By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN — One of many Food blogs on SmartLivingNetwork.com
With the autumn air upon us and crisp apples overflowing the shelves at the local farmer's market, how could I not turn to this delicious fruit for the inspiration of today's meal? I chose to incorporate the crunch of the apples into a colorful salad with spinach leaves, pecans, a sprinkle of chopped red onions, and a dash of feta cheese.
The pecans certainly give the apples some competition for flavor AND nutrition! While apples are already famous for their ability to keep the doctor away, pecans not only pack a mean protein punch but they also contain vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins, zinc, heart-healthy fats, and fiber. Combine this with spinach, ranked as one of THE power foods, and this salad becomes quite the nutrient-rich meal.
If you're still hungry after the salad, the yogurt goes beautifully with it! If not, it will make a satisfying snack when your tummy begins to rumble later in the afternoon... I made mine with plain non-fat Greek yogurt and Kashi Cereal's GoLean Crunch, though you could certainly use any type of yogurt, cereal, or granola you have on hand. The same goes for the quince, feel free to substitute any fruit of your choosing, though I promise that you will not be sorry if you do opt for quince - pear is a tasty too!
It may remind you of a mix between an apple and a pear, though perhaps a bit more like a sweet-tart version of the two. Many people prefer this fruit cooked, though it brings an absolutely wonderful flavor profile to this yogurt mixture if I may say so myself!
One average-sized quince is roughly 50 calories and provides you with an excellent dose of vitamin C. With cold season fast approaching, I am all for helping to boost up my immune system with a little extra vitamin C, making this fresh addition all the more appealing :) However, if you are unable to find quince, feel free to substitute with a Granny Smith apple, pear, or even a nectarine. Experimenting is half of the fun!
2 cups greens, chopped
1/8 cup pecans, halved
1/2 cup apples, cubed
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, fat-free
2 Tbsp salad dressing, vinaigrette, vinegar, citrus, etc. (optional)
1 container (8 oz) yogurt, low-fat
1/4-1/2 cup Kashi GoLean Crunch
1 medium quince
This recipe is courtesy of the Fruits & Veggies, More Matters campaign and I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
Did you try this recipe out at home? What did you think? I would love to hear what other unique produce items you have tried this season :)
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