Friday, November 23, 2012

Fructose-Free Thanksgiving: Spinach Salad

toasted pecan and goat cheese spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette


In a perfect world, I would have posted Thanksgiving recipes before Thanksgiving so that you could have used them yesterday. In truth, I was working on writing these recipes and didn't get them figured out until now. Hopefully, you can file these away until next year, or use them at Christmas.

It can be tricky making traditional holiday meals compatible with food intolerances. Fructose malabsorption is no exception. The turkey and mashed potatoes are "no-brainers," I can eat them just fine. But other dishes, like stuffing, gravy, sides and dessert, you may be wondering what to make. This blog post, and the several following it, are here to give you some ideas.

thanksgiving turkey dinner with mashed potatoes, gravy and wild rice stuffing

This year I cooked an entire 16 pound turkey for just my husband and me. It sounds crazy, but I did it for the leftovers. I earned enough "turkey points" at my grocery store to receive a free turkey. Think of all the protein! I plan to make turkey broth, turkey soup and turkey casseroles. And don't forget turkey sandwiches. This year I decided to try a new recipe I found from Cooking Light magazine: Classic Roast Turkey and Giblet Gravy. The mashed potatoes were from Ina Garten: Parmesan Smashed Potatoes, using Yukon Gold potatoes.

The first recipe I'll share with you is the salad. You can serve it either as a starter or as a side. I have no problem digesting spinach, so I eat spinach salads a lot. Dress it up with some fancy cheese and nuts and it can be quite elegant. Goat cheese and toasted pecans are a combination to die for! You must try it. If you don't like goat cheese, you could use feta. The vinaigrette is sweetened with dextrose/glucose.

Stay tuned for more Thanksgiving and Holiday recipes!

Toasted Pecan and Goat Cheese Spinach Salad with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
serves 4 - 6
toasted pecan and goat cheese spinach salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Printer-Friendly Recipe

Ingredients

2/3 cup pecan halves
5 oz. baby spinach
4 oz. crumbled goat cheese (optional or as tolerated - goat cheese does contain some lactose)

Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette:
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or 1 1/2 tablespoons dextrose
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pinches salt

Directions
  1. In a small skillet over low heat, cook the pecans, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove from pan onto a plate to cool.
  2. In a small container with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, dextrose, Dijon, pepper and salt. Put on lid and shake vigorously.
  3. Combine the baby spinach, goat cheese and cooled pecans in a large bowl. Toss with dressing right before serving. Alternately, you can place salad on individual plates and pass the dressing at the table.

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