Our Christmas holiday exploded with family, good food and lots of laughter. So grateful we were able to congregate for a solid stretch of time over the last 2 weeks of December. The Portland and Nashville gangs took turns staying in any one of our 3 homes, here in our hometown. The day they all left, it got awfully quiet around here. While the house is empty, our hearts are full. You haven’t heard from me for a while because we soaked up every moment with these precious grands and their parents for the last 2 weeks. It was so fun watching these cousins play together.
As the family grows, we feel the need to simplify more and more. The result was that we found we had extra down time to jump into some spontaneous activities like go on a random run together.
Gather for coffee at a local coffee shop and take in a horse and carriage ride. Post Christmas, us girls went thrifting and out for lunch.
Pre-Christmas we celebrated with kid and adult parties separate, which proved to be a great idea and we will do again. Christmas eve church service was followed by a low-key crab dinner, potluck style. This salad from Food and Wine magazine turned out to be a favorite, so I thought I’d share.
Word of warning – the dressing has a little kick, so if spice isn’t what you like, just use less. The combo of chicory greens, fennel, avocado and fruit is delicious. Add the cilantro and mint, you’ve got yourselves a winning winter salad. I doubled the dressing recipe and served this Winter Greens Salad with Tahini Dressing again later in the week sans fruit and it received raves again.
Serve this crowd pleasing salad at your next dinner party. Keep in mind also that chicory greens used in this recipe have a hearty leaf and keep well refrigerated. So you can mix this up, and use as needed, adding dressing when it’s time to devour. Whether you’re paleo, vegan, vegetarian, gluten and dairy free, or eat a conventional diet, this is an excellent choice for all of the above.
For now I will sign off, but stay tuned for news on some dietary changes I’ve made with great health and weight loss results . I actually lost weight before the holidays…and kept it off. I’ll tell you how in my next post.
Cheers! And a Happy and a Healthy New Year to you,
3 mandarin oranges separated into sections
1 fennel bulb-halved, cored and thinly sliced on a mandoline
1 pound of mixed chicory greens (I used escarole, endive and radicchio) chopped =16 cups
1/2 cup cleaned, dried and chopped cilantro
1/2 cup small mint leaves
2 Asian pears-peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 avocado, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (I used black sesame seeds)
Flaky sea salt and pepper for seasoning
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
1/4 cup sesame tahini
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut amino’s or tamari soy sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon sambal oelek or Sriracha sauce
1/2 cup organic canola oil
1 tablespoon Asian chile oil
Chop assorted lettuces into 1 – 2 inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Add mint, cilantro and thinly sliced fennel.
To make the dressing, place all dressing ingredients except canola oil and Asian chili oil in a quart sized mason jar. Blend together using an immersion blender, adding oils gradually. Blend until smooth and creamy. You can alternately use a small food processor to blend ingredients if you don’t have an immersion blender.
Right before serving, toss half of the dressing with greens, herbs and fennel. Layer fruit and avocado on top to create visual appeal. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzles olive oil and toasted sesame seeds. Serve with extra dressing on the side.