies than I ever counted):
1½ cups raw sugar
1 cup butter, softened (can be replaced by vegan butter for vegan cookie option)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg (can be replaced by flax seed for vegan cookie option, see below)
2 cups rolled oats
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation:
1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large bowl, mix sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg by using spoon or fork, until well-blended. Add oats, baking soda, and salt. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

2. On cookie sheets lined with parchment, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart. (I like to form mini round discs by hand.) Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies

Oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookies

 

Note: For vegan option replace butter with vegan butter and replace eggs. May need to add water. 1 egg = 1 tablespoon flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water (well-mixed and heated)

Vegan oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookie

Vegan oatmeal chocolate chip walnut cookie

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Spaghetti with Walnut Sauce

I was a bit skeptical at first. Pasta and walnuts?! Not a combination I had grown up with in Germany or knew from visiting Italy. And let’s be honest, nothing comes close to traditional, home-style Italian pasta. Well…I loved this dish…even though any Italian out there may say that this is not authentic Italian cooking =P

Ingredients (Makes 2-3 servings):

1 cup walnut pieces or halves
3 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs, see note
3 tablespoons olive or walnut oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1-2 cloves garlic (optional)
¼ cup butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, to serve, see note

Preparation (Preparation time approximately 20 minutes):
1. I used the walnuts as they came from the bag. (Alternatively, to remove the skins you can drop the nuts into a small pan of boiling water, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Drain. Slip of the skins. Dry on paper towels.) Coarsely chop and set aside about a quarter of the nuts.

2. Place the remaining nuts, the breadcrumbs, oil, parsley, and garlic (if using) in a food processor or blender. Process to a paste. Remove to a bowl, and stir in the softened butter and the milk. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Cook the pasta in a large pan of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, and toss with the sauce. Sprinkle with the reserved chopped nuts, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Note:
* I like to use home-made bread crumbs. See suggestion under: https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/366/
* We have grown fond of Pecorino Romano cheese instead of Parmesan cheese. It is a bit milder in taste.
* This dish stores well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container and can easily be reheated using the microwave.

Pasta with walnut sauce

Pasta with walnut sauce

 

Adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia of Italian Cooking by Carla Capalbo

 

Healthful benefits:
* Walnuts (including their skin) are a good source of vitamin E. They also are rich in magnesium and potassium. They even contain a fair amount of calcium.