Cranberry-Walnut-Date Arugula Salad Drizzled with Chocolate Vinegar

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Sounds weird but tastes incredible and is full of disease-fighting phytochemicals, fiber and essential fatty acids.

Sometimes these strange food ideas just pop into my head.  I’m always thinking ahead about what my next meal or two will be. This is not neurotic, this is smart :)… how many times have you not figured it out and ended up with fast food or a bowl of cereal?  That’s okay once in a while but if you get in the habit of planning ahead you make it easier on yourself to make healthy choices.  This idea came into my head driving home from the store with my newly purchased arugula but no clue as to what I would top it with.

Have you still got cranberries from Thanksgiving too?  They should be stored in the freezer if you are not going to use them for long periods of time, but these seemed to hold up okay in my fridge.

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In addition to the cranberries, I also had a new chocolate vinegar from The Narragansett Olive Oil Company, a cute little shop in town where we have discovered an array of flavored vinegars.  They sell fancy flavored olive oils too.

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Right now I have the chocolate and the pomegranate at home.  In the past we have bought: pineapple, red raspberry and fig vinegars.  You can taste-test any and all flavors right in the store.

I usually reach for the pomegranate vinegar for salads but for this one I thought the chocolate might make a nice pairing with the sweet, nutty topping.  And it did!

 

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Cranberry-Walnut-Date Salad Topping

This makes just enough for one salad.  It was so good that I made it again the next day tripling the ingredients for another salad plus leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • small handful walnuts
  • 1 medjool date, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:  Add all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove on medium heat.  When it begins boiling, simmer for about 5-7 minutes, stirring often.  May be served hot or chilled.  Top over a big bowl of arugula greens and drizzle with chocolate vinegar.

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Just beginning to boil…

 

 

 

 

 

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…and after 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

You can use regular balsamic vinegar instead of chocolate, but the chocolate makes it really special.  I also thought clementine slices might go nicely in this salad.  This salad on it’s own is probably not going to fill you up for long.  I paired mine with a toasted sprouted grain english muffin spread with almond butter and jam and that was perfect.  Today, I am having a big arugula-cranberry-chocolate vinegar salad with Peruvian Peanut Potato Soup, very comforting during this snowy day.  I highly suggest you make yourself a big pot of this hearty soup!  It’s made with half sweet potatoes and half regular white potatoes.  Or, maybe make some bean soup or chili; it’s going to get below freezing around here with blankets of snow– so stay warm, safe, well-nourished and happy.

Did anybody make any New Years resolutions?  I have been re-reading Dr. Fuhrman’s Super Immunity book which is reminding me of how important it is to include more high-nutrient plant foods in my diet.  I do pretty well, but could do better.  Remember to eat your “G-Bombs” as he calls them:  Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds.  These are the most nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods you can eat.  Consider making a conscious effort to make them a bigger part of your diet.  Aren’t sure why?  Check out the links above– he cites the research showing why these particular foods are so beneficial.   Happy New Year!

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