December 18, 2012

Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad

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A phenomenal salad, especially in autumn and winter. It combines apples, dried cranberries, homemade maple-vanilla candied walnuts (or pecans if you prefer), and red onion on a bed of mixed baby greens. You can make your own dressing, but we really love Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette with this particular salad. It's such a perfect compliment and even has a little gorgonzola to add another dimension. We've had this many times the past few years - even my husband gobbles it up and wants more. So I finally got around to getting some (not so great) pictures and posting it. You may notice it looks a bit unfinished since it's lacking the dressing on top. I apologize, but once the dressing was drizzled... it was GAME ON. :)


Ingredients
Mixed baby greens
Dried cranberries
Apple
Red onion
Dressing of choice (we love Trader Joe's Champagne Pear Vinaigrette)

Directions
Dice apple, and thinly slice red onion.
Lay out the mixed greens on a plate, and top with remaining ingredients.




December 2, 2012

Maple-Vanilla Candied Nuts

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These are insanely good. They're healthier (and I think tastier) than traditional candied nuts, replacing all that sugar with maple syrup. There's a wonderful hint of vanilla that just sends it over the top. AND they take less than 10 minutes to make. Though I feel I should toss in a warning here: I burned my tongue not once... not twice... but THREE times because they were so darn good and I was too impatient for them to cool. Not even ashamed to admit that. :) Once I managed to find some self-control and not scarf down the entire batch, I put them in a sealed container to later use in this Apple Cranberry Walnut Salad. They're really awesome just eaten as a snack as well.


Vegan, gluten-free
Adapted from Ellie Krieger

Ingredients
2 cups nuts (I used walnut pieces)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt

Directions
Heat a small skillet over med-high for 1 minute.
Add all ingredients.
Stir frequently until syrup is caramelized, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool.

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