Happy Earth Day! and a Candied Walnut Salad

by Jenn on April 23, 2009

in Dairy Free,Gluten Free,Meats,Photography,Salads


Since we are celebrating Earth Day today, I wanted to make something fresh and yummy that tasted like spring.  I’m not sure candied walnuts taste like spring, but they just kind of happened as I was putting together this salad (yum!).  The salad is fresh though, and flavorful.  I love the mix of salty and sweet that comes from the candied walnuts and the prosiutto.

However, I want to point out something that Michael Pollan iterates a number of times in his books, as well as made sure to point out again today on his appearance on the Oprah show.  It’s OK to limit your meat consumption.  In fact, limiting your meat consumption can help conserve vast amounts of resources.  Yes, I know it’s funny for a poor grad student to pay $7 for 4 oz. of prosciutto, but that prosciutto will last me most of the week – see, I only used one slice here in this salad, that’s it!  And this was my dinner.  The great thing about prosciutto is that it is SO flavorful.  So you don’t need a lot.  Instead, most of my protein for this meal comes from the candied walnuts, which worked great for sustaining me, even through my super intense kickboxing class tonight.  It’s really OK not to eat meat all the time.  In fact, most of what I eat is either vegetarian or meat limited.  I do consume seafood (which I also think about it’s source and health, etc.), but it’s rare that you’ll see me eat more than 2-3 oz. of meat in a sitting – and all of you readers would know, I literally blog I think 99% of everything I make!

But enough of my rambling.  The point is, “Eat Food.  Not Too Much.  Mostly Plants.”

And now onto some candied walnut salad!!


spinach (or lettuce, not really critical here)
1/2 apple, thinly sliced
about 3 crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 slice of prosciutto, thinly sliced
small handful candied walnuts – 1/2 cup sugar, 1.5 cup walnuts, some salt
a sweet balsamic dressing

1.  First toast the walnuts, and I just followed the directions for candied walnuts that I found on Simply Recipes.  I had never made these before, and it seriously took like 5 min. after toasting.  It literally is – toast walnuts, melt sugar until starts to brown, mix walnuts in melted sugar, and  lay out so that they can cool.  As they are cooling, sprinkle salt.  They will cool very quickly, so don’t worry this is quick.
2. Then just assemble your salad.
3. For the balsamic dressing, I made one with some honey, balsamic vinegar, EVOO and lemon juice. No measuring, just put the ingredients together in the proportions you like.  I did heat and cool it a bit, to help it get a bit “gooey”.’
4. Put the rest of the candied walnuts in a sealed container and quickly put it out of sight.  Or you will eat them all because they are so good.


And now, to finish my Earth Day post, I leave you with a picture of Spring that I took today, enjoy!  I just love all the fresh green and flowers coming up around this old log, it’s the perfect image for how out of death comes life, which is exactly what Spring is about – regrowth.



brannyboilsover April 23, 2009 at 11:54 am

Great meal and great PSA

joelen April 23, 2009 at 1:34 pm

How I love candied walnuts, especially in salads! This looks so refreshing and delicious!

Ms. Green April 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm

“It’s really OK not to eat meat all the time.”

Love it. We’re working on this in my house, gradually reducing by the 1/2 oz.!

gaga April 25, 2009 at 3:55 am

Mmm, I love candied walnuts on everything!

Diana April 29, 2009 at 5:44 pm

Candied walnuts are so delicious and especially on spinach salad!

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