Right after I had caroline, my parents came to visit & were given the task of putting food on the table. I had a fairly difficult delivery & the first month is still kind of a blur. One thing that saved me time & helped me lose the baby weight was one of my mom’s entertaining staples: a salad. She said she always served it at her big parties, but while she was here, she threw the ingredients together & left them, costco-sized, all behind in the fridge. So….when she left, I ate it for lunch. again. & again. for several months straight. I was sleep deprived & nursing around the clock & the last thing I had time to do was think about how I was going to satisfy those breastfeeding-induced hunger pangs. Well this solved the problem! I lost the baby weight pretty quickly & part of my ability to do so was thanks to eating healthy. I have always called it my “get skinny” salad, because that’s just what happened as I ate it for lunch every day!
SHAWNA’S GET SKINNY SALAD
- organic baby greens
- dried cranberries
- candied pecans
- Newman’s Own Raspberry & Walnut Dressing
Mix all ingredients to taste, & serve!
Well, after looking at how much I was spending on candied pecans at the store (holy expensive!), I decided that it was time to try & make them myself. I have experimented with so many failed batches, but finally found a recipe that works beautifully. I often make a batch of nuts & give them as gifts, wrapped up cute in a mason jar w/cellophane & tied with baker’s twine & a note. I just did this for Nowlin recently, but didn’t think to take a picture! & this picture of the salad was taken so quickly, that you can hardly see any of the pecans. If you look closely near the middle, right, you can see one nestled in! I made these a few days before the shower–they will keep very well if you store them well.
Yield: 10-12 servings
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- splash of vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups pecans (depending on how “candied” you want them)
- dash of local honey
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with wax/parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with PAM.
- Beat egg white until stiff. (I usually do this by hand & it is fairly tedious, but by far the most important step)
- Add brown sugar, honey and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
- Mix in pecans and stir until coated. Pour the nuts onto the prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake until browned, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. (I stir at 10m, 15m, 20m & about every five until they are done just to be sure they do not stick to the cookie sheet)
- Once they are out of the oven, stir again to break them up. Let cool on cookie sheet until hard. (They will be chewy until they are fully cooled, then they will be the right consistency)
Both of these recipes can fit into everyday cooking OR can be used for party planning. The salad is so much more delicious with fresh candied pecans than with anything you buy from the store…promise! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! :)