Cooking Delights

Monday, July 31, 2006

Kalamata Walnut Tapenade

Yesterday I made this kalamata walnut tapenade from Dreena Burton's Vive le Vegan It was amazingly delicious. I took it to a family get together and it was dimolished!

I am hoping to replace my cheddar cheese and kashi cracker habit with this. Like most dairy products, cheese is a good source of protein, calcium, and riboflavin. However, because it takes about 8 to 10 pounds of milk (4 to 5 quarts) to make one pound of most types of cheese, just one ounce (about a one-inch cube) of cheese contains about as much fat as a cup of whole milk. In fact, most cheeses derive 60% to 90% of their calories from fat (with most of the fat being saturated).

The kalamata walnut tapenade on the other hand contains olives which are a very good source of monounsaturated fats and a good source of vitamin E. Also in the nutritionally dense tapenade are walnuts an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, a special type of protective fat the body cannot manufacture. Walnuts' concentration of omega-3s (a quarter-cup provides 90.8% of the daily value for these essential fats) has many potential health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, to the promotion of better cognitive function, to anti-inflammatory benefits helpful in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. The amount of omega 3 essential fatty acids is crucial for vegetarians like myself who don't eat fish.

I am also proud to say that the tapenade included fresh thyme straight from my herb garden. Loved this recipe.


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