Candied Walnut Pear Salad
Since I started this blog way back in 2011, I’ve come a long in terms of my viewpoints on salads. I used to HATE salads. Never would you find me walking into a restaurant and ordering a salad. It felt like a waste of money, a waste of chewing time, and it honestly felt like a waste of my time on earth. Just being real here. I understand our lives are very short here on earth, so I’m not one to waste a meal on some stupid ass greens. But as I’ve aged, I’ve come to understand it’s not about the greens, it’s about the whole sh*t load you put on top of the greens. It’s about the sprinkling of salt as a finisher, it’s about a fruit that gives it some crunch, it’s about a candied nut that sings to your soul, and it’s about the dressing that goes on top. Sometimes my husband eats salad without any dressing and it honestly makes me wonder if he has serial killer tendencies. Speaking of, he won’t be home for a couple hours so it’s time to turn on a true crime documentary. Gotta know how to defend myself when those tendencies come to life.
That got dark. I think it’s safe to say he’s not a serial killer because I turned on a true crime documentary the other day and I’m pretty sure he got scared and asked if I would change it. What a little sweetheart doll baby.
Now let’s shift gears into something more positive, ok? Today was a good day. I took Jackson out for a walk like I normally try to do most day, but this time around he wanted to walk for almost an hour. Every since Jackson had neck surgery in February then almost died from post-surgery complications, he really hasn’t had much of an interest in his daily walks. Which made me so sad because that was always his favorite thing before his surgery. He would walk for miles and would want to go way longer than I even had time for. But after his complications, I don’t think he really had the energy or the lung capacity for long walks (he had blood clots in his lungs). But he continues to surprise us and slowly but surely gets better and better. The vet calls him a miracle dog and he really has surprised us at every turn. 2020 may suck huge ass, but it hasn’t in our household thanks to this little fighter.
Speaking of 2020, how ya holding up? Based off what I see on social media daily, people aren’t doing well. With Covid, then the latest debate, and next the election – people have come unhinged. It feels like people don’t know what to be thankful for anymore and are getting pulled into the negativity spiral we call social media. So let me be a little positive light for a second – It’s easy to see all the negative because it hurts us so much, but the world is filled with positivity. If we only focus on the negative, it’s easy to believe that life is worthless. But it’s not. Life is fucking rad. It may not feel like it at times, but we are all so lucky to still be here, to still experience another day, and to still see our dogs go for walks and sniff flowers. Life is precious and we never know when it will be over, so push your positivity into the world. Remember the things that made you happy today instead of the things that made you frustrated. 2020 has crushed all of us, but that’s so we can build ourselves back up, stronger than ever. Kind of like a profractional laser treatment. If you know, you know. Be the positivity in the world and don’t let the negative voices change your viewpoint. Today is a great day and tomorrow will be even better! Now go eat a salad!
Candied Walnut Pear Salad
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 3-4 servings 1x
For the candied walnuts
- 1/4 cup maple sugar (+2 tablespoons for dusting)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg white
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup walnut halves
For the honey balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of salt
- pinch of black pepper
For the salad
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 5 ounces spring mix greens (or whatever green you prefer)
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 pears, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
- salt and pepper, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together 1/4 cup maple sugars, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg white, water and vanilla extract until egg whites become frothy. Add walnuts to the bowl and toss until coated. Then add sugar mixture to the large bowl.
- Place on baking sheet in a single layer. Put in oven for 35 minutes, tossing every 5-10 minutes to help cook evenly on all sides.
- Once the nuts are done cooking, remove from oven, sprinkle with the last of the sugar, toss, then let cool completely on baking sheet.
- While walnuts cool, place all ingredients for the vinaigrette in a small blender and blend until smooth. You can also just simply add this to a jar and shake to combined!
- Lastly, place bacon in a large nonstick pan over medium heat and cook bacon on both sides until crispy. Remove and set aside on a paper towel to soak up any excess fat, then dice up into small pieces.
- Now all you need to do is build your salad! Add greens to a bowl, then the pears, bacon, candied walnuts, hemp hearts, and salt & pepper! Then add dressing and toss before serving!
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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.
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1 thought on “Candied Walnut Pear Salad”
This is legit my favorite salad ever. I make it all the time for meal prep. 🙂