Tag Archives: walnuts

Parsley-walnut pesto: $1.12/serving

Apologies for the dearth of posts the past few days; we had company over the weekend, and while I did try and cook at least some of the time, I wasn’t keen on interrupting the day’s activities to sit down and write about it. But I’m back now, and with a surplus of parsley growing wild and neglected in the Aerogarden. I’ve had reasonable success growing parsley outdoors, but WOW this stuff loves growing hydroponically. I can hardly keep up, which is exactly why this pesto might soon be in the regular rotation. Even if you don’t grow your own parsley, a bunch is usually less than 50 cents at the grocery store as opposed to $1.99 or more for half that amount of basil, and it works wonderfully with inexpensive walnuts instead of $26.99-a-pound (yes, that’s what they cost at my grocery store…IN BULK!) pine nuts. B. and I both think it tastes just as great as “regular” pesto, plus it gets dinner on the table in less than 2o minutes and makes excellent lunch leftovers.

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Chiles en nogada (fruit-and-pork-stuffed chiles in white walnut sauce): $2.09/serving

As you may or may not be aware, chiles en nogada is the official dish of Mexican Independence Day, Sept. 16.  As you no doubt are very much aware, it’s currently March. But here in the land of eating on $35 a week, chiles en nogada is also the official dish of discount pork butt and spectacularly attractive and inexpensive poblano chiles found at the Mexican market. For those who have never had chiles en nogada, it’s a more sophisticated, nuanced and CHEAPER (minus all that cheese) version of chiles rellenos. The contrast of the sweet pork and fruit with the spicy poblano and creamy, nutty sauce is not to be missed. (For authenticity’s sake I’ll note that it usually has pomegranate seeds and not cilantro, so as to depict the Mexican flag, but no pomegranates could be found on sale.)

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Oat groats with blue cheese, walnuts & spinach: $1.98/serving

This dish was adapted from a recipe that uses an unfortunate euphemism for oat groats: “warm oat berries.” Maybe I’m just being juvenile, but that sounds a lot more unappetizing than “oat groats.” The oat groat is the original whole grain of the oat. A lot of people might not think of oatmeal as a processed food, but indeed it is—even the super-wholesome-seeming steel-cut or rolled oats are simply oat groats that have been chopped up or pressed and then baked. Groats take a while to cook, however, which is why I happen to find them better suited to dinner. They offer a very mild oat flavor with a satisfying chew not unlike farro, and lend themselves to a variety of salad or side dish applications.

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