Arugula Pear Salad w/ Walnut-Crusted Gardein Chick'n

IMG_1343 Amazing vegan dinner tonight courtesy of Gene Baur at Farm Sanctuary. So amaze!!!!! This Arugula Pear Salad with Walnut-Crusted Gardein Chick’n was just what the soul doctor ordered. Even though I make healthy delicious food for so many people and love to nourish others in the kitchen it dawned on me today that I have been forgetting about me.  I haven’t truly made a meal for me, myself and I in my own kitchen in months.

Seriously.  I am in the kitchen at Pure so often making food for others that the last thing I want to do is make more food for me.  I usually fill up on bites here and then or leftover scraps from whatever I have prepared for clients, but rarely do I have a sit-down, consciously prepared meal.  I was starting to forget how much I actually love to create in the kitchen.

Preparing food has become such a routine and through my food and body struggles I found myself in a period where I honestly just didn’t even care about food.  I had spent SO much of my life obsessing over food that when I began to experience the freedom from NOT thinking about food, I seriously didn’t even want to bother with it.  So instead I focused on nourishing other people with my food these past six months, stealing bites here and there, but mostly I had lost my own personal - and conscious - connection to food.

It makes sense.  I had fear.  Fear that if I started to allow myself to enjoy food again that suddenly the obsessive, all-consuming thoughts would creep back in.   I was starting to forget how much I actually love to create in the kitchen.  Today though I remembered that I am not the same person I was all these years.  Today, I have tools I never had before.  Tools like meditation, leaning on my Guides & Angels, a Spiritual Coach, working with crystals, oracle cards, a relationship with mother nature and possibly, most important, a connection to the Divine and to Myself.  I know and love myself in ways I never could before.  Sometimes, like this past week, my brain and my ego get a little freaked out over all the changes and I have to find compassion and love for me again thru the murky waters of thoughts past. Today I made the intentional - and conscious - choice to nourish myself, not punish myself, for the self-doubt that crept its way back in these past few days.  Thank you @GeneBaur and #farmsanctuary for reminding me that it’s just as important to have compassion for self as it all the other beautiful people and animals around me :)

Arugula Pear Salad with Walnut-Crusted Gardein Chick'n Slightly adapted from Gene Baur's Living the Farm Sanctuary Life cookbook.  Page 151.

Ingredients Chick'n

3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 cup oat flour
1 cup hemp, almond or soy milk

1 package Gardein Chick'n Scallopini

Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dijon mustard

Salad

6 cups arugula, spinach or baby winter greens
1 Anjou pear, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried mission figs, sliced
1/4 cup candied walnuts {see recipe below}
1/2 cup macadamia crumble {see recipe below}

Directions

To make the Chick'n: In a food processor, pulse all chick'n ingredients except milk, flour and Gardein.  Mixture should be coarsely ground; do not overprices in to a flour.  Place the walnut mixture, flour and milk in to 3 separate bowls.  Dip Gardein in to flour, then milk and finally in walnut mixture.  Coat cast iron or nonstick skillet with 1 Tbsp. oil and heat on medium-high.  Add the Gardein to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until crispy.
To make the dressing: Place all ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and thoroughly mix.  Set aside.
To make the salad: Divide the greens on to 4 plates, top with a piece of Gardein each and evenly top with pear, fig, walnuts and macadamia crumble.
IMG_1350
Candied Walnuts
Ingredients
1 cup walnuts
1 Tbsp. brown or coconut sugar
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Directions
Toss all ingredients together.  Heat cast iron skillet to medium and cook walnuts until browned and crispy, about 5-7 minutes.

Macadamia Crumble
Ingredients
2 cups raw macadamia nuts
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice from 1/2 medium lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 cup water
optional: nutritional yeast
Directions
Process all ingredients in a high speed blender until ricotta cheese like consistency is reached.  The mixture should be well incorporated with still a bit of texture so not completely creamy.
RecipesJamie Wagener