Archive for January, 2012

BANANA PUDDING

 

PREP: 35 MINUTES

CHILLING TIME: 4 -24 HOURS

SERVES – 4

PLUSPOINTS VALUE: 7

Ingredients:

1 CUP 2% MILK

1 CUP PLAIN UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK

3 TABLESPOONS CORNSTARCH

PINCH OF KOSHER SALT

2/3 CUP SUGAR

1 LARGE EGG

1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXTRACT

2 LARGE BANANAS

6 LOW-FAT GRAHAM CRACKERS, BROKEN INTO 1-INCH PIECES

1 TABLESPOON COCOA POWDER (SWEETENED OR UNSWEETENED)

¼ CUP SLICED ALMONDS, TOASTED

Directions:

  1. 1.      Heat the milk and almond milk in a saucepan over medium heat until almost simmering; remove from the heat.  Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch, salt, sugar and egg in a medium heatproof bowl. Pour about half the hot milk mixture into the bowl and whisk vigorously until smooth.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking vigorously, until thick and starting to bubble-1 to 2 minutes.  Whisk in the vanilla.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally.  Cut the bananas into thin slices.
  2. 2.      Layer a few banana slices, a few pieces of graham cracker and 2 tablespoons of the prepared pudding in each of 4 glasses; sprinkle with cocoa powder and almonds, then repeat to make 2 more layers.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill 4 hours or overnight.

 

Nutritional – Per serving: Calories 253, Fat 7g, Carbohydrate 45g, Fiber 3g, Protein 6g, Sodium 173mg

 

Thank you for reading!

Kris

 

To learn more about Kris Larkin and her gourmet cooking classes at The Lark Inn in The Flint Hills of Kansas visit her website.

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ROASTED FISH WITH CHUNKY ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE

This is a nice recipe I like to make, especially if I am short on time.  It goes together easily, is light and is very satisfyining as something different from my normal fare.  Enjoy!!

 

PREP: 15 MINUTES

ROASTING TIME: 10 MINUTES

OVEN TEMPERATURE: 425 DEGREES

SERVES – 4

POINTSPLUS VALUE:  5

 

Ingredients:

1 (12-OUNCE) JAR ROASTED RED PEPPER, DRAINED AND CHOPPED

16 PITTED BLACK AND/OR GREEN OLIVES COARSELY CHOPPED

¼ CUP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL

1 TABLESPOON SHERRY OR RED-WINE VINEGAR

1 TABLESPOON CAPERS, COARSELY CHOPPED

1 GARLIC CLOVE, MINCED

4 (6-OZ) HALIBUT OR COD FILLETS ABOUT ¾ INCH THICK

2 TEASPOONS OLIVE OIL

½ TEASPOON SALT

½ TEASPOON BLACK PEPPER

Directions:

  1. 1.      PREHEAT THE OVEN TO 425 DEGREES. SPRAY A SHALLOW ROASTING PAN WITH NONSTICK SPRAY.
  2. 2.      TO MAKE THE SAUCE, TOSS TOGETHER THE ROASTED RED PEPPER, OLIVES, BASIL, VINEGAR, CAPERS, AND GARLIC IN A SERVING BOWL.
  3. 3.      PLACE THE FISH IN THE PREPARED ROASTING PAN; BRUSH WITH THE OIL AND SPRINKLE WITH THE SALT AND PEPPER. ROAST THE FISH UNTIL JUST OPAQUE IN THE CENTER, ABOUT 10 MINUTES. SERVE WITH THE SAUCE.

 

NUTRIENTS PER SERVING:  215 CALORIES, 6G FAT, 6G CARBS, 1G FIBER, 33G PROTEIN

 

FILLING EXTRA:  ADD A 15½ OUNCE CAN OF RINSED AND DRAINED CANNELLINI BEANS TO THE ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE. THIS WILL INCREASE THE POINT VALUE BY 1 POINT

 

THANKS FOR READING

Kris

 

For more information about Kris Larkin at her gourmet cooking classes in the heart of The Flint Hills of Kansas see her web site.

 

 

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OVEN-ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS With Chipotle-Lemon Aioli

 

Brussels Sprouts are probably one of the most misunderstood vegetables out there.  Start with the spelling: B-R-U-S-S-E-L-S  SP-R-O-U-T-S . . . Brussels . . . really?  There is really an “S” at the end of “Brussel!  Anyway, now that you’ve have your daily dose of spelling instruction let’s get on to it: Roasting vegetables is great way to unlock a great flavor of vegetables that most other ways of preparation won’t.  I have run into very few people who tell me they like Brussels sprouts at the beginning of one of my cooking classes.  I have also run into very few people after my cooking classes who don’t like roasted Brussels sprouts.  Even the most simple roasting with olive oil and, seasoned salt and pepper is fantastic!

