Oranges, Balsamic Candied Pecans & Herb Salad

Orange and herb salad with lemon vinaigrette

Hi, Marcella Rose here!  I often find that I make some of my most exciting recipes out of necessity.  Needing to use this or that before it goes bad or to make room in the fridge or because “surprise!”, you have guests staying for dinner.  It’s where I shine because you really have to be creative to make it work.

It is a skill that was honed while being a ranch cook 45 miles from anything for 5 years.  I would open up a cook book and decide on a recipe only to find out that we don’t have half the ingredients.  I got really good at substitutions and clever ways around things and it made me feel empowered.  I didn’t need to be limited by recipes. So strict and to the point.  Why not let your palate decide?  You know what you like, what flavor combinations taste best together.  So tonight why not take off the saddle, untie the reins and just run free?  Make something up, be spontaneous, and try something new! Who knows what could happen, you could invent a new favorite dish!

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Citrus Salad with Toasted Coconut & Pistachios

Citrus Salad with Toasted Coconut and Pistachios

I’ve been trying to eat a more healthful diet since falling off the clean-eating wagon during the holidays and being run over repeatedly.  And then there’s the blog.  Someone has to sample my recipes before I share them, right?  I’ve officially delegated that entire job to my husband, my children and whoever happens to be at my home or walking by . . . for now.  And what about winter?  Why do I seem to eat more during winter?  It’s not like I’m preparing to hibernate or anything.

We haven’t experienced too much cold weather here in the south (yet), but we have had an unusual amount of rain and cloudy days that seemed to turn into weeks.  It could be downright depressing for a sun-loving girl like me if I didn’t have my citrus salad with toasted coconut and pistachios to cheer me up. It’s healthy, delicious and nutritious!

I was going to call my salad a deconstructed citrus salad with toasted coconut and pistachios and citrus balsamic vinaigrette, but man, that’s a mouth full!  So I just gave it a nickname.

My citrus salad is light, refreshing and provides a crunch from the coconut and the nuts.  The vinaigrette provides a smooth, sweet finish to this perfect winter dessert or snack.

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Quick Pickled Vegetables

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Thank goodness for my friends. Really and truly, I get so much inspiration for my blog Marcella Rose’s from the fantastic meals and moments I spend with my girlfriends. It’s been hard for me since I moved away from New York and the strong group of fabulous women that I was lucky enough to call my friends.

The older I get the harder, it is to find true friends. I am a bit of a quirky girl so for me that instant shock of connection when I meet, as Anne of Green Gables would say a, “Bosom Buddy” or a “Kindred Spirit”, is a rare thing. I have been on the search since I arrived in Southern Oregon and then it happened. I found her, a girl with style, class, and she can cook too! It’s like magic to find someone who is not only hilarious, but also has similar interests.

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Shaved Brussel Sprouts Fruit Salad

A new year brings resolutions of good health, exercise, and clean eating. The gyms are packed, Target is out of yoga pants, and the grocery stores are out of vegetables. That leads us to brussel sprouts . . .

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The vegetable has a sweet, almost nutty flavor, and are are surprisingly high in protein for a green vegetable Just one serving meets your needs for vitamin C and vitamin K for the day. That’s a win!

If you have to eat good then it should taste good, too. That’s really the only way those resolutions will hold on through February, right? This shaved brussel sprouts salad has apples, pears and cranberries mixed in and is tossed in a mustard dressing. Full of goodness and rich flavors remnant of fall, but still fresh and crisp for the dead of winter.

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