Harvest Salad

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The season of hearty, calorie laden comfort food is upon us! I do love big bowls of chowder, pumpkin bread and anything creamy and cheesy as much as the next person, but my motto is “everything in moderation.” I eat a lot of salad, and I really do love it. I ate my fill of caprese and salads topped with fresh corn  and garden tomatoes this summer, but now fall produce is getting its turn.

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Spring mix is topped with crisp apples, tart dried cranberries, candied pecans, blue cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. A perfect way to enjoy fall flavors while being both light and delicious.

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While you could buy candied pecans, homemade are so simple to make and completely customize-able. Add a little cinnamon or even a pinch cayenne for flavor. If you want to switch it up some, replace the apples with pears and the blue cheese with goat cheese.

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Harvest Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces of mixed gourmet/spring greens
  • 1 apple (I used Fuji), cored and chopped (to equal about 1¼ cups)
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
  • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
    Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
  • a pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) kosher salt
    Candied Pecans
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1½ tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons water
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  • For pecans: Mix together all ingredients but the pecans. In a medium-large saucepan over medium heat, toast pecans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When you begin to smell them, they're done.
  • Quickly drizzle the sugar mixture into the pan, on top of the pecans, stirring the nuts as you drizzle. Stir constantly for about 15 seconds, until the pecans are thoroughly coated in the sugar mixture. Immediately remove from heat so they don't burn.
  • Spread the pecans on a piece of parchment to cool. Once cooled, you can break the nuts apart, if needed.
  • Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container. The pecans will be slightly sticky at first, but the coating hardens further within a few hours.
  • For the salad: Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide it among individual salad plates).
  • Sprinkle apples, pecans, cranberries, and cheese over top of greens.
  • For dressing, whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, mustard, and salt until emulsified.
  • Dress salad just before serving.
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    http://blondegirlcravings.com/2016/10/10/harvest-salad/

    Recipe Source: Two Healthy Kitchens

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    Autumn Chex Mix

    autumn chex mix

    Are you a breakfast person? I am not. It takes me a few hours of being awake before my stomach can handle food. I go in phases of what I eat. Sometimes its a smoothie, then a granola bar and cheese stick. Right now I am into apples and Chex mix. Crunchy and sweet is working for me right now.

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    This Autumn Chex mix is perfect for snacking. Its crunchy, sweet, salty, and spiced with pumpkin pie spice that makes it perfect for fall. Feel free to switch up the cereal, nuts and fruit with your favorites!

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    Autumn Chex Mix

    Ingredients

    • 4 Cups Chex cereal (I used rice Chex)
    • 2 Cups Oatmeal Squares cereal (I used Cinnamon flavor)
    • 2 Cups pretzels
    • 2 Cups dried cranberries
    • 2 Cups nuts (I used 1 cup salted cashews, 1 cup salted peanuts)
    • 1/2 Cup butter
    • 1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
    • 1/2 Cup maple syrup
    • 2 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
    • 1 Tablespoon vanilla

    Instructions

  • In a 5 to 6-quart crock-pot, add the cereal, nuts, dried fruit and pretzels.
  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe cup or bowl. Add in the syrup, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla, stir to combine.
  • Drizzle wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well. Take caution to not break the cereal and pretzels. Place a paper towel under the lid to soak up the condensation that can develop inside the lid.
  • Cook on high  for about 2 hours, stirring well every 15 to 20 minutes. Mixture is done when there is no more visible liquid. Cooking temps vary, so keep and eye on your mix after 1 1/2 hours.
  • Pour mixture onto baking sheets and allow to dry for two hours or overnight. Store in a air tight container up to 5 days. Yield: About 8 cups
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    http://blondegirlcravings.com/2014/10/27/autumn-chex-mix/

     

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    Recipe adapted from: Averie Cooks

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