Smorgasbord Health – Cook From Scratch with Carol Taylor – Walnuts are all they are cracked up to be!

This is an edited post from the 2017 Cook from Scratch series to complement the current 2020 Food Therapy Series – Carol Taylor shares some delicious recipes to encourage you to include walnuts on a regular basis in your diet.

Wonderful Walnuts.

The Walnut is probably one of my favourite nuts and I always remember my mum used to make a wicked Walnut and coffee sponge for which she won prizes for at the Women’s Institute….

It is a nut which if you have read Sally’s health part of this post is very good for you in many ways and I always eat a handful of walnuts per day.

My first recipe using walnuts is for a Chimichurri and it is lovely as an accompaniment with grilled lamb cutlets.



  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh mint
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • ¼ cup Niçoise olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Let’s Cook!

Pulse oil, mint, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, anchovies and garlic in a food processor until it has a coarse, rustic texture. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in olives, walnuts and crushed red pepper.

Candied Walnuts:

  • 1 cup walnut halves/pieces (you can also use this recipe for candied pecans)
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Let’s Cook

  1. Use a non stick pan over medium heat; add walnuts, granulated sugar and butter.
  2. Remain on a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so your mixture doesn’t burn.
  3. When the sugar mixture starts melting, stir constantly until all sugar is melted and nuts are coated.
  4. Transfer immediately onto a sheet of parchment paper and separate the nuts right away.
  5. Using two spatulas is a faster way to do it.
  6. You don’t want to give the nuts a chance to turn into a piece of inseparable delicious goodness unless you are the only person who will be enjoying the walnuts… Seriously, move quickly from the time the nuts are coated until they are separated out on the parchment paper.
  7. Once the coating hardens (5-7 minutes) Make paper cones and fill with the walnuts they then make a lovely little gift.

Home made gifts always seem to be something which most people love to receive it shows a lot of thought and means so much more .

Pasta with walnut Pesto and roasted tomatoes.


  • 50 gm/2 oz of shelled walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 12 cherry tomatoes on the vine
  • 6 tbsp of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
  • 2 tbsp fresh flat leaved parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • 350 gm pasta

Let’s Cook!

  1. Heat the oven to 220C/Gas mark 7
  2. Snip the tomatoes into 4 bunches and put in a shallow roasting tin with the walnuts and garlic, the drizzle with about 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Season.
  3. Roast for about 10-12 minutes or until the tomatoes start to colour and the walnuts are toasted.
  4. Cook the pasta as per the pack instructions or for 8-10 minutes until al dente.
  5. Put the walnuts and garlic with any juices from the pan in a mini blender with the remaining olive oil.
  6. The tomatoes can be kept warm in the switched off oven.
  7. Blitz the walnuts and garlic for a few seconds then add the herbs and 2 tbsp of the parmesan cheese.
  8. Pulse again until just combined but not smooth.
  9. Drain your pasta well and return to the pan. Fold in the pesto and season to taste.
  10. Serve with the roasted tomatoes on the side and a scattering of cheese.

Walnut Madeline’s.



  • 90g unsalted butter, plus extra, melted, to prepare the tin
  • 65g plain flour
  • 60g walnuts
  • 165g icing sugar
  • 60g ground almonds
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground coffee beans
  • 4 egg whites (170g)
  • 50ml espresso coffee

For the syrup…

  • 75ml espresso
  • 40g caster sugar

Let’s Cook!

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC / Gas Mark 3.
  2. Next, brush the Madeleine shells with melted butter followed by a dusting of flour and then freeze the tin for 5 mins. Repeat this process once more and leave the tin in the freezer until you’re ready to use it. This was a technique which I learnt from the Daily Telegraph some time ago and it worked so I have used it ever since.
  3. In a small pan, melt the butter and cook it until it turns brown and begins to smell nutty, at this point pour it out into a heat proof bowl and set to one side.
  4. Blitz your walnuts in a food processor, or chop them roughly depending on how much texture you’d like in your Madeleine’s.
  5. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the flour, icing sugar, ground almonds, baking powder, cardamom, ground coffee, egg whites, espresso, a ¼ tsp of salt and the melted butter into the mixing bowl, and beat until you have a smooth, thin batter.
  6. Transfer the batter into a jug and stir through the walnuts.
  7. Almost fill each shell of the Madeleine tin with the batter and then bake for 20 mins. The Madeleine’s are done when they spring back to the touch. When they are cool enough to handle, turn them out, shell side up, onto a wire rack.
  8. As the Madeleine’s are cooking, rapidly boil the espresso and sugar in a small pan, until it is reduced and syrupy, this will take around 5 mins. Finally, brush the syrup over the warm Madeleine’s and those shiny shells are ready to eat with a well-earned coffee.
  9. Alternately fill the Madeline’s with a chocolate butter cream either way they are very nice…
  10. Walnut Biscuits

I don’t make biscuits very often…almost never but I food because of the humidity doesn’t last long here it either goes off or the ants take residence. I was guided by the desiccated coconut and the golden syrup which was a gift from afar aka visitors and the rolled oats which I mistakenly bought instead of the porridge oats.

