Waldorf Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing

DSC_0606I decided that the perfect fall accompaniment to dinner one night would be waldorf salad. This is a salad that I remember from my childhood. It just made since with a drawer full of apples. The Waldorf Salad was first created by the Maitre’d at the Waldorf hotel in New York City.  So if I had any doubt that Little Miss Mixture would enjoy this I knew I could entice her with the fanciness of being from the Waldorf Hotel and being a New York City food.  Like many little girls she is taken by all things fancy and she absolutely loves the city.

Classic waldorf salad uses mayonnaise as the primary ingredient to bind the salad.  As a southern girl there are things that mayonnaise is definitely needed for and I do enjoy some mayonnaise, but Little Miss Mixture is not a big fan and it is not the healthiest of condiments.  So in an effort to lighten the salad and ensure everyone in the house would enjoy it, I decided to use greek yogurt.  The problem, which is not really a problem depending on your preferred taste is that greek yogurt can be tangy.  I love the tanginess of it but to create this salad and make it more traditional I needed to mask that.  I am happy to say in less than fifteen minutes I had created what I thought was a pretty good version of Waldorf Salad.  Give it a try and see for yourself.  Waldorf salad can be a light meal served atop a bed of lettuce or as a nice side salad.

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Waldorf Salad with Honey Yogurt Dressing

1 1/2 cups apples*
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cups walnuts ( chopped )
1/2 cup celery ( diced )
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt ( non-fat )
2-3 tablespoon honey
1-2 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Mix together the apples and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl or serving dish.  In a small bowl combine the yogurt, honey, and mayonnaise.  Combine to ensure the honey is evenly distributed in the mixture.  Pour over the apple mixture and stir.  Add lemon juice atop the bowl and stir once then refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Stir lightly before serving.

* I used Jonagold apple, as a sturdy apple holds up best in this dish.

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Other great recipes that include apples and fall flavors.

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Spinach, Apple, & Mushroom Salad in Maple Vinaigrette (Let’s Have Mixture)

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Baked Apple Yogurt Parfait (Let’s Have Mixture)

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Kale Waldorf Salad (The Fountain Avenue Kitchen)

Apple-Pie-Panini-Recipe

Apple Pie Panini (Just a Taste)

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 Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa, Almond and Apple Salad in Maple Vinaigrette (Caroline Kaufman)

Arugula Pesto

Pesto is such a versatile sauce.  You can pretty much make it with most greens and herbs.  You can substitute different nuts to alter the flavor, and you can use it in so many ways.  Add it to pasta, use it as a spread on a sandwich, as a pizza sauce, or top a grilled meat or seafood with it.

ARUGULA PESTO

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Arugula, packed
  • 1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan – Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 Cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp pine nuts or walnuts
  • 3 Medium sized garlic cloves, minced

Directions

All above ingredients needs to be combined.

When using the vitamin to make pesto, you simple add all ingredients in the order listed.  Turn on the vitamin and slowly increase up to variable 6 or 7.  Careful not to over process as a nice pesto takes on a slightly bumpy consistency and it is easy to over process and end up with a puree.  Though great tasting not a true pesto.

If using a food processor, you want to add all ingredients except the olive oil.  Combine and then slowly add the oil to mix in.

 

 

 

 

Monday Mixture

Things have been a whirlwind for the past few weeks and though it is summer and things are suppose to slow down.  Hence the lazy days of summer, it does not appear I am coming up for air quite yet.  Rather I am trying to catch my breath between last minute trips, dance recitals, swim meets and practices, and getting some work done around the house.

Regardless of how busy things get one thing remains constant, we eat.

1. What we ate this week June 8 – June 14

SaturdayFancy Grilled Cheese w/ basil pesto & Fruit Salad

Sunday – BLT Burgers and Creamed Corn

Monday – Red, White, & Greens Pasta

Tuesday – Taco Salad

Wednesday – Pretzel Chicken, Fried Potatoes, and Spinach, Raspberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Thursday – Packed Dinner of PB & J, Fruit, Chips (Swim Meet)

Friday – Leftovers

2. I had a small get together to attend this past week.  When you have a food blog and you tend to bake and cook quite a bit, I think you feel the pressure more than you should as to what to take.  The host requested a light appetizer, dessert, or bottle of wine.  It is the summer season and S’mores just speak summer taste, so I decided to make S’mores bites.  I made this recipe first last fall when I threw a 40th Party for Mr. Mixture.  They were simple, quick and easy to make and a perfect one bite.

