Every evening about right around 5:00pm my husband and I pretty much have the same conversation. It goes something like this: “So what are we having for dinner?” “Hmmmm, I don’t know how about chicken?” I respond. We agree on some type of chicken dish and then comes the next issue. What side dish do we have with our entrée? There are so many choices of side dishes out there that choosing one can be a bit confusing. We like to incorporate some type of vegetable with every dinner but the kids usually aren’t too excited about that. They would rather have French fries or onion rings with every meal instead of carrots, peas, or spinach. So my hub and I are always trying to come up with a new recipe that everyone will be both enjoyable and healthy at the same time.
I was recently at a friend’s house and they served up this walnut cranberry goat cheese salad that was simply delicious. It really wasn’t a side dish to the meal but a salad appetizer. The walnuts and cranberries though added a very nice taste to the salad and we took note when both of our children clean their plates with no complaints. With the walnut and cranberry theme in mind I went on hunting for recipes with vegetables. In my search I found out so much about how healthy walnuts are for you. One site explained how California walnuts contain a significant amount of omega 3-fatty acids and they are a good source of protein and fiber as well. After reading this I was even more inspired to find a healthy recipe that included walnuts. After perusing several websites I came across a recipe for glazed carrots with walnuts and cranberries. Here is a copy of Pomegranate Glazed Carrots I found:
You will need: (Prep time 5 minutes, cook time about 30 minutes)
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 pound carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch diagonal slices
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 cup California walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup cranberries, dried
- 1 tablespoon thyme, fresh, chopped
- Place juice in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook for 15 minutes or until juice is reduced to 1/4 cup; stir in honey. (Mixture may be prepared several days ahead and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator.)
- While glaze is cooking, preheat oven to 400°F. Place carrots, oil, salt, and pepper on a small baking sheet; stir well to coat. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drizzle glaze over carrots and stir to coat. Bake for 10 minutes more, stirring once or twice.
- Stir in walnuts and cranberries and cook for 5 minutes or until carrots are nicely glazed and reach desired tenderness. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with thyme. Recipe may be doubled.
After cooking up this dish I presented it to my family with the main entrée of herb seasoned chicken sausages. The carrots didn’t really look like carrots with the glaze covering them so I wasn’t too worried about them complaining. After a couple of bites everyone at the table was complimenting the dish. The biggest compliment came from both of my kids when they asked for seconds. Luckily I made enough for everyone to have seconds. Overall I have to say cooking with the walnuts made the dish not only crunchy but tasty as well. I’m going to surprise my mother in law and bring this dish for our Thanksgiving gathering. It is sure one of the great side dishes! I cannot wait to find some more recipes that incorporate walnuts.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored Walnuts.org I re-created this recipe and received compensation to do so. Regardless, I only share products I like and use in my own kitchen.