Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Healthier Eating Ahead

The holidays are over and it's time for me to get back into my healthy habits.   My walking partner and I have resumed our daily walks after what seemed like a very long hiatus.  (It had been so long since I've walked the hills in my neighborhood that I have aching shins again.)  I also rearranged my workout schedule and added some new exercises to my routines.  (I'm trying to use my foam roller and my stability ball more.)  I cleaned out the refrigerator and got rid of some of the leftover Christmas sweets that were a constant temptation.   It's time to incorporate more vegetables into my diet.  (A little less sugar in my diet wouldn't hurt either.) 

With the goal of eating healthier in mind, I made a pear and pecan salad for dinner a couple of nights ago that was easy, healthy and super satisfying.

Pear Blue Cheese Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette
Vinaigrette:                                                    Salad:
5 Tablespoons oil                                           2 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons green onions                         1 cup pecan halves
2 Tablespoons white balsamic vinegar       1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard                         1/8 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon salt                                                16 cups lettuce
¼ teaspoon pepper                                         3 pears, thinly sliced
                                                                            1 cup blue cheese (I used reduced fat)

Obviously this recipe makes one huge salad.  I scaled my version way back and made 2 salads - one for dinner and one for lunch.

Combine dressing ingredients.
If you don't have white balsamic vinegar, you can substitute white wine vinegar.


In skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  Add pecans and cook 4-5 minutes.

Sprinkle sugar and salt over nuts.  Cook and stir 1 minutes longer.

 Transfer to a bowl or cutting board to cool.

Combine salad, pears, blue cheese and pecans.  I cut my pear on a mandolin so that I could get nice thin, uniform slices. 

When I sat down to eat my dinner, the pecans in my salad were still warm.  Oh my goodness - warm, salty, crunchy, sweet pecans = salad perfection.  This salad is super simple to put together and it's really is a nice combination of ingredients.  You can take this recipe and adapt it to whatever suits your tastes.  Try adding sweetened dried cranberries, mandarin oranges or swapping feta for blue cheese.  You can also sweeten the dressing with a little honey if that is more your style.  I looking for more great salad recipes so if you have a recipe that you are willing to share - send it to me in a comment.

Bon Appetit!

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