Well things did not go as planned this week as they were an epic fail and with everything else going on I just did not have the time to put something else together.  So what does a mixture lover decide on, you guessed it my mom says ” it is your signature.”  Perfect I decided.  A simple yet satisfying mix of flavors sweet and salty.

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3. Pistachios – Last week I published Crack open some Goodness because as you know we like all varieties of nuts around here.  Funny thing happened as my parents recently returned from a cross country trip and brought us flavored pistachios.  Now we are all familiar with roasted nuts and different candied or coconut coated nuts, but these are unique.  The pistachios are from New Mexico and the flavors we received were Garlic & green chile, two levels of Red Chili – hot and XX hot.  I enjoy making my own nuts, but this is something I am not sure I can duplicate without altering.  The nuts are not roasted and they are still shelled.  This is an east coast southern girl has never seen before.

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4. Meatless Monday – Meatless Monday is a movement that was relaunched in 2003 as a public awareness program.  It actually began with President Woodrow Wilson during war times to encourage people to decrease their meat consumption, a staple food.  Today’s movement has been gaining momentum since it started appearing more routinely in the media since 2009 encouraging a meatless meal to improve health and help the environment.

Just like all groups and websites you must meet some criteria to be recognized as part of their movement.  Well take a look at my sidebar Let’s Have Mixture has new bling.  A meatless monday badge. You can also find my blog listed here.

Can you pledge to have a meatless meal every monday?  Start with trying it for one month, or throughout the summer.  You can browse recipes on this site and many others by the #meatlessmonday

5. Coming Soon

       What do you do with a recipe that fails?  

Toss it?  Eat it?  

Recipes for your Vitamix or Blender 

My all time favorite lunch

 

 

Crack open some Goodness and have a Pistachio

From the name of this blog and some of the pictures of mixture, I think you get the sense I like nuts.  Of course I have to like nuts come visit my household and family.  They are a bunch of nuts.  I am okay with that because nuts are good.

Sure there are a lot of people out their with nut allergies and the numbers continue to rise.  I honestly do not know what I would do if I had to give up nuts or incorporating them into our healthy living.  We are fortunate and so for those who can enjoy nuts and all their benefits.  Enjoy!

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Pistachios are one of those nuts that ebbs and flows in our house.  We can go long periods of time without them and then I find myself eating nonstop.  These unique little green nuts are part of the cashew family. They are one of the lowest calorie and lowest fat nuts, but they are packed with nutrients such as Copper, Phosphorous, Manganese, Thiamin, and Vitamin B6.   A single serving of pistachios (1/4 cup, approximately 49 kernels) can provide 6 grams of Protein and 3 grams of Fiber, which is 10% of the recommended fiber for the average person to consume each day.

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Pistachios can be eaten by the handful, tossed into to a mixture, tossed on a salad, made into a pesto type sauce, used to crust chicken or fish, added to a cheese platter and a number of other ways.  One of my favorite flavor combinations is Dried Cherries and Pistachios tossed into Greek Yogurt.  A balanced quick and easy breakfast or snack.

As a child I always loved what was called Watergate salad (not sure where the name came from), but it was pistachios pudding mix, combined with cool whip, crushed pineapple and mini marshmallows.  Not exactly the healthiest salad, but the unique flavor of the pistachios was always a favorite of mine.  Though I have yet to recreate that dish without all the processed items or at least improve it, here are some pistachio pins that are on my to try list.

Pistachio like other nuts can be costly to purchase.  Buying in bulk is generally cheaper but then you want to ensure freshness.  I have found the best way to buy pistachios is in the shell.  STOP! Before you start moaning and complaining how you do not want the hassle of opening the nuts when you want to use them keep these tips in mind.

