Vegetarian Food Week Day 4

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I like spinach salads best when they incorporate exciting flavours, like fruits and spices. This one is amazing as a side salad or a meal (Mason may argue the last point). I know it looks like a lot of work, but it is so worth it! You can make the pecans ahead of time if you can a quick prep. They make for a yummy snack alone as well!

Strawberry & Pecan Spinach Salad

What you need:

Zesty Pecans
  1 1/2 cups pecan pieces
  2 Tbsp brown sugar
  1 tsp salt
  1/4 - 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (depending if you want them spicy or not)
  1/2 tsp paprika
  1/4 tsp ground ginger
  2 Tbsp maple syrup
  1 tsp water
  1 tsp olive oil
  1/4 tsp orange zest

  1/3 cup orange juice
  1/4 cup strawberry jam
  3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  2 Tbsp olive oil
  1 Tbsp silken tofu
  1 clove garlic, minced

  1 bag baby spinach (10 oz)
  2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
  1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced

How to make it:

Zesty Pecans

  Spread pecan pieces on a baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 6-8 minutes. 
  Mix together sugar & spices in a medium bowl.
  In a pot on the stove, bring syrup, water, oil and orange zest to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the nuts. 
  Once nuts are fully coated, toss pecans in the bowl with sugar and spices until they are evenly coated.
  Spread in a single layer on the baking sheet until dry then store in an airtight container.
  **If you want them to dry faster, place them in the oven (still warm, but turned off) for 15 minutes or so.

  Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

  In a large bowl, toss spinach, strawberries and onions. 
  Pour about half the dressing (or less) on and toss. 
  Add more dressing if needed. 
  Divide into individual servings and top with zesty pecans. 

1 wonderful comments:

Tara said...

I love spinach salads with fruit! I'm usually not big on nuts in my salad because they can be so darn difficult to get on the fork, but these zesty pecans look like they might be worth the effort!