Can I talk to you about salad, and also, life?
First, salad. No one should be forced to have a conversation on an empty stomach.
This salad is an adaptation of one I’ve been making recently for friends when hosting. It’s so simple in nature you likely already have most of the ingredients on hand right now (the best kind of recipe, in my opinion).
Peppery arugula is combined with crisp apples, toasted pecans, red onion, and dried cranberries, and it’s all dressed with a bright, vibrant lemon vinaigrette.
Plus, just 15 minutes (!!) and 8 basic ingredients to prepare – my idea of salad perfection.
This would make the perfect light and healthy dish to help you fill up on plants and erase some of that pie guilt likely lingering from yesterday’s feast. We’ve all been there. Salad to the rescue.
This time of year, everyone tells you to be thankful for what you have. I agree. Slow down, be grateful – it’s good for the soul.
But what about when life is hard, or things don’t go the way you planned, or something happens and your sense of reality shifts? What then?
2015 was perhaps my most personally challenging year yet, one wherein things didn’t go ‘as planned’ for me. I was left feeling a little sad and angry and frustrated and just generally not like myself (what a bizarre sensation). It all made me realize I’m not as strong or spontaneous or resilient as I thought I was. In short, this year kind of kicked my ass.
The gritty details aren’t the important part. The important part is I think it’s OK to be sad, or angry, or disappointed, or tired, or whatever it is you’re feeling right now that’s not radiant joy. It doesn’t mean you’re not thankful. It just means you’re giving yourself permission to feel your feelings (which is perfectly healthy, by the way). And it’s OK if what comes out isn’t all roses and sunshine.
My encouragement is, cry it out if you need to. No one’s looking anyway. And while you’re at it, eat some pie and hug your mom. I’ve found these to be equally sufficient remedies.
OK, back to this salad because, delicious.
I hope you love this recipe. It’s:
& Perfect for fall + winter
If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it (once you’ve tried it), and don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! I’d love to see what you come up with. Cheers (and hugs), friends!
Apple Pecan Arugula Salad
- 1/2 cup raw pecans
- 7 ounces arugula (organic when possible)
- 2 small apples (1 tart, 1 sweet // peeled, quartered, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise)
- 1/4 red onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 Tbsp dried cranberries (optional)
- 1 large lemon, juiced (1 lemon yields ~3 Tbsp or 45 ml)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 pinch each sea salt + black pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and arrange pecans on a bare baking sheet.
- Bake pecans for 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and deep golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
- While pecans are toasting, prep remaining salad ingredients and add to a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare dressing in a mixing bowl or mason jar by adding all ingredients and whisking or shaking vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.
- Add pecans to salad and top with dressing. Toss to combine and serve immediately. Serves two as an entrée and 4 as a side (as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
- Store leftovers (dressing separate from salad) covered in the refrigerator for 2-3 days (though best when fresh). Dressing should keep at room temperature for 2-3 days when well sealed.