Pistachios in their shell will keep longer than those without.  Always place nuts in an airtight container. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3 months and in the freezer for 6-12 months.

Shell them in batches so they are ready when you want them.  This is a great activity that can be done by you or your kids.  Excellent fine motor skill practice for the little ones.  I find the perfect time to shell some is while I sit at the kitchen table during homework time or summer workbook time.  Keeps me busy and I am not surfing the internet or flipping throw a magazine that little eyes find exciting or distracting to their studies.  The only distraction is a healthy snack.  Another great time to shell pistachios is while watching brainless television.  You know the show that sucks you in but really if you only half pay attention you still follow the show.

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Be sure to check out all the great pins I have with recipes for Pistachios.

Pistachio Pesto

Pistachio Truffles

Pistachio Bark

While the recipes are great, I find the best way to enjoy pistachios is mixed with some dried cherries and greek yogurt, or tossed into a mixture.

* Pistachio Health Institute can be credited for the top picture and nutrition facts.

Healthy Nutty Brownie

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Another week has flown by and I feel as if my to do list continues to build and the counter to try and get things done is getting shorter and shorter. 14 days left of school. 21 calendar days left before school is out, but we all know it is really only 2 days until Memorial Day weekend and isn’t that the starting point of summer.

Summer is the time at which motherhood becomes more enjoyable, at least for a few days. No early morning alarm wake ups, no lunches have to be packed unless they are for everyone to enjoy by the pool. However it also means a period of twelve weeks when a lot less gets done outside the necessary – laundry, cleaning, cooking because it is exhausting and time consuming watching the kids splash with their friends in the pool. Right?

Wow swim team practice began this week and the pools are open. Let me just say I am glad it is the kids and not me. The temperatures have been volatile this spring. No gradual warm up just big jumps and dips from winter rain to summer heat and the last few nights we have had lows in the 50’s. To some that may make for refreshing water. To me I have another term for it…COLD.

I find in the summer the children tend to get hungry from all that swimming.  It is so easy to toss a bag of chips or pretzels in the pool bag, but is that really the greatest snack?  Fruit is always a good choice, but depending on whether you take a cooler or not it can get warm and mushy.  Everyone loves chocolate especially kids, but granola bars or any mixture or anything with chocolate tends not to hold up in the summer heat.  So when I came across this recipe, I thought I would give it a try.

Who would not feel good about feeding their family a brownie that has five ingredients and provides protein, fiber, and some Omega 3’s.

This recipe was adapted from  5 minute espresso walnut brownies 

Healthy Nutty Brownie

1 1/2 cups raw walnuts, divided
1 cup raw unsalted almonds, roughly chopped
2 – 2 1/2 cups Medjool or Deglet Nour dates, pitted
3/4 cup cocoa powder OR raw cacao if you have it
1 tsp. instant espresso

Place 1 cup walnuts and 1 cup almonds in food processor and process until finely ground.
Add the cocoa powder or cacao, instant espresso  and pulse to combine and then transfer to bowl and set aside.
Add the dates to the food processor and process until small bits remain. Remove from bowl and set aside.
Add nut and cocoa mixture back into food processor and while processing, drop small handfuls of the date pieces down into the food processor spout. Process until a dough consistency is achieved, adding more dates if the mixture does not hold together when squeezed in your hand.
Add the brownie mixture to a small parchment lined cake pan or loaf pan and add remaining 1/2 cup roughly roughly chopped walnuts. Toss to combine and evenly distribute, and then press down with you hands until it is flat and firm.
Place in freezer or fridge to chill before cutting. Store in an airtight container to keep fresh. Will keep in the fridge for at least 2 weeks and in the freezer for at least 2 months.

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While I found the flavor a little too strong initially after sitting in the refrigerator for 24 hours they were better.  Unfortunately Little Miss Mixture was not a big fan and the consistency was too crumbly to make a good take along snack.  However if you are looking for a nice little bit (1×2 square) the Healthy Nutty Brownie is great for curbing hungry while satisfying your sweet tooth as well.

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