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 (5 minutes!)


Guys, these are crazy good. They're healthier (and I think tastier!) than traditional candied nuts, replacing all that refined sugar with pure maple syrup goodness. Plus there's a wonderful hint of vanilla that just sends it over the top. AND they take about 5 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 🙊 Once I managed to find some self-control, I put them in a sealed container for later (to sprinkle on an autumn salad with pears, apples, and mixed greens - yum!) They're awesome as snacks, and great for gift-giving too! 💛


Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free
Adapted from Ellie Krieger

Ingredients
2 cups nuts (I use 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. (I use this non-stick pan.)
Add all ingredients.
Stir frequently until syrup is caramelized, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool.

Note: the nuts will be quite sticky right after heating. Simply let them cool for 15-20 minutes then gently break them apart if they're clumped together. Store in a sealed container.

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