Hey friends! I hope the new year has treated you all well so far. I’m sure some of you are thinking that I’m sharing a salad for my first recipe of 2018 because of dieting resolutions. Well I’ve been thinking a lot about “diet season” lately, and just for the record, I don’t believe in diets! When I cut out a food group (I’ve pretty much done it all, trust me) I just end up obsessively avoiding said food until I break down (sometimes months later, sometimes days) and eat it, then I’m wracked with guilt and left feeling ashamed and even more afraid of the food than I was before I started. This leads to a really unhealthy relationship with food.
I should be eating salad because I want to, not because it’s “good” or I feel like I have to. In my book, salads should be refreshing and crunchy and totally delicious no matter what time of year it is. Food has no morals, so why do we label it and treat it like it’s an issue of good vs. bad? Doing so just gives that brownie power it doesn’t deserve and causes us to feel guilty about the foods we eat, which leads to bigger issues like shame, restricting, bingeing, and miserable dieting cycles (trust me, I’ve done all of that too). See the problem?
So instead of cutting out certain food groups, I believe in eating a wide variety of foods and not feeling obligated to any of them. And if you happen to eat something that doesn’t make you feel so great, shake it off and start fresh tomorrow. It’s just food! There’s no need to feel guilt and shame about it. Life is too short to be a slave to what we eat. There are people to be loving, things to be learning, and places to be exploring! So why do so many of our goals for what we want to accomplish in an entire year revolve around our diet?
This year I have resolved to…
- Take a boxing class! Because I’ve always thought it would be a fun skill to learn.
- Listen to an empowering and uplifting talk everyday! There are some podcasts I’ve been loving recently, I always enjoy a good TED talk, and most of all I love listening to LDS General Conference.
- Take a picture everyday! I’ve been wanting to do this for a while, and now that we have a daughter I want to remember the little moments that are sometimes forgotten throughout the year.
- Get outside more often. There are few things better for my mental health than fresh air, and Brad and I are excited to take Mia on our hikes and adventures this year!
So if you’re feeling discouraged about your resolutions instead of excited, consider taking the focus away from food. You may just find that you build a healthier relationship with food, your body, and your mind because of it.
Alright, let’s talk about the deets of this beautiful gem of a salad!These crisp apple slices with creamy bleu cheese crumbles are truly a thing to behold. Roasted pumpkin seeds and a not-too-sweet honey mustard dressing top it off, but the real star here? Crunchy, candied pecans with a cayenne kick and a dash of cinnamon.Since this salad has so many different textures and flavors going on, I thought it would be best to use a mild base of tender baby greens, and I love the way it all came together!This salad would be great as a side at the dinner table, or you can do it like me and eat a giant bowl of it at lunch! It was hearty enough to keep me full throughout the day, and at this point you know I think it’s delicious. What else could you ask for in a salad??
Thanks for following along with my food blog journey, you guys! I’ve loved getting to know some of you through your comments and messages, and I can’t wait to see where this year takes Sprinkles & Such! Good things are coming, I can tell 🙂
Apple Pecan Salad with Bleu Cheese and Honey Mustard Dressing
Sweet, salty, and crunchy with a hint of spice, this salad is a total crowd pleaser!
- Spring mix
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- Sweet and spicy candied pecans: 1 c pecan halves, 1 Tbsp butter, 1/4 c sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, a dash of cayenne (optional)
- Bleu cheese crumbles
- Toasted pumpkin seeds
- Honey mustard dressing: 1 Tbsp mayo, 2 Tbsp dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp ground mustard, 3 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
- To make the sweet and spicy pecans, melt butter over medium heat. Combine sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne and set aside. Add pecan halves to melted butter and stir to coat. Add sugar mixture and stir until sugar is melted and nuts are coated. Spread nuts on a clean dish and set aside to cool.
- Next, whisk together dressing ingredients and set aside.
- Top spring mix with apple slices, nuts, and bleu cheese. Toss together with honey mustard dressing and top with toasted pumpkin seeds. Serves 4 as a side salad and 2 as a lunch salad. Enjoy!