Time to dig in to my first healthy recipe of the year! I’m so excited to keep bringing you good-for-you recipes, tips on where to start making healthy habits, ideas, and possibly “how-to’s”. I’m not an expert by any means, but I can tell you it is a passion of mine and I’m looking forward to sharing the things that I know with you to hopefully help simplify your journey! I know it can be daunting to think about where to start and what to do, so if you missed my “Get Healthy in 2014: Kitchen Basics Part 1 & Part 2” you’ll definitely want to check them out. I had planned on making this salad for my Christmas dinner, but there were so many things going on in the kitchen that by the time it came to salad I decided to just bag it and save it for another day. I’m happy that I finally had a chance to get around to making it. It’s delicious!!
Source: Slightly adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine
Cranberry Avocado Salad
12 oz. mixed greens (I used a 50/50 blend of baby spring & baby spinach mix)
2 medium avocados, peeled and sliced
3/4 c. dried cranberries
3/4 c. honey-glazed almond slices *see recipe below
1/4 c. alfalfa sprouts
1/2 tbsp. hemp seeds (optional)
1/2 tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
In a large bowl, layer greens with avocado, cranberries and scatter almonds throughout. Top with alfalfa sprouts. Sprinkle lightly with hemp seeds & chia seeds. Serve with Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Sweet White Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/3 c. honey
1 1/2 tbsp. sesame seeds
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. dried mustard
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. white balsamic vinegar
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to combine. Serve with salad.
*Rather than make the typical candied almonds with white sugar (I’m trying to eliminate white sugar in my cooking and baking) I decided to make “Honey Glazed Almond Slices”. Super simple – same method as the candied almonds only with honey instead.
1/2 c. sliced almonds
1/4 c. (or a little less) honey
In a small saucepan, heat the honey over high heat. Stir until liquified; bring to a boil. Add the almonds and reduce the heat to medium. Stir frequently until the honey crystallizes around the almonds (approx. 5-8 minutes). Transfer to parchment paper and spread in a thin layer to cool completely. Best if made a day ahead to be completely hardened.
[My 2 Cents]
We’ve recently started buying hemp seeds. Apparently their nutritional value is through the roof because my husband is eating them like they are going out of style. They are a little pricey, but for all of the benefits they offer we figure the cost is worth it to us. I haven’t done too much with them just yet, but I plan to incorporate them as often as I can in future recipes. They have a nutty flavor. On their own they aren’t too grand but mixed in with other flavorful things you’re good to go. So what’s so great about them? They are high in protein and low in carbs and have lots of magnesium, iron and zinc.
[More of My 2 Cents]
I first heard about chia seeds in the documentary “Hungry For Change”. They talked about their nutritional value in a way that made me want to run out and buy them. And we did. ”Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and iron, chia seeds are great for weight loss because they act like a sponge, absorbing sugar and stabilizing blood sugar levels, says Kotsopoulos. Because of their high fiber content, the tiny seeds can hold up to twenty times their weight in water, so when they’re mixed with liquid they plump up and absorb excess moisture.” – Fitness Magazine. I haven’t used them nearly as much as I want to, watch for recipes and other ways you can incorporate them.