Apple, Walnut, and Craisin Salad

I was recently talking about how I rarely crave salads in the winter and now I am posting another salad recipe in the dead of winter.  I guess that is the law of attraction for you.  The more attention I gave to salads (despite being negative) the more I wanted them.  This little tendency may seem irrelevant but in fact can play a big role in successfully changing eating habits.  Whether you are trying to reach a target weight, maintain your current weight, or simply include more nutritious foods into your diet where you rest your focus is crucial.  Switching your focus from all the foods you are trying to avoid or eat less of to all the marvelous foods you are wanting to eat more of can make all the difference.  Humans do not like to feel deprived and we often want more of what we can’t or shouldn’t have. This is a big reason why the afternoon candy bowl seems a lot more appealing when you are deliberately trying to avoid it or your veggie pizza taste like cardboard when you are drooling in your head over the meat lovers.  Sure maybe you honestly do prefer the meat lovers’ but cut yourself some slack and start being aware of what your thinking.  Focusing on all the foods you want to include in your life, rather than the ones you don’t, will bring ease, success, and even enjoyment to any dietary change.

My mom gets the credit for this salad.  I come from a big family and Mom often makes a similar salad when we are all together.  The delicate combination of this sweet and crunchy simple salad pleases about any crowd.  Not to mention it is low and calories and full of an array of nutrients.

Apple, Walnut, and Craisin Salad

makes 4 servings

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon minced red onion

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 bag of salad greens (about 6 cups)

1 medium apple, cored and chopped

1/4 cup craisins

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded

1/4 cup shredded low fat cheese (optional)

Whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar, onion, salt and pepper.  Toss vinaigrette with remaining ingredients right before you serve.

Nutrition facts per serving: 200 calories, 15 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 165 mg sodium, 15 g total carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein

BALANCE IT OUT:  I love how versatile salads are and how they can fit into any meal.  For a light lunch or dinner simply top this salad with grilled chicken, steak or seafood.  Pairing this salad with soup or a sandwich also completes the meal.  This salad also works nicely as a side dish for almost any meal.



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