Tag Archives: refined sugar free

Strawberry Spinach Salad With Maple Glazed Pecans

Adaptability.  It’s all about adaptability.  Take this sweet, crunchy and showy salad, perfect for any get-together, originally from my mother-in-law’s recipe book.  Awesome salad, but originally quite refined.   Substitute maple syrup for white sugar and olive oil for vegetable oil, and voila!  You’ve thrown refinement to the wind!  And retained good taste and stunning looks.  Lookin’ good, girl.  Lookin’ good.  Love the makeover.

The steps, when written out, look a little long, but I hate to leave anything to chance.  The salad is delicious, always goes over well at potlucks, and isn’t hard to make.

Don’t be afraid to adapt.  Don’t be afraid to adapt recipes.  Eat real.  Eat well.  Live well.

P.S.  Salad shown without the delicious poppy seed dressing.  Can’t remember why.

strawberry pecan salad 3

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:

1 pound of fresh baby spinach or spinach chopped into bite sized pieces

1 cup of celery, diced small

1 quart of fresh strawberries, sliced or quartered

For the glazed pecans:

½ cup maple syrup

1 ½ cup whole pecans

For the poppy seed dressing:

⅔ cup white apple cider vinegar

½ cup maple syrup (you may like a little more than I do)

3-4 green onions (with tops), chopped

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 cups olive oil

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

First, place the spinach, diced celery, and fresh-sliced strawberries in your prettiest glass serving bowl.  Set aside.  You can even do this the day before for convenience.

Second, glaze the pecans:

  1. Lay out a large sheet of waxed paper, about the size of a cookie sheet, and grease it well with a little coconut oil or olive oil.  Alternatively, you may use a silicone baking mat which will not need greased.
  2. Put the maple syrup and pecans in a large, heavy skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, for about 7-8 minutes.  Time will vary, but cook the pecans until the syrup caramelizes and gets sticky and bubbly.  Err on the side of overcooking (but do not burn).
  3. Remove the pecans with a slotted spoon to the greased waxed paper or silicone sheet.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Break up into pieces to sprinkle onto the salad.  Set aside.  You may also do this the day before and store separately.

Third, make the poppy seed dressing:

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a food processor or blender. (Do not yet add the olive oil or poppy seeds.)  Blend until smooth.
  2. With the food processor still running, add the 2 cups of oil in a slow, steady stream until smooth and thick. The dressing will be a light green color.
  3. Fold in the poppy seeds.
  4. Chill.  (You may have extra dressing.  The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for about ten days, although it will thicken due to the cold.  Allow it to come to room temperature for a thinner consistency.)

Finally, put the salad all together:

  1. Top the salad mix in the pretty bowl with the glazed pecans.
  2. Drizzle on the poppy seed dressing just before serving, using only as much dressing as you desire.
  3. Toss the salad to mix.  Serve.  (Alternatively, serve the dressing on the side, and any leftovers will keep better.)

Family “gustar” report:  The whole family votes thumbs up for this salad.

I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as we all do!  Please, give real food a try!

Terri

Three Days of Thanksgiving: Perfect Maple Pecan Pie and Pressed Pie Crust in a Pinch

Simply 100% pecan perfection!  Definite yum factor of “awesome!”  If you haven’t made pecan pie with maple syrup, you must try it!  Both pecans and maple syrup are native to the United States–pecans from the Southeast and maple syrup from the Northeast.  Maple syrup and pecans just go together.  I love this pie.

The only question left unanswered:  “Should I chop the pecans or leave them whole?” Try it both ways.  They’ll both be good.

As a bonus, I’ve also shared my pie crust recipe.  It’s kind of unique.  It is not a roll-out recipe, and it is really so much fun to make with kids.

pecanpie4_picmonkeyed

 

Perfect Maple Pecan Pie 

1 9” pie shell, unbaked 

2 cups of maple syrup

8 ounces (2 cups) of pecans (whole, chopped, or halved–your preference)

1 tablespoon of tapioca flour or arrowroot flour

3 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes. It will get very frothy, so adjust the heat to make sure that it does not boil over. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Set aside.
  3.  In a small bowl, mix the pecans and tapioca flour together well.  Set aside.
  4.  In a large bowl, combine and beat together the reduced maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, salt, and  oil until well mixed.
  5.  Add the pecans and stir well.
  6.  Pour into the unbaked pie shell and bake for 15 minutes at 375˚F.
  7.  Reduce heat to 350˚F and bake for 20 minutes.
  8.  Let cool before serving.

The above recipe is in the Bite-Sized Guide I wrote up for Molly Green Magazine.  But I have a bonus recipe to share in case you forgot the pie shell!

Pressed Pie Crust in a Pinch

This is a fast, easy way to make a delicious pie crust.  My mom is known for her pies and especially her flaky crust recipe.  Humorously, the woman who gave her the pie crust recipe long ago was quite embarrassed about the recipe, because it’s not a roll-out crust.  She made my mom promise to never tell anyone where the recipe came from!  Crazy!  This adaption to gluten-free loses none of the simplicity but does lose some of the flakiness.  However, I still like it better than a store-bought crust.  It’s a GREAT recipe to do with kids because it’s so easy!

1 cup of gluten-free flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

Pinch of salt

Milk alternative, 3 tablespoons

Olive oil (see below for amount, it’s kind of unusual)

  1.  Place the gluten-free flour in a medium-sized bowl with the pinch of salt.
  2.  The next step is kind of strange.  Read closely:  In a 1/2 cup sized measuring cup, place three tablespoons of milk alternative.  Then, in the exact same measuring cup with the milk alternative STILL in there, add olive oil to fill the cup up to the 1/2 cup mark.
  3. Add the milk/oil mixture to the gluten-free flour.  Mix well with a fork and then use your hands to mix it even better and form a nice dough.
  4. Break off little bits of the dough and scatter all around the edges of the pie plate and in the middle of the plate.
  5. Use your fingers and hands to smash together all those little balls you put in there.  And also to push the dough up high up and over the edge so you can flute it.  Press and press until the dough has no holes or gaps.
  6. Then, pinch the edges to make a nice little flute as seen in my photo.
  7. Fill with filling and bake!

SUPER EASY!  And fun!

Family “gustar report”:  The whole family approves!

Wishing you a joyous and content holiday.

Terri