Watercress, Arugula and Pear Salad with Cardamom

YIELDS | 6-8 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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This salad is peppery, slightly spicy with a hint of sweet from the salted honey. The cardamom and pear balance the somewhat bitter watercress perfectly and the added crunch from the walnuts add a depth of flavor. This salad will compliment a hearty holiday main, like prime rib, as equally as it will stand on its own. Add chopped turkey or chicken for a complete stand-alone meal.

INGREDIENTS

* 2 large bunches watercress, rinsed and dried, ends trimmed
* 2 cups baby arugula, rinsed and dried
* 2 pears, cut in half, core removed and thinly sliced
* 3/4 cup walnuts with some larger pieces for garnish
* 1/2 cup Basic Dressing
* 1 tablespoon salted honey plus 1 teaspoon more.
* 1/4 teaspoon ground or grated cardamom
* Kosher or flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Trim ends off watercress and remove any larger woody stems. Place the watercress and arugula in a large bowl and fill with cold water and swirl the leaves around, rinse and gently pat dry with paper towels or a clean dish towel.
2. Make the basic dressing in a jar with a lid, add the salted honey, shake vigorously to incorporate the honey, set aside.
3. Rinse, dry and cut the pears in half. Remove the cores and thinly slice.
3. Place the clean, dry greens in a large serving bowl. Place the the pear slices on top of the greens in a circle (optional) and add the walnuts. I like to put the larger pieces of walnut at the base of each pear slice for a pretty presentation.
4. Sprinkle the cardamom over the salad concentrating on the pears.
4. When ready to serve, vigorously shake the dressing again, pour it over the salad and lightly toss. Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

NOTES

It may seem like I get a little fussy with rinsing the watercress but I promise it is worth it. Watercress bruises easily and swirling it in water, to rinse it, keeps it fresh and vibrant.
If you have left over watercress, consider making the Watercress Buttermilk Cooler

Spicy Curried Cranberry Chutney

YIELDS | 10-12 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 15 MINS

COOK TIME | 20 MINS

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I am not a fan of basic cranberry sauce as it often times too sweet and lacks a depth of flavor. If you want to kick up your holiday dinner game a notch, try this beautifully bright and spicy cranberry chutney. Feel free to add more red pepper flake and or curry to jazz it up even more and add additional brown sugar if you prefer the sauce on the sweeter side. This recipe will not disappoint.

INGREDIENTS

¼ cup dried apricots, finely chopped
½ cup brown sugar, or more if you like a sweeter chutney 

½ dried sweet cranberries
1/2 cup raisons, golden or regular
1 cup water
1/4 cup cider vinegar 
3 cups fresh cranberries
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped crystallized ginger
1-1” piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon curry powder, optional
Kosher salt to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine apricots, brown sugar, dried sweet cranberries, raisins, vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

2. Stir in cranberries, apple and lemon zest; simmer for 10 minutes more.

3. Stir lemon juice, both gingers and pepper flakes and curry powder, if using. Add salt to taste and cook for 1-2 more minutes and remove from heat and let cool.

4. Refrigerate until ready to use. Remove from refrigerator an hour before serving. Best served slightly chilled or at room temperature.

NOTES

I like to make this recipe a few days in advance and let it sit in the refrigerator covered. This allows time for the flavors of the spices and fruit to combine.
Double Duty Recipe: Make extra to serve a few days later for dessert. Warm on the stove and drizzle or pour over a scoop of good vanilla ice cream.

Fennel and Orange Salad

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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Cool and delicious fennel adds a hint of licorice while the fresh orange and marmalade brightens the dish. Serve this beautiful salad alone or as a refreshing side to a spicier dish. Add chicken or chickpeas to make it a complete meal. This makes a beautiful winter holiday salad when citrus is at its best.

