Thursday, November 8, 2012

Spinach Salad with Warm Citrus Vinaigrette

My daughter's Halloween candy is still looming in the corners of the kitchen cupboards and I've been doing my best to get it out of my sight.  (By eating it unfortunately.)  Seriously, I think I need an intervention because I can't stop myself from eating those tiny chocolate bars.  To counteract the pounds of sugar that I've been consuming this week, I figured that I needed to indulge in a few salads as well.  I love this salad because it's loaded with fruit and nuts and drizzled with a tangy/sweet dressing to give me that "sweet fix" that I have been craving.  The dressing is really best when it's warm but to be honest, I usually don't go to the trouble of heating it up and it's also good, straight out of the frig. 

Orange and Spinach Salad with Warm Citrus Dressing
Dressing                                                      Salad
6 ounce can orange juice concentrate        1 pound spinach
½ onion, diced                                            1 can mandarin oranges
¼ cup red wine vinegar                              ½ purple onion
½ cup brown sugar                                     3 ounces feta (optional)
1 Tablespoon orange zest                           ½ cup dried cranberries
½ teaspoon salt                                           ¼ cup chopped pecans
½ teaspoon hot sauce                                 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
½ teaspoon dry mustard                             1/2 cup sliced strawberries
½ cup oil

Process orange juice, onion and vinegar in blender.  Add brown sugar, orange zest, mustard, salt and hot sauce.  Blend on high.  Add oil.

Bring to a boil and cook on medium for 10 minutes.


Spiced Pecans


  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1-1/4 pounds pecan halves (about 5 cups)





Combine the sugar, pie spice, salt and ginger; set aside. 



In a Dutch oven, bring the water, honey and oil to a boil.

Add pecans; cook and stir until all of the liquid is evaporated, about 1 minute.

Immediately sprinkle with reserved sugar mixture; toss to coat.

Transfer to an ungreased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 15-20 minutes or until browned, stirring twice. Cool.

 Store in an airtight container.

Put the salad together and drizzle with warm citrus vinaigrette just before serving.

    Eating this salad is not going to make up for the chocolate bars that I keep eating but at least it's a step in the right direction.


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