Can you smell the fall in the air? I love love love this time of the year. (I think I start every new season saying that?!? Clearly I must just love the whole year haha). When I take puppy Haigo and Baby Zand for a walk, the leaves rustle with every step we take, the air is crisper, and the days are definitely getting shorter. My regular 6am runs have turned to 7am runs, because it is too dark and the streets are filled with coyotes (yes, really!).
With the temperatures dropping, salads become a thing of the summer. We want more warm comfort food, like this delicious veggie tofu spaghetti bolognese. Nevertheless, a few raw leafy greens are so great for your digestion, your mineral and vitamin intake, and to keep your energy high all day long. If you pair the leaves with fall flavors like cranberries, pears, and walnuts, and toss them in a warming balsamic vinaigrette, it's a total win! If you are in a time crunch, don't worry about toasting the walnuts, they will be just fine raw!
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Makes 1 main or 2 side servings:
For the salad:
- 2 handful baby kale leaves
- 1 handful of walnuts
- ½ pear, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp dried cranberries
For the dressing:
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Start with a small dry pan, place it over medium heat, and throw in the walnuts. Keep stirring them until slightly browned, about 5 minutes. When browned, place on a plate to cool off slightly.
Whisk all dressing ingredients together in a bowl, until you have a slightly creamy dressing.
Throw in the kale, pear slices, cranberries, and walnuts. Toss well, and serve immediately.
If you want to prepare the salad ahead of time, keep the dressing on the side until you are ready to serve it.
Happy fall days!