OK, lets get on to our daily recipe:

 

PREP: 30 MINUTES

ROASTING TIME: 20 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP: 400 DEGREES

SERVES – 4

POINTSPLUS VALUE:  5

 

Ingredients:

1 POUND BRUSSELS SPROUTS (ABOUT 50 SMALL SPROUTS)#

2 TABLESPOONS FRESH LEMON JUICE, DIVIDED

1 TABLESPOON EXTRA-VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

1 SLICE WHOLE-WHEAT OR WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD (ABOUT 1 OZ.) TORN INTO PIECES

2 TEASPOONS LEMON ZEST

1 TABLESPOON MINCED GARLIC

¼ CUP LOW–FAT OLIVE OIL MAYONNAISE

1 CHIPOTLE CHILE IN ADOBO SAUCE, MINCED, 1/8 TEASPOON ADOBO SAUCE RESERVED

 

Directions:

  1. 1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut Brussels sprouts in half. Transfer sprouts to a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and oil; set aside.
  2. 2.      In the bowl of a food processor, pulse bread into fine crumbs Sprinkle bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and garlic over top of sprouts and toss until lightly coated
  3. 3.      On a rimmed baking sheet, spread sprouts-crumb mixture in an even layer. Transfer to oven and roast for 10 minutes; remove from oven and use tongs to quickly turn sprouts over. Return to oven and bake until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. 4.      Meanwhile, prepare aioli: in a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon lemon zest, chipotle chile and reserved adobo sauce; mix well.  Remove sprouts from oven and place on a large serving platter. To sprouts with any remaining bread crumbs from baking sheet and serve aioli on the side for dipping.

 

Nutrients Per serving: Calories 160, Fat 9g, Carbs. 15g, Fiber 5g,

        Protein 5g

 

#Nutritional Bonus: Glucosinolates are found largely in Brussels sprouts, as they are in all cruciferous vegetables like greens, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli. However, Brussels sprouts contain a special combination of glucosinolates that are believed to be extra beneficial to the development of cancer risk reducing compounds in the body.

 

Thank you for reading!

Kris

For more information about Kris Larkin or her gourmet cooking classes in the picturesque Flint Hills of Kansas visit her website.

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STRAWBERRY SALAD WITH BALSAMIC-CARDAMOM DRESSING



This is one of my favorite fruit salads because it is easy and quick to prepare and . . . is perfect anytime.   Because of the berry fruit, it is very light but the balsamic dressing adds just enough body for it to hold it;s own in cold weather as well.

 

PREP: 15 MINUTES

SERVES–4

POINTSPLUS: 2

 
Ingredients:

3 TABLESPOONS BALSAMIC VINEGAR

2 TABLESPOONS AGAVE NECTAR OR HONEY

MINISCULE PINCH OF GROUND CARDAMOM (IT’S STONG STUFF!)

KOSHER SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER

1 POUND STRAWBERRIES, HULLED AND QUARTERED

1 PINT BLACKBERRIES

1 LARGE SPRIG MINT, LEAVES ROUGHLY TORN

 

Directions:

  1. 1.     Whisk the balsamic vinegar, agave nectar, cardamom, a pinch of salt and a few generous grinds of pepper in a medium bowl.
  2. 2.     Tumble in the strawberries and blackberries, sprinkle the mint over them and gently toss, being careful not to bruise the berries.  Taste and adjust the seasonings to your palate.

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WINTER RATATOUILLE DIP WITH TOASTED WHOLE WHEAT PITA CHIPS

WINTER RATATOUILLE DIP

This is a really simple recipe and it is great for an appetizer to have ready when your guests arrive.  It saves great.  when the party is over, put it in the fridge to use later.  One thing my husband, Pat and I like to do is use the Ratatouille in an omelet for breakfast . . . FANTASTIC!!

PREP: 5 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES

SERVES – 9 SERVINGS OF 1/3 CUP EACH

POINTS PLUS VALUE: 1

Ingredients:

2 TEASPOONS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

1 CUP (1/2”) CUBED EGGPLANT

1 CUP (1/2”) CUBED BUTTERNUT SQUASH#

½ CUP (1/2”) CUBED PARSNIPS

½ CUP DICED ONION

1 (14.5 OZ.) CAN DICED TOMATOES WITH BASIL, GARLIC AND OREGANO, UNDRAINED#

¼ TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

¼ CUP CHOPPED FRESH BASIL

Directions:

  1. 1.     Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add eggplant and next 3 ingredients; sauté 6 minutes or until vegetables are browned.
  2. 2.     Stir in tomatoes and pepper. Cook, uncovered, 3 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates.  Stir in basil.

