Spinach Salad with Candied Pecans and Pears

I am such a fan of spinach salads over iceberg lettuce for the nutrition value alone. ALDI carries either the 8 oz. bag of baby spinach for $1.79 or the 5 oz. box of organic spinach for $2.49. This recipe is for a large salad, but it can easily be made for just one serving. If you want to save some calories, skip candying the pecans.


Ingredients

1 c. pecan halves or pieces
2 T. Butter
2 T. Brown Sugar

2 ripe pears, sliced (do this when you are ready to serve as the pears will brown once cut)
1 bag fresh spinach (8 oz.)
1 small tub of blue cheese crumbles (Feta or Gorgonzola will work too)

Tuscan Garden Poppyseed Dressing or make your own vinaigrette:

1/3 c. oil (I prefer olive)
1/3 c. white or red wine vinegar
1/3 c. sweet (either sugar, stevia, honey, or agave)
1 tsp - 1 T. herbs and spices to what fits your mood - for this salad I might use minced onion or a little garlic salt.
*Shake it a leak-proof container and let chill in the fridge.

Directions

1. In a saute pan melt butter over med-low heat. Toss in pecans to coat in butter and then sprinkle on brown sugar. Toss to coat and stir until the sugar starts to caramelize. Remove from heat and let cool.

2. When ready to serve, assemble the salad in a large serving bowl. Spinach at the bottom and pear slices, blue cheese, and pecan crumbles on top. Either top with dressing or serve on the side.

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