Cranberry Walnut Spinach Salad

Today was a very busy day for me. I had a presentation I needed to prepare for and I did not have time to really cook anything. I put a couple nice sized potatoes in the oven to make baked potatoes and loaded them up with broccoli and Parmesan cheese. I had some baby spinach and decided to make a simple salad. I enjoy these types of salads. The salad had great flavor, dressed nicely with a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing. It was an excellent meal choice for such a busy day. Perfect dinner for 2 people. Enjoy!

Cranberry Walnut Spinach Salad
Created on 11/13/2012

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Salad:
1 (10 oz) bag of organic baby spinach, washed and spun dry with salad spinner
½ cup of cran-raisins
½ cup of toasted walnuts
¼ cup of toasted pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
2 teaspoons of raw honey
¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup of olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 garlic clove minced well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a stoneware or cookie tray, spread walnuts and pumpkin seeds evenly and bake for approximately 10 minutes. Remove the nuts/seeds from the oven and let cool. In a glass bowl, mix the raw honey, vinegar, olive oil, minced garlic with a wire whisk. Season the vinaigrette dressing lightly with salt and pepper. Add the washed spinach, cran-raisins, and walnuts/pumpkin seeds and toss well.

 

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Roasted Pumpkin Muffins

I prefer making pumpkin recipes from pie pumpkins versus canned pumpkin. I think that the flavor is more intense and brings a lot of depth to the recipe. Every year I try to roast quite a few pie pumpkins, puree them and put the roasted pumpkin pulp in freezer bags and store them for future use. I made roasted pumpkin muffins tonight. I was in the mood to bake that has not happened in a while. I decided to be a little bad today. I did some research on the internet and came across one recipe but did quite a bit of tweaking because I like a lot of cinnamon and nutmeg in my pumpkin desserts. Enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin Muffins, created on 9/29/ 2012

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2 cups of roasted pumpkin (1 pie pumpkin makes about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon of ground ginger
1-1/2 cups of light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ cup of sunflower seed oil
2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup of Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
½ cup of pumpkin (Pepita) seeds

In a glass bowl, combine with a whisk the roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar well. Add the eggs and oil. Mix well. In a different bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt together with a fork and then combine with the wet ingredients until mixed. Mix in the chocolate chips. With a large scoop, place the batter in muffin tins lined with cupcake liners. Sprinkle some pumpkin (Pepita) seeds on top. Bake at 425 degrees for about 9 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat can serve warm or cold. These muffins are most excellent with a cold glass of milk.

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