Sunday, May 2, 2010

CAFE ZUPA-LIKE SALAD

For those of you not familiar, Cafe Zupas is a great little place to grab a unique "healthy" (until you consider the dressings, sugared nuts, etc.) salad, sandwich or soup. Unfortunately the closest one to me is about an hour drive away, so I often mimic one of their yummy salads at home. Each salad is basically made up of a) the greens, b) fresh fruit, c) sugared nuts, d) cheese. Their dressings range from raspberry vinaigrette to pina colada.

The salad I made to day had a) romaine lettuce, b) blackberries and oranges, c) slivered almonds -- oops! I kinda forgot about the sugared almonds I had baking in the oven and they burned. d) fat free crumbled feta. I made a poppy seed vinaigrette and added a few squirts of fresh orange juice and maybe a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar (to make up for the lack of cinnamon sugared nuts, and it tasted great!).

These salads are so fun to come up with and it's a great way to use up fruit that's been hanging around. Use your imagination. Fresh fruit is obviously the best, but I've used canned peaches and pears too. Other topping ideas are apple, dried cranberries, candied walnuts with maple vinaigrette. Pear, cashew, blue cheese. Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, sugared almonds & feta.Click on the Cafe Zupas link above and get even more great ideas!

CINNAMON SUGARED NUTS:
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 pound raw nuts such as: almonds or walnuts

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Beat (with fork) egg white and water in large bowl. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon in resealable bag. Shake. Place nuts in egg mixture and stir to coat well. Remove nuts from bowl with slotted spoon and place nuts in bag with cinnamon mixture. Shake nuts around in bag until well coated. Spread nuts out in foil-lined pan. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.If doubling, do one half at a time, but bake all at once.

POPPY SEED DRESSING:
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar or white vinegar
  • pinch or two of onion powder or finely minced onion
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds

Whisk all ingredients together or place in a jar and shake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Shake well before serving.


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