INGREDIENTS

• 1⁄4 cup Basic Dressing, see Basic Dressing recipe
• 1 tablespoon orange marmalade
• 2 large navel oranges, peeled and coarsely chopped (about 3 cups) or supreme the oranges for a pretty presentation
• 2 tablespoons orange or lemon juice
• 2 medium-sized bulbs fennel, white part sliced thin or coarsely chopped, about 2 cups
• 4 cups baby spinach
• 1⁄2 medium red onion, thinly sliced, optional
1 tablespoon pine nuts raw or toasted, optional
• 2 tablespoons chopped fennel leaf for garnish, optional
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine the Basic Dressing, marmalade and fruit juice in a glass jar with lid, seal and shake well.
2. Rinse and dry the baby spinach and place in the bowl you plan to serve the salad.
3. Place the spinach, fennel and onions, if using, in the bowl. Add the dressing and mix again.
4. Garnish with chopped fennel leaf and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper to taste.

Variations:
1. Add one can (15oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2. Add one can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed plus a handful of halved sweet cherry tomatoes
3. Add a cup of cooked, chopped chicken breast or a cup of medium-size shrimp.

NOTES

Make extra Basic Dressing to use all week long for salads, vegetables and to make other dressings. See Basic Dressing recipes for other dressing combinations and for the full recipe.

Strawberries with Goat Cheese and Balsamic Cream

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS

COOK TIME | 0 MINS

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This dish is so easy to make and the creamy, tangy goat cheese blends perfectly with the sweetness of the balsamic vinegar. It makes a beautiful presentation for a dinner party dessert or for a Sunday brunch.

INGREDIENTS

• 1-1.5 ounce log goat cheese
• 1/2 cup good, aged balsamic vinegar
• 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
• 1/8 cup basil, chiffonade, for garnish
• Flaky finishing salt such as Maldon’s sea salt flakes

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Cut the log of cream cheese into six or eight pieces and place into a medium size pan over low heat. Stir until melted.
2. Slowly whisk him balsamic vinegar until incorporated.
3. Evenly pour the goat cheese and balsamic blend into bottom of each of the 4 serving bowls, top with sliced strawberries, garnish with basil leaves, sprinkle on a bit of flaky sea salt, the goat cheese crumbles and serve.

NOTES

Be sure to use whole goat cheese for the cream because most goat cheese crumbles will not melt.

Turkey and Grapes Salad

YIELDS | X SERVINGS

PREP TIME | X MINS

COOK TIME | X MINS

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Everybody ate this when I served it … is there a better success story? The cardamom, celery, and grape combo melds into a wonderfully rich flavor that is rarely found in run-of-the-mill turkey salads. Besides, the crunch is amazing.

INGREDIENTS

• 2 cups diced cooked turkey
• 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1 cup)
• 15 to 20 grapes, halved or other diced fruit
• 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped or 1 tablespoon dried
• 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
• Sea salt
• Black Pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a medium bowl combine turkey, celery, and grapes. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, mayonnaise, and cardamom; mix well. Pour the olive oil mixture over the turkey-fruit mix; toss well. Refrigerate until chilled. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crackers, over lettuce, or wrapped in endive.

NOTES

Happy Eating!

Warm Fruit Compote with Yogurt and Cinnamon

YIELDS | 4 SERVINGS

PREP TIME | 10 MINS plus soaking time

COOK TIME | 10 MINS

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If you’re on a campaign to convert a non- breakfast eater into a believer, this recipe can’t fail. It is sweet, filling, and lip-smacking great. Serve it as is or mix in different types of grains or rice to create signature dishes that change up breakfast options in your house.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 cup dried apricots
• 3⁄4 cup pitted prunes
• 3⁄4 cup pitted figs
• 2 1⁄2 cups organic sugarless apple juice
• Cinnamon to taste
• 1 small container plain yogurt (1 cup = 4 servings)
• 1⁄4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Soak fruit in the apple juice for a few hours.
2. Place the mixture into the refrigerator overnight. This can be done a day or two in advance.
3. When ready to make the recipe, simmer the fruit and juice in a small pan over low-medium heat for 10 minutes.
4. Serve in small bowls with 1⁄4 cup plain yogurt , a sprinkle of cinnamon and top with chopped walnuts, if using.

NOTES

Variations:
Spoon compote over warm brown rice. Sprinkle with flax seed.
Mix with gluten-free, steel-cut oatmeal.

Happy Eating!