I hope everyone had a fantastic time ringing in the New Year! I know that traditionally this is the day when people begin to focus on healthy eating and making up for the indulgences of the holiday season, but despite this, I have one last holiday-ish recipe to share with you. Because one thing I definitely believe in is moderation over deprivation, finding that balance between decadent living and healthy eating, and I think there is nothing wrong with indulging from time to time, whether it be Christmas Day, New Year's Day, or another special day of your choosing.
I love the sharing of food-based family traditions, and one of my favorite holiday treats is my mother-in-law's Rosemary Walnuts. How can something so simple be so amazing, so tasty, (and despite my talk of moderation), so addictive? This past Christmas, I enjoyed whipping up a few batches of these babies to share with family, friends, and co-workers as Christmas gifts, and they were very well-received. If you would like to give these a try yourself, the recipe is quite simple. I think my mother-in-law originally clipped it from a magazine, but it has quickly made it's way into my own personal cookbook as a special festive favorite.
Simply melt 1/4 cup of vegan butter (I used Earth Balance) and add to it 4 teaspoons of dried rosemary, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Pour over 4 cups of walnuts and mix well. Spread the walnuts on a cookie sheet or flat baking pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool and then voila!
My favorite presents are usually the home-made ones, and so if you are like me and are thinking of something gifty for next year that you could make yourself, then when the time comes next December, you could always do what I did and re-purpose some glass jars, decorate them with Christmas paper and ribbon, and then fill them up with these delicious treats. And if you can't wait until next year, give these a try sooner than that. They are particularly perfect when you are craving something salty and savory. And they are also great for when you have company, be it a little party, a football game, a potluck--just put some of these in a little bowl and watch what happens!