Oh, how birthday celebrations have changed. In my 20’s, wild parties and all-nighters out on the town dotted the social calendar monthly, our young livers and pre-parenthood energy levels allowing us to bounce back without needing much more than a jumbo iced coffee and a couple of ibuprofen the next morning. These days? Not so much.
With varieties like Rich Dark Chocolate + Walnuts, Toasted Coconut + Cashew, and Caramel Almond + Cashew, there was no feeling like we were skimping on flavor or keeping things “light.” Yet, with only 90 calories at most per serving, we could also indulge without doing too much damage!
The menu I came up with was punctuated with nutty additions to the lightened up party fare:
with Walnut Pesto
Apple Soda Bread
with Pecan-Honey Butter
As if getting nutty with the menu wasn’t enough to solidify my theme, I also used nuts in the decor, adding cashews, almonds and walnuts to small vases as festive filler, then topping each with a pillar candle and adding some sparkly ribbon to bring it all together.
Meanwhile, check out my recipe for Walnut Pesto Chicken Quinoa — a great addition to your Nutchello party menu!
Set aside until ready to use.
1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions*
1 large cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into small pieced
2 Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
1. Place cooked quinoa in a large bowl. Add cooked, diced chicken and diced tomatoes. Toss to combine.
2. Pour Walnut Pesto over quinoa mixture and mix until pesto coats all ingredients.
3. Sprinkle toasted walnuts over top.
Serve warm, room temperature or cold as a salad.**
*1 cup of uncooked quinoa will fluff up to about 3 cups cooked.
** Refrigerating for a while before serving may dry out the pesto a bit. If this is the case, just drizzled with a bit of olive oil and toss before serving.