Calories 54: fat 1.1 g, Protein 1.5g,Carb 10.6 g, Fiber 1.7 g. sodium 190mg., Calcium 24 mg

#NUTRITIONAL BONUS: A rich source of antioxidant carotenoids, winter squash helps fight the inflammation associated with assorted metabolic disorders it also has a whopping amount of Vitamin A which supports eye health and helps fend off infections.

Processed tomatoes products not only retain most of their nutrients, but they also actually contain more bio-available lycopene than their raw, fresh counterparts.  Lycopene has been linked to the reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

TOASTED WHOLE WHEAT PITA CHIPS

 

PREP: 4 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 6 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP: 450 DEGREES

SERVES – 4 (6 CHIPS)

POINTSPLUS:  2

Ingredients:

2 (6 INCH) WHOLE WHEAT PITAS

COOKING SPRAY (I USE OLIVE OIL)

½ TEASPOON CUMIN

¼ TEASPOON SALT

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450. Separate each pita into 2 rounds- cut each round into 6 pieces. Arrange pita wedges single layer on a baking sheet.  Coat wedges with cooking spray and sprinkle with cumin and salt.

Bake for 6 Minutes or until brown.

 

Calories per serving: 86, Fat .9, Protein 3.2, carb 17.7, Fiber 2.5, Sodium 318mg, Calcium 7 mg

That was simple wasn’t it?  If you would like to learn more about our cooking classes check out our website.

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HEARTY LENTIL AND INTALIAN SAUSAGE SOUP

This past weekend we had two cooking classes at The Lark Inn. Both classes cooked the same menu and I am always amazed ad how different God makes us all.  Both classes we delightful and just because of the different personalities in each class and how they interacted with one another each class had it’s own distinct dynamic and personality.  I guess that’s just one of the many reasons I love teaching these cooking classes.

Back to business.  One of the recipes we fixed was HEARTY LENTIL AND SAUSAGE SOUP.  I have always loved Lentil soup but . . . when you add the Italian sausage to it WOW!  The flavor just goes into a whole new dimention.  In addition to beinga great tasting soup , lentil soup is super (souper) healthy, packed full of fiber, very filling and only 6 points on the Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012 program.  Did I mention hearty?

Now that I have completed my sales work . . . here it is . . . you be the judge!


PREP: 10 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 35 MINUTES

SERVES – 6

POINTSPLUS VALUE: 8

Ingredients:

2 TEASPOONS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL

½ CUP CHOPPED CARROTS

½ CUP CHOPPED CELERY

½ CUP CHOPPED YELLOW ONION

2 TABLESPOONS FINELY CHOPPED GARLIC

½ POUND SWEET OR HOT ITALIAN SAUSAGE, CASINGS REMOVED

1/2 POUND MUSHROOMS (SUCH AS WHITE, CRIMINI, SHITAKE, PORTOBELLO AND OYSTER) CHOPPED

1 CUP (ABOUT 7 OUNCES) DRIED FRENCH OR BROWN LENTILS, PICKED THROUGH AND RINSED

2 ½ CUPS BEEF BROTH

2 ½ CUPS MUSHROOM OR LOW-SODIUM CHICKEN BROTH

1 CUP CHOPPED TOMATOES, WITH THEIR JUICE

1 CUP DRY RED WINE

PINCH RED PEPPER FLAKES

1/4 POUND BABY SPINACH, THINLY SLICED

½ TEASPOON SALT

GROUND BLACK PEPPER

1 TABLESPOON CHOPPED THYME

6 TEASPOONS GRATED PARMESAN CHEESE FOR GARNISH

Directions:

1)      Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent.  Add sausage and cook, breaking into small chunks, until it begins to brown.  Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms have released most of their liquid.  Add lentils, beef broth, mushroom or chicken broth, tomatoes and their juice, wine and pepper flakes; cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

2)      Add spinach and salt and pepper, stir well and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more; stir in thyme.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with Parmesan.

 

NUTRITION PER SERVING: 380 calories, 18g fat, 32g carbs, 10g fiber, 18g protein

 

If you enjoyed this positing, please subscribe . . . there is a lot more to come!

