The Dreamy Toasted Almond Salad

This is one of my favorite salads I’ve ever made. We’ve eaten it more times that I can count, so far pairing it with pizza, quiche, and lasagna.

In addition to being one of my favorite recipes, this salad may be a good food challenge for some of you as it challenges all or nothing thinking with food (i.e. food is all healthy or all unhealthy) and instead can help aid you in getting to a place where you eat to care well for yourself and don’t label foods as good or bad. Instead, healthy eating becomes circumstantial, where you realize that caring for yourself and what is healthy looks different every day based on what you need that day. Regardless of where you’re at, either a salad with sugar is a fear food or thinking food is food and it isn’t good or bad, this salad is a great option for you because IT IS SO TASTY.

And now…a quick love note to Alessi’s dipping spices. I want to start buying it in bulk. It’s such an easy way to elevate a meal if you grind some into olive oil and serve it with focaccia as an appetizer, it can be used as a more flavorful salt in any savory recipe, or, as in the case here, in a dressing.

Speaking of this dressing, other things that make this dressing are the minced garlic, a touch of mayo to add some creaminess and a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup. It’s such a great combo.

Make this salad as is. Don’t mess with the ingredients. Let me know what you think!

The Dreamy Toasted Almond Salad

Yield: serves 2 as an entree or 3-4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

salad
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
3 tbsp sugar
2 big handfuls baby spring mix
1 1/2 cups tomatoes
1/4 cup grated parmesan

dressing
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp mayo
1 tbsp dijon mustard
10 grinds of Alessi dipping spices
1/2 tsp minced garlic (for ease, I use the pre-minced kind from the store)
drizzle maple syrup

Directions:

In a pan over medium heat, combine almonds and sugar. Stir constantly and don't walk away because you will definitely burn your nuts and have to start over. Stir until sugar starts to melt and coat the almonds. Once almonds are toasted and sugar melted, turn off the heat. 

In a large salad bowl, combine baby spring mix, sugared almonds and tomatoes. In a separate bowl, whisk up all the ingredients for your dressing. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Top with grated parmesan and serve.

Here are some ways we’ve served this salad:

Chicken nuggets on the salad + buttered rolls.
pizza + salad.
burger (half because we only had one bun left so Andrew and I split it) + fries + salad
breakfast casserole + salad
breakfast sandwich + salad
chicken nuggets on the salad + goldfish.