Today like most days was a little hectic. After a full weekend of double birthday celebrations, we slowly got on our feet, ate breakfast and ran to the grocery store before nap time & a doctors appointment. While we were strolling though the produce section these gorgeous Utah akane apples caught my eye. They’re one of our favorite fall fruits along with local peaches and pears. I grabbed a bunch to snack on, bake with and use in this apple harvest salad.
I’m not always good about eating a real lunch. I blame it on the fact that I’m usually running around the kitchen like a chicken with its head cut off trying to slice and dice things for our little guy to eat. I tend to be a lunch-time snacker. But I’m really trying hard to break that habit. So after grabbing the apples, I headed to the salad bar and picked up a few other things to make this fall inspired salad. When I got home I gathered every thing up, put it on a plate and then tossed a handful of the Georgia pecans my mother-in-law brought us on top. It was perfect. I loved the crunch of the pecans and pepitas and the sweet and tart combo of the apples and dried cranberries. For added protein and fiber I added some quinoa which helped make it feel a little more filling. If you’re planning on eating this for dinner, I’d highly suggest adding slices of chicken breast seasoned with herbes de provence! It’ll taste amazing.
Since I’m a sucker for a vinaigrette, I whipped up a homemade dressing using a few simple ingredients: high quality balsamic vinegar & extra-virgin olive oil, minced shallot and salt and pepper. It pairs perfectly with the flavors of the salad and is a lot healthier then most store-bought dressings. I can’t tell you enough how delicious this salad was. It’s a lunch I plan on making again and again! Enjoy!
- 3 c. lightly packed spinach or spring mix greens
- ¼ c. cooked quinoa
- 1 small or medium apple, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp. pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 3 tbsp. dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp. walnuts (halves or chopped)
- For the vinaigrette:
- 1 tsp. minced shallot
- 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper
- Add greens to a large dinner plate or salad bowl. Top with the cooked (and cooled) quinoa, apple chunks, pepitas, dried cranberries and walnuts.
- To make the vinaigrette, combine the shallot and vinegar in a small mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Slowly add the olive oil by pouring in a steady stream, whisking vigorously until emulsified. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.
Recipe source: Life Made Simple