 

Also visit my web site for the latest schedule for our gourmet cooking classes in The Flint Hills of Kansas!  www.TheLarkInn.com

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POTATO GALETTE WITH CARAWAY AND SWEET ONIONS


This Potato Galette with Caroway and Sweet Onions is a fantastic and simple potato dish we prepared at one of The Lark Inn Cooking Classes.  This is a great compliment to any meal . . . I mean any meal whether it be breakfast lunch or dinner!

PREP: 20 MINUTES

BAKING TIME: 45 MINUTES

CRISPING TIME: 5 – 10 MINUTES MORE

OVEN TEMP: 425 DEGREES

SERVES – 6

Ingredients:

4 TABLESPOONS (1/2) STICK) OF BUTTER, MELTED, DIVIDED

½ TEASPOON CARAWAY SEEDS

2 TABLESPOONS BACON FAT, MELTED

1 TEASPOON FRESHLY GROUND BLACK PEPPER

2 POUNDS YUKON GOLD POTATOES, UNPEELED, BUT INTO 1/8 INCH SLICES

1 SMALL SWEET ONION, VERY THINLY SLICED

*SPECIAL EQUIPMENT: OUTER RING OF A 9-INCH SPRINGFORM PAN

Direction

1.      Arrange a rack in middle of the oven preheat to 425 Degrees.
2.      Brush a foil or parchment lined baking sheet with butter; set springform ring on top.
3.      Toast caraway in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minutes. Let cool. Place in a resealable plastic bag; crush with a rolling pin or bottom of a skillet.
4.      Place caraway in a large bowl, add bacon fat, 2 tablespoon butter, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Add potatoes; toss to coat.
5.       Arrange ¼ of potatoes in an even layer inside ring on baking sheet, overlapping as needed.
6.      Toss onion in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
7.      Arrange 1/3 of onions over potatoes.
8.      Repeat layers twice more, finishing with layer of potatoes. Carefully remove the ring.
9.      Bake until potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes.  Brush with 1 tablespoon butter.  Bake until edges of potatoes are deep golden and top is crisp, 5-10 Minutes longer.
10.     Run a thin spatula under galette to loosen from foil.  Slide onto a platter. Season with salt, if desired.

Now all that’s left to do is to enjoy with some close friends or family!!

If you are interested in learning more about our cooking classes at The Lark Inn check out our website:  The Lark Inn Cooking Classes


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PECAN PIE . . . CAKE

Here is another fantastic recipe we prepared in one of The Lark Inn Cooking Classes; Pecan Pie . . . Cake.  No, that’s not a typo, it is truly a cake that tastes like Pecan Pie.  Oh my gosh is it good.  this may not be the best for your New Year’s resolution for weight loss so don’t fix it for just having around the house.  Unless of course you are one of those blessed people who can eat anything at any time and will never show it in your weight.  In that case . . . make it for breakfast!

The recipe has a lot of steps to it but don’t let that scare you off.  It is really pretty easy!

Here’s the recipe:

PREP:  35 MINUTES

BAKING TIME: 25 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP:  350 DEGREES

SERVES –12 SERVINGS

Ingredients FOR CAKE:

3 CUPS FINELY CHOPPED PECANS, TOASTED AND DIVIDED

½ CUP BUTTER, SOFTENED

½ CUP SHORTENING

2 CUPS SUGAR

5 LARGE EGSS, SEPARATED

1 TABLESPOON VANILLA EXTRACT

2 CUPS ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR

1 TEASPOON BAKING SODA

1 CUP BUTTERMILK

¾ CUP DARK CORN SYRUP

1 RECIPE PECAN PIE FILLING

1 RECIPE PASTRY GARNISH

Directions FOR CAKE:

  1. 1.     Sprinkle 2 cups pecans evenly into 3 generously buttered 9-inch round cake pans; shake to coat bottoms and sides of pans.
  2. 2.     Beat ½ cup butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add sugar, beating well.  Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.  Stir in vanilla.
  3. 3.     Add flour and baking soda to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in remaining 1 cup finely chopped pecans.
  4. 4.     Beat egg whites at medium speed until stiff peaks forms; fold one-third of egg whites into batter.  Fold in remaining egg whites. Do not overmix. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  5. 5.     Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Invert layers onto wax paper-lined wire racks.  Brush tops and sides of layers with corn syrup, and cool completely.
  6. 6.     Spread half of Pecan Pie Filling on 1 layer, pecan side up.  Place second layer, pecan side up, on filling; spread with remaining filling.  Top with remaining layer, pecan side up.
  7. 7.     Arrange Pastry garnish on and around cake.

