PALEO & WHOLE30 WARM SPINACH SALAD WITH SPICY CANDIED PECANS AND DIJON DRESSING
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PALEO & WHOLE30 WARM SPINACH SALAD WITH SPICY CANDIED PECANS
I was speaking with my girlfriend Amy the other day. Amy eats well although she does not follow a PALEO & WHOLE30 lifestyle. She shared with me in detail about the dinner she had created for friends. She described her warm spinach salad with candied pecans. My mouth was watering in delight in hearing the recipe. After that call, a warm spinach salad with candied pecans was all I thought about and craved. After some research, I created this PALEO & WHOLE30 spinach recipe using veggies that Shawn and I enjoy. I tried making spicy candied pecans with no sugar added marmalade and they turned out! We loved them! I think the spicy candied pecans taste better when you toast the nuts first. The toasty flavour of the nuts combined with the sweetness and spiciness of the coating makes these PALEO & WHOLE30 candied pecans delicious. I decided to use the spicy rub that I made from Cinnamon Marmalade Chicken blog. Cinnamon is so healthy.
RECIPE NUTRITIONAL VALUE: As I wrote in another blog, every morning my father puts cinnamon on a quarter slice of toast with peanut butter and eats it. Since undertaking this morning ritual, he says he no longer experiences angina when he walks. Cinnamon has many health benefits for the body and the brain, including anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties to help to heal irritable bowel syndrome, gastric cancers and stomach flu, as well as colds, a sore throat and cough. It possesses two compounds called cinnamaldehyde and epicatechin that help prevent clumps of the tau protein from occurring in the brain and therefore is believed to help prevent Alzheimer’s. Cinnamon also helps to regulate insulin levels for diabetics. And for this reason, studies suggest that it may also contain anti-Alzheimer’s properties. Spinach, like collard and mustard greens, has concentrated levels of minerals, phytonutrients and vitamins B, E, K and C, as well as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. They are also rich in iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. The top leafy greens include spinach, mustard greens, collards, swiss chard and romaine lettuce. We eat leafy greens on a regular basis. I make an Asian-inspired vinaigrette combining a dash of sesame oil with equal parts white wine vinegar and Coconut Aminos, sesame seeds and freshly grated ginger. These foods are rich in folate and B9, improving cognition and reducing depression.
Pecans contain monounsaturated fats (oleic acid) along with phenolic antioxidants. Eating pecans can:
-help reduce the risk of heart disease
– helps with weight loss
– help reduce the risk of certain cancers
– provide anti-Inflammatory benefits
– help boost your immunity
– help slow ageing
– help prevent skin issues
RECIPE TASTE PROFILE: Big flavour explodes in this recipe with every bite. Overall, you will enjoy the tanginess of the mustard dressing (due to the wine vinegar). While vinegar is not technically considered “primal” most include it in their diet as fermented foods are optimal for our health. Every once in a while you experience the spice and sweetness from the pecans, as well as the creaminess from the avocado.
DIRTY-BIRDY WINE PARTNER (FOR THOSE MAINTAINING A PALEO OR WHOLE30 LIFESTYLE): While it is true that tanginess is the predominant taste sensation of this salad due to the dressing, you cannot overlook or avoid the spiciness and sweetness of the candied pecans. If you choose a crisp, dry white wine it will taste absolutely delicious…until you bit into a pecan! The pecan’s spiciness and sweetness will transform the wine’s acidity into something that tastes like paint thinner. Therefore choose a white wine with great acidity to match the dressing and a hint of sweetness to ensure every bite is enjoyable. I highly recommend an off-dry Riesling. If you don’t like a hint of sweetness in your wine a bone dry. Riesling is best as the fruitiness of the wine will help to ease that acidity class when biting into the candied pecans.
- Prep Time: 30
- Total Time: 30
- Yield: 4
- Category: PALEO & WHOLE30
- Method: ARRANGING
- Cuisine: BREAKFAST, LUNCH, BRUNCH, DINNER
- Diet: Gluten Free
2 cups plain or toasted pecans
¼ cup no sugar added marmalade
2 tablespoons cinnamon spice mix*
1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves
1 cup cooked chicken
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
¼ cup crumbled bacon
1/2 cup candied pecans
1 apple, cubed (toss in lemon juice if not eating salad immediately to keep from browning)
1 avocado, sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large shallot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
⅓ cup Dijon mustard
⅓ cup date paste (or no sugar added marmalade)
1/3 cup olive oil
Vegan parmesan (optional for garnish)**
*For the pecan cinnamon spice go to:
** Click this link for vegan Parmesan Recipe:https://freshdoh.com/blogs/glutenandgrainfreelifestyle/paleo-whole30-3-minute-vegan-parmesan
To candy the pecans, in a bowl combine nuts, marmalade, and spice. Make a paste. Toss together. Line a baking tray or pan with parchment paper. Lay pecans on parchment. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Let candied pecans cool. Set aside.
Place spinach and all salad ingredients in a bowl. When pecans are cool, add to the bowl. Set aside until ready to eat.
To make the dressing, heat a tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in shallots and garlic, and cook until softened and translucent, about 2 minutes. Let cool. Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning. When ready to eat, heat dressing in the microwave. Pour dressing over salad and toss together.
Salad makes 4 side salads or 2 dinner salads.
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