Thank you all SO MUCH for your sweet comments on our surprise announcement Christmas Eve, you all made me smile on a really crappy day 🙂
If you are feeling anything like me, you don’t want to look at another cookie, pie or dessert by now. As I said, I did ALL of the baking for the holidays, so I had cookies, cakes and pies coming out the wazoo. I did manage to sneak in a few healthier desserts such as my Cashew Kream Blackberry Torte, which my mom said was her favorite of all the treats. I tried to use agave as opposed to regular white sugar in a lot of things, my apple cake is a “lighter” recipe, and I even managed to make a few batches of cookies using whole wheat pastry flour. I do not deem any of these “health foods,” however, I believe they are better than many of the store bought desserts, and even most of the things in traditional recipe books. I was going to give you all a recap of everything, but it may be best to spare you from looking at another batch of cookies or a pie in the blogger world 😉
Something that I do think could be considered a health food that I made, and want to share with you all was this delicious salad….perfect for an edible holiday centerpiece:
Apple Walnut Salad with Cranberry Dressing
**measurements will vary depending on how big of a salad you make, I just eyeballed a lot of it
Field Greens or Spring Mix Salad
1-3 Organic Non-tart Apples, peeled and diced
Raw Walnuts, chopped
1/2 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Organic Fresh Cranberries
Agave Nectar, to coat walnuts
Himalayan Sea Salt, to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
Goats Cheese, warmed (optional)
for the dressing:
Place the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and cranberries in your Vitamix or Food processor and blend on high. Then, whisk in a little black pepper to taste. If you do not like the dressing to be ‘seedy’ you can run it through a sieve (I used my Vitamix for the dressing was pretty smooth it didn’t need to be strained). Place the dressing in an air tight container and place in the fridge until it’s ready for use. I like my dressing a little on the cool side, if you do too then make it ahead of time.
**If you like your dressing a little sweeter you can add a squirt or two of agave before blending.
for the walnuts:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the walnuts in a mixing bowl and coat with agave and mix it up. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them for about 5-10 minutes, keep an eye on them and make sure the do not get too brown or burn. When they are finished, sprinkle with a little sea salt and let cool.
to warm the goats cheese:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Slice the cheese into discs and then mold the discs into semi-circles. Place on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for about 5-6 minutes just to soften it. Do this right before you serve the salad for best results.
Peel and slice the apples last, unless you want to peel them under water and soak in lemon water to prevent browning. I placed the apples in some dressing as I sliced them and coated them to prevent them from turning brown (I used red delicious and they brown the quickest!).
Wash and dry the greens and place them on a large platter. After preparing all the ingredients in the steps above, place the walnuts, apples and goats cheese evenly over the greens. If you want to add the dressing, do so before adding the goats cheese, otherwise you can just toss the apples in the dressing and serve it on the side.
This was delicious! A perfect winter salad 🙂
What was your favorite thing you ate over the holidays?
Yesterday morning, I woke up to this:
…and some sad news about my grandmothers passing. Michael and I spent some time at my moms once we got the cars dug out. I wanted to keep this post light and not get into it too much. All I am going to say is that although it is very sad to say goodbye, we are at ease that she will no longer be suffering, and that she is now with my grandfather. I have a special plan to honor both of their memories once our little girl is born.
I am really looking forward to getting in my gym today. It’s been about 5 days since I have gotten a really good exercise session in, between the eating, and the stress and the hibernating I feel like I have been doing, it should be a great workout for baby and me. Boy, do we need it.
Enjoy the rest of your day….