 

PECAN PIE FILLING

 PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES

COOKING TIME:  5 TO 7 MINUTES

CHILLING TIME: 4 HOURS

 

Ingredients FOR PECAN PIE FILLING:

½ CUP FIRMLY PACKED DARK BROWN SUGAR

¾ CUP DARK CORN SYRUP

1/3 CUP CORNSTARCH

4 EGG YOLKS

1 ½ CUPS HALF-AND-HALF

1/8 TEASPOON SALT

3 TABLESPOONS BUTTER

1 TEASPOON VANILLA EXRACT

Directions FOR PECAN PIE FILLING:

 1.Whisk together first 6 ingredients in a heavy 3-Quart saucepan until smooth.  Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly; boil 1 minute or until thickened.  Remove from heat; whisk in butter and vanilla extract.  Place a sheet of wax paper directly on surface of mixture to prevent a film from forming, and chill 4 hours.

Yield: about 3 cups

Note:  to chill filling quickly, pour filling into a bowl.  Place bowl in a larger bowl filled with ice.  Whisk constantly until cool (about 15 minutes).

ENJOY!!

If this positing was interesting to you visit my website: http://www.thelarkinn.com/CookingClasses.html

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SPICY ROAST CHICKEN WITH TOMATOES AND MARJORAM

Spicy Roast Chicken with Tomatoes and Marjoram

We fixed a super great chicken dish in our October Cooking Class at The Lark Inn.  It is a “Spicy Roast Chicken with Tomatoes and Marjoram” and is very simple to prepare, very low on calories and fat and . . . it’s YUMMY!  Another thing that I like about this recipe is that with the tomatoes, it plates very nicely . . . it looks great spread around on a nice platter!

Our class had a great time fixing it and . . . eating it!

Here is the recipe:

SPICY ROAST CHICKEN WITH TOMATOES AND MARJORAM

 

PREP: 15 MINUTES

COOKING TIME: 35 MINUTES

OVEN TEMP: 450 DEGREES

SERVES –4

Ingredients:

24 OUNCES OF WHOLE CHERRY TOMATOES

¼ CUP OLIVE OIL

5 GARLIC CLOVES, MINCED

¾ TEASPOONS OF DRIED CRUSHED RED PEPPER

2 TABLESPOONS OF DRIED MARJAROM

4 CHICKEN BREASTS – BONELESS BUT WITH SKIN ON

SALT AND FRESHLY GROUND PEPPER

Directions:

Kris looks on as students work in one of The Lark Inn's many cooking classes.

 1.     Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Prepare pans with either a silpat lined baking sheet or parchment paper for chicken.

  1. 2.     Toss the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper and marjoram in a large bowl to combine.
  2. 3.     Place chicken on prepared baking sheet.
  3. 4.     Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken, arranging the tomatoes in a single layer around the chicken.
  4. 5.     Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  5. 6.     Roast until chicken is cooked through and tomatoes are blistered, about 35 minutes.

Enjoy!!

If this recipe sounds interesting to you, check out my web site: http://www.thelarkinn.com/CookingClasses.html

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WINTER FRUIT SALAD

I introduced this Winter Fruit Salad at my “Fall Harvest” cooking class.  the combination of fruits and spices is perfect for anytime . . . but especially cold weather.  Though it is served cool, at room temperature, it’s savory blend of flavors will warm you up on any winter day.

This is very light, simple to prepare and is perfect to serve with a heavier meals.  Another option is desert.  I love this so much that I serve it as a appetiser or as a stand-alone dessert.

Enjoy!!

 

WINTER FRUIT SALAD

 

PREP: 15 MINUTES

SERVES – 8 MINUTES

 

Ingredients:

3 TABLESPOONS PACKED BROWN SUGAR

1 TABLESPOON GRATED LEMON ZEST

2 TABLESPOONS LEMON JUICE

1 TEASPOON GROUND ALLSPICE

3 BRAEBURN APPLES, LARGE DICE

2 CUPS FRESH CUBED PINEAPPLE

2 BOSC PEARS, LARGE DICE

½ CUP CURRANTS

¼ CUP SLICED ALMONDS

 

Directions:

 Combine the brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, and allspice in a large bowl.  Add the apples, pineapple, pears, and currants; toss to coat.  Sprinkle with almonds.

 Note:  Cover and refrigerate the salad up to 2 hours in advance, but don’t sprinkle it with the almonds until just before serving.

 

This is very light and is perfect to serve with a heavier meals.  Another option is desert.  I love this so much that I serve it as a appetiser or as a stand-alone dessert.

Enjoy!!

For more information about my cooking classes visit my website:  The Lark Inn Cooking Classes

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