Fruity Goat Cheese Salad

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There are times in your life when things don’t work out as you had planned; people don’t mesh, ideas collide, plans fall through. But then there are times when things just miraculously happen in your favor. Sometimes random pieces fit together even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and create something that you didn’t see as a possibility, but that you absolutely love…Likewise, the ingredients in this salad may seem random, but actually go together really well and create a sort of harmony that translates into, well…a really yummy salad.

Goat cheese is not only easier to digest, it’s also higher in protein and calcium than cheese made from cow’s milk. It also contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals in higher amounts that cow’s milk cheese. Pecans, like other nutrient-dense nuts, contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals and may also aid in lowering cholesterol. Dried cranberries are famous for preventing bacteria associated with urinary tract infection. What people may not know is that they also contain significant amounts of antioxidants that may protect against heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Pears have high amounts of fiber, which can aid in lowering cholesterol and although they are very sweet, they are relatively low on the glycemic index and therefore their carbs convert into sugar slowly.

Ingredients:
8 cups leafy greens (I used a mesclun mix)
1.5 pears, chopped into small cubes (I used Bartlett)
1.5 cups shelled pecan halves
¾ cup dried cranberries
5 oz. soft goat cheese

Directions:
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Spray baking pan with cooking spray and place pecans. Toast for 6 minutes. Take out and cool.

Crumble goat cheese. Mix goat cheese with leafy greens, pears, toasted pecans and cranberries. I find that a dressing is unnecessary but if you want you can make a dressing using walnut/olive oil and lemon juice.

Serve immediately, or hold the leafy greens and add them only when you’re ready to serve.

Serves 4.

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