Thursday, January 6, 2011

eating salad: apple walnut salad

Okay. The truth. I hate salad! I love eating healthy, but the only way I can choke down a salad if it's full of tasty things and an excellent dressing. By the time you add all that, it's usually no longer healthy. I am forcing myself to eat salad everyday this week and make it healthy and tasty. Here's my first attempt.

Apple Walnut Salad on Spring Greens with Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing
Spring mix lettuce
2 Fuji apples, chopped (leave skins on)
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped*
1/2 cup craisins
1 small cucumber, chopped

These are just my estimates, but really you can add more or less ingredients to taste. I usually purchase my lettuces at Costco. This is the Organic Spring Mix or something like that. Any poppy seed dressing or other fruity viniagrette will do. See the recipe for the dressing I used below.

1.  Prepare dressing and set aside or refrigerate while making salad.
2.  Rinse and spin or pat dry the desired amount of lettuce. Place prepared lettuce in salad bowl.
3.  Add prepared apples, walnuts, craisins, and cucumbers. Toss.
4.  Serve in individual bowls and drizzle with dressing.

Sweet Poppy Seed Dressing
1/3 cup red wine vinegar (or cider vinegar)
3/4 cup sugar (you can also use honey to taste)
1 teaspoon ground mustard
3/4 cup teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

Blend the first five ingredients in blender until smooth. Then add oil and pulse. Stir in poppy seeds by hand.

This salad was very refreshing to me and I ate a lot of it. Let me know if you have a good dressing for salad that you like to use.

*I like to toast the walnuts also. To do this, set your oven at 350 degrees. Spread the chopped nuts evenly on a cookie sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Another delicious dressing with this salad:
Cranberry Vinaigrette (from my aunt)
1/4 cup fresh cranberries
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. honey
3/4 cup vegetable oil

Blend cranberries in blender until smooth. Add vinegar, sugar, onion, and honey; process until blended. With blender running, gradually add oil. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

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