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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mixed Field Greens with Berries, Creamy Balsamic and Candied Pecans

I was at a Christmas Party a few weeks ago with tons of great food and someone made a salad like this and it stole my heart! I just had to recreate it. You must try it, really you must. And it would be a perfect addition to a Holiday dinner since the colors are so fabulous. It is super simple and you will feel like a star with this one!

Ingredients for the salad:
4 cups mixed field greens
2 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 of a red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup dried cranberries (aka Crasins)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1/2 cup candied pecans, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (you choose, I love goat cheese, my husband likes feta)
Creamy Balsamic to taste
Fresh cracked pepper

Ingredients for the Candied Pecans:
1 cup pecan halves
2 T sugar
2T water

Directions For the Pecans:
I made my own candied pecans but of course these can be bought if need be, Whole Foods has some yummy ones if you are in a hurry. But they are so easy to make, it really is ridiculous. In a small saucpan combine 2 Tablespoons of water and 2 Tablespoons of sugar once the liquid is clear add 1 cup of pecan halves. Cook this over medium heat stiring so they don't burn until all the liquid is gone. Once the liquid is gone (takes about 5-7 mins) pour them on a piece of parchment paper or foil sprayed with non-stick spray. At this point mine are usually a little chewy so I thow them in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes so they are crisp. I am way too impatient to wait for them to crisp up on their own.
Side Note..I apologize for not having any pictures of this process, I made these at night and my lighting was horrible. I promise to make these soon and post pics of them, just follow the directions I promise it's easy.

Directions for the Salad:
In a large beautiful salad bowl, add your mixed greens and Romaine, top with red onions, dried cranberries, fresh blueberries, raspberries, pecans and cheese. Top with fresh cracked pepper if you like. Just before you serve, gently toss with a small amount of dressing, you don't want to overpower this or make it soggy, there are so many great flavors, if your guests want to add more dressing, leave it out for them. As far as the dressing, there are several out there you can buy that are decent. I used Neweman's Own Creamy Balsamic and it was good. All the flavors of this salad compliment each other so well. I hope you enjoy this one as much as we did!

Weight Watcher Friends: This one is hard to calculate for everyone since it depends on how many nuts you eat or how much dressing you add. The only items that have points are nuts, dressing, cheese and dried cranberries. If you use the exact amounts of ingredients I have listed without the dressing it should serve 8 and be 3 points per serving. So just add your dressing points to that. Or just enjoy this really healthy salad that is full of vitamins and antioxidants don't worry so much about the calculations :) This is a super healthy salad!

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