Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Night's Big Fresh Chopped Salad Bowl

This evening I was ready for something totally different for dinner.  We have eaten lasagna for the last 3 nights and I am so over it!  :-)   Don't get me wrong, it was really good...but I just couldn't handle the thought of having it one more night!!!  While watching "The Chew" on television this afternoon...they made a main dish salad that looked really delicious -- it had chicken, candied walnuts and apples in it and was tossed in a fresh honey mustard vinaigrette.  Mine isn't exactly the same as theirs, but it is really close!  For whatever reason, a big colorful crisp salad just sounded really good after all that lasagna.  I poached some boneless chicken breasts and sliced them.  I had a bag of Asian chopped salad mix that I dumped into a huge salad bowl and then added a chopped head of romaine lettuce in as well.  I diced some cherry tomatoes and 1/4 of a Fuji apple for a little sweetness.  

To make it similar to the salad I saw on The Chew...I made some candied spiced pecans to toss into the salad.  I melted a few tablespoons of unsalted butter in a small pan on the stove and then added about 1/4 cup of Swerve sweetener and stirred until the Swerve melted and dissolved into the butter.  Then, I added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, a few shakes of cayenne for a little spice and about 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt and then tossed in about 1-1/2 cups of lightly toasted pecans and stirred until the nuts were evenly coated with the spicy sweet butter.  I poured the pecans out and spread them in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick foil to let them cool and allow the coating to harden. 

The vinaigrette was almost identical to the one they made as well, except I substituted "sugar free" honey for the regular honey that they used.  In my little Magic Bullet, I added 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, 1/2 of a finely minced shallot, 2 tablespoons of sugar free honey and a pinch of salt and few good grinds of black pepper and then whizzed it for a minute until it was well blended and emulsified.  I tasted it for seasoning and then poured it into a small bowl to drizzle over the salads.  I topped the salad greens with the sliced chicken breast, diced tomatoes and apples, spiced candied pecans and then drizzled the vinaigrette over our salads.  It was fresh tasting and really good with the different combination of flavors and textures.  It was just what I needed after a 3-day long lasagna marathon.  I snapped a few photos to share below.  Enjoy!

So fresh, colorful & pretty


Maricruz said...

I made the candied no spiced pecans to toss into the sweet potato casserole. OMG so YUMMY. Thank you for the recipe. Do you know by any chance the calories on them??

Gourmet Girl Cooks said...

Hi Maricruz,

So glad they worked nicely for you! The predominant calories to count here would be for the amount of pecans you used as well as the amount of butter. While nuts and butter are higher in calorie, they are lower carb, especially without the added sugar. You would need to divide between the number of servings. This is the recipe calculator I like to use:

Others like "" or "" Hope that helps! :-)

Maricruz said...

Thanks I'll try and let you know.