These cookies are my basic recipe and next time will be my experimental recipe I am already planning what I can add to them.


  • 150gm rolled oats
  • 100gm plain flour
  • 100gm light brown sugar (I used raw sugar)
  • 100gm walnuts chopped
  • 100gm butter
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp of boiling water.

Let’s Cook!

  1. Set oven to heat at 175C, gas mark 4.
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine the sugar, flour, walnuts and oats mix to combine well.
  3. In a small pan add the butter and golden syrup and melt the butter. meanwhile, bring the kettle to the boil and add two tbsps of boiling water to the bicarbonate of soda in a small cup. Add this to the melted butter/syrup mix. It will foam a little.
  4. Make a well in the centre of your dry mix and pour in the melted butter/syrup mix. Stir to thoroughly combine and it will form slightly sticky dough.
  5. Roll out balls and put on a baking tray leaving a space as they will spread on cooking (the mix made 15 balls) slightly flatten with your hand.
  6. Put in the preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Don’t make the mistake I made when I first made them and thought they weren’t cooked and gave them another 10 minutes. They were a tad harder than required when they cooled down…ha-ha…I could build a wall with them…Poppas

This is my truly tried tested old faithful recipe for brownies and verified by everyone who has tried it….I don’t know why I have never shared it with you here on WP…I thought I had but never mind I now have shared it for you chocolate brownie lovers to enjoy! This recipe is part of my 20%… If you are wondering it is my 80% healthy eating and 20% indulgence plan….And indulgence it certainly is and very enjoyable BUT if you read the ingredients it is as healthy as a chocolate brownie can be….. Lol

Chocolate and Walnut Brownies.



  • 1 cup of oil (I use coconut oil)
  • 1½ cups of sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2/3 cup of good cocoa powder
  • 1 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp of vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt

Let’s Cook!

  1. Mix oil, sugar and vanilla together and then beat in eggs.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients except for walnuts and stir into mixture.
  3. Add walnuts.
  4. Put batter into prepared baking dish and cook for about 1 hr on 175C/350F.

N.B. I added a ½tsp of dried chilli to my second batch.  Those of you who know me know I just have to ㋡Next time; I am going to add just a few cranberries or blueberries depending on what I have in the cupboard.

I have also used half oil and half melted butter before and nothing seems to phase this brownie recipe it always turns out well and tastes amazing.This is probably the best brownie mix I have made as the top is nice and crispy but with a gooey underneath, just how I like it or maybe just how this temperamental oven of mine works.

That’s all for the walnut and next week it is the Turkey which will be the last post before Christmas so I will try and find some lovely seasonable recipes for you…

About Carol Taylor

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetables ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use have to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology Amazon US

Connect to Carol

Blog: Carol Cooks 2
Twitter: @CarolCooksTwo
Facebook: Carol Taylor

23 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health – Cook From Scratch with Carol Taylor – Walnuts are all they are cracked up to be!

  1. Thank you, Sally…Yes, only one more post and that will be Turkey saved that one till last…We now have about 30 Turkey eggs at the last count being hatched and I made my first Turkey egg scrambled egg the other day…They made me be the guinea pig……they are lovely, creamier and a softer flavour than chicken eggs and not at all strong tasting which was my initial expectation…Really nice…I am looking forward to next year and my column…Thank you Sally xxxx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reblogged this on Retired? No one told me! and commented:
    Nearly the end of this series but I am looking forward to next year as I will be doing a cookery column in Sally’s magazine…Exciting for me…and at my age who would have thought ?…Never too late… I hope you enjoy our joint venture into the health benefits of the Walnut and the recipes…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, the joys of such a powerful little nut. I love to throw a small handful of walnuts into my bowl of oatmeal and they work wonders as a snack. Thanks for sharing the recipes, Carol. They all look delish!!


  4. Brilliant Love walnuts and Nice to know they are so good for you. The Pesto is something I will definitely be having a go at as I’ve made it before but never with walnuts and also the Walnut madelines sounded easy to do! Very tempting!


  5. Carol, loved this post. Like Jan, I put walnuts in steel cut oatmeal with blueberries for a sharp memory. I also use walnuts for my famous snow ball cookies. Better than the almonds called for in the recipe. Now it’s after midnight and I’m hungry!!


  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round up – Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Three Sisters and Walnuts. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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