Culinary Inspiration

There are so many reasons to incorporate meatless meals into your life – increasing the amount of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet, cooking with more nutrient-dense, plant-based ingredient, or simply reducing your carbon footprint by cutting back on animal products. Swapping out one meal per day, or even one per week, is a great way to start on your path toward a plant-based lifestyle.

Using California walnuts as a main ingredient in your meatless cooking adventures can be easy and so satisfying! To get you started, we’ve put together three meatless meals to try this summer that feature California walnuts.

Walnut “Chorizo” Stuffed Peppers with Avocado Crema

It’s uncanny how similarly this meatless chorizo compares to the real thing. In this recipe, this spicy walnut and black bean-based filling is stuffed inside roasted red bell peppers and topped with a cool, refreshing avocado crema, making it a creative and satisfying Mexican-inspired option that is both vegan and grain free. Any leftover walnut chorizo can be used for meatless burritos, tacos or breakfast scrambles!

Lemon Walnut Alfredo Pasta

This Lemon Walnut Alfredo Pasta with baby spinach uses puréed California walnuts in the sauce to reduce the amount of dairy found in a traditional alfredo sauce. Using walnuts gives the sauce extra body and replacing the heavy cream with milk gives it a lighter feel. This pasta dish gets a bright summer twist with the addition of fresh lemon zest and juice. If you’d like to make this pasta dish vegan, simply substitute equal parts non-dairy versions of milk, cream cheese and parmesan.

Walnut “Meat” Tostadas with Mango Salsa

This is another Mexican-inspired meal that uses California walnuts and cauliflower to make a meatless version of ground taco meat. In this recipe, it’s served on crispy, baked tostada shells and topped with a fresh mango salsa, chopped romaine, and queso fresco. These are a really fun and festive option for a summer party! For a low carb option, try omitting the tostada shells altogether and serving the taco “meat” and toppings in lettuce cups.

Combining ground walnuts with spices and other ingredients to turn it into a meat substitute and blending it into a creamy sauce are just two ways to broaden your meatless cooking horizons. Hopefully these recipes show how versatile and easy cooking with California walnuts can be! Check out all of our recipes for even more inspiration on how to use walnuts in your meatless meals.


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by California Walnut Commission. Although, all opinions are my own.

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