A few weeks ago I was contacted by California Walnuts, a group I connected with a few years ago when I was more of a healthy living/food blogger. I have now kind of stepped away from the food blogging, but when they offered me the opportunity to join a virtual dinner party and make a dish with their walnuts from one of 4 amazing chefs, I jumped at the opportunity.
Immediately when I was making my decision on which chef to choose, Aida Mollenkamp stood out to me. She had a number of recipes that were already gluten free and dairy free friendly, and when I saw the Kale, Apple, Pancetta, and Walnut Salad with Creamy Walnut Dressing I knew I had to make it for the Virtual Dinner Party.
For the most part I followed the recipe above, but I made a few substitutions based on what I had in the house, and what I could find at the local grocery store: (1) I couldn’t find endvies, so I subbed in sunflower sprouts, (2) I didn’t have white wine vinegar, so I subbed in rice vinegar, (3) I couldn’t find pancetta, so I used bacon. I do wish I could’ve tried it with the endives, since I’ve never had them, but sometimes you have to make do and adjust.
The recipe came together so quickly — the longest portion was the frying of the bacon (which took all of five minutes), and it was a delicious, fairly healthy meal that filled me up. The only requirement is that you have a food processor for the salad dressing, but if you don’t mind it a little chunky, and more of a ‘spread’ I think a blender might work in a pinch. And speaking of the creamy walnut dressing, I can’t wait to use on other salads, and possibly even as a dressing for meats! Soooo good!
Aida Mollenkamp and California Walnuts for the win, that’s for sure!
I am so happy I had the opportunity to join the virtual dinner party — check out some of the other food bloggers who joined Aida’s Virtual Dinner Party here. It felt great to get back in the kitchen and do some cooking again! Thanks California Walnuts for this fantastic opportunity!
As a part of the Virtual Dinner Party, and on behalf of California Walnuts, I was also sent TWO copies of Aida Mollenkamp’s recipe book: Keys to the Kitchen. What does that mean? That I have ONE copy to giveaway to one of you!
Although I was disappointed the recipe I made wasn’t in the cookbook, I still loved Keys to the Kitchen at first glance.
Its got a great set of recipes, a number of which I’m really excited to make, but one of its greatest aspects I think is the informational and instructional information the first two chapters have. And it has photos, which is always a bonus in my book.
It gives you great instructions on mastering grocery stores, knife skills, and etc, before diving into the delicious looking recipes. I mean, if the Kale, Apple, Pancetta and Walnut salad I made says anything about what’s in her cookbook, it should be pretty fabulous.
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Aida Mollenkamp’s Keys to the Kitchen. The giveaway will be open through Friday, March 8 at noon PST, and I will announce the winner later that afternoon, and get the cookbook sent out asap.
How to enter?
You must do one of the following to enter:
(1) Take a look at Aida Mollenkamps’s recipes used for the Virtual Dinner Party and leave a comment on which recipe (from the Winter or Spring menus) you’d like to try.
(2) Leave a comment telling me about your favorite way to eat walnuts (in a recipe, raw, candied…etc).
For an extra entry:
(3) Tweet about the giveaway, and leave a comment back here saying that you did so. example tweet: “I just entered to win an @aidamollenkamp cookbook from @phdstrides virtual dinner party giveaway http://wp.me/pVOD1-1k5″