Culinary Inspiration

The return of springtime brings sunshine, flowers and (our favorite) plenty of fresh produce. It’s one of the best times of the year to rethink your personal menu, try out new recipes, and work fresh, seasonal produce into your diet.
There’s an abundance of light and tasty alternatives to the heavier winter meals, and reaching for seasonal produce and heart-healthy* California walnuts make it easy to breathe new life into the entire spring menu. Whether you’re using walnuts in as a meat alternative, topping off a dish for an extra crunch, or just looking to add more nutrients to your meal, let these recipes inspire your spring kitchen fling!

 

Mix Up Your Spring Salad

Salads are synonymous with springtime. They’re simple to assemble, customizable to your favorite flavors, and a creative way to incorporate a variety of seasonal ingredients—what’s not to love? Take your salad game up a notch this spring with this California Walnut Rice Salad. Between the crunchy walnuts, dried fruit, rice and feta cheese, there’s no shortage of texture in this mix. For a time-saving tip, make a big batch of the salad and dressing and divide it into lunch-sized portions to each throughout the week! Add the dressing as you go to keep your greens fresh.
If you need a little more protein to fuel your afternoon, this Walnut Ranch Quinoa Chicken Salad may be in order. Power through the day with this savory mixture of chicken, quinoa, tomatoes, and walnuts. If you want to add some more flavors, top the dish off with some freshly-diced cucumber or crunchy bacon bits. Drizzle your bowl in a light ranch dip, mix, and enjoy the bold southwestern-inspired ensemble!

 

Veg Out

While salads and bowls are no brainers when it comes to getting your daily vegetables, challenge yourself to think outside the leafy greens this season! We love spiralizing veggies like carrots to build out a hearty meal and maximize your produce intake in an interesting way. You can season the veggie noodles just about any way you like, whether it’s with traditional pasta sauces, or something more globally-inspired, like this Moroccan Carrot Noodle Salad. Bold flavors like chili, cumin, and cardamom play off of the sweet carrots and savory chickpeas while walnuts add a satisfying crunch for a perfectly-balanced dish you can make for lunch or dinner.

Zucchini also lends itself perfectly to a spiralizer, so spin some strands of this squash and turn it into a Chicken and Walnut Zoodle Bowl with Curry Vinaigrette. The chicken and walnut blend come alive in the tangy curry vinaigrette while plump tomatoes offer a fresh burst of flavor in every bite. Far from your average pasta dish, this meal is served warm which offers a comforting option for the transition out of chilly winter days.

 

Simply Delicious Dinners

Plant-based isn’t going anywhere, so try out the trend this season with some Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos, where black beans and walnuts as the star protein, seasoned with traditional taco spices for a filling and flavorful meat-free “chorizo”! Plus, it’s a sneaky way to add in some extra nutrients, like protein, fiber, and plant-based omega-3 ALA – walnuts have the most of any tree nut (2.5g/1oz.). Layer on pickled veggies, like radishes and jalapenos for the perfect blend of crunch and zest.

With several holidays and celebratory occasions falling in the spring, you may find yourself needing to prepare something extra special for your family this season. This Roasted Lamb with California Walnut Salsa is sure to impress! The bright melody of flavors in the California walnut salsa elevates the lamb to a level worthy of compliments—and second helpings. This cultured dish pleases generational palates and virtually ensures clean plates.

When the time comes for a spring cleaning of your go-to recipes, keep things simple with fresh alternatives that infuse some seriously delicious flavor and texture into your meals. And turn to versatile, tasty California walnuts for a nutritious ingredient that can be incorporated into any meal of the day!

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