• Share Our Strength Event Arugula, Pear & Pomegranate Salad

    Share Our Strength Event Arugula, Pear & Pomegranate Salad

    by Ellen on December 8, 2010 · 33 comments

    What does my blog full of gluten free recipes have to do with ending childhood hunger in America? Everything, I hope. Having taken the NO KID HUNGRY pledge and participating in the SHARE OUR STRENGTH event has turned my head around. After carefully reading through the Share Our Strength website and seeing the width and breadth of what this movement is all about, of what I agreed to take part in, I promised myself that my actions moving forward will reflect the pledge I took to help end childhood hunger.

    This is a campaign committed to ending childhood hunger in America by 2015. That’s less than four years from now. We need to act, fast. It will take a lot of us. An army of supporters. By adding your name, your voice will be heard. Start by taking the pledge (click on the square image below this paragraph). Your signature will make a difference. It’s the first step.

    I’m honored to be included in this list of bloggers who are taking part in the SHARE OUR STRENGTH virtual progressive holiday dinner blogging event designed to raise awareness of childhood hunger in the US during the critical holiday season. There are more than 50 bloggers participating in this event which will span 7 days, 7 different categories of food (appetizers, drinks, salads, soup, entrees, sides, and dessert), and fall under one of four categories (gourmet, family friendly, vegetarian, gluten free).

    I hope you’ll visit the other SHARE OUR STRENGTH blogs. There will be lots of recipes and I’m sure what promises to be scores of tantalizing pictures.

    Here are the Dec. 6th Appetizer posts:
    The Italian Dish (Gourmet)
    Recipe Girl (Gourmet)
    Neo-Homesteading (Gourmet)
    Family Fresh Cooking (Family Friendly)
    Giving Up on Perfect (Family Friendly)
    Two Peas and Their Pod (Vegetarian)
    Smith Bites (Vegetarian)
    La Fuji Mama (Gluten Free)
    Wenderly (Gluten Free)

    Here are the Dec. 7th  Drink posts:
    Food Woolf (Gourmet)
    The Gringo Chapin (Gourmet)
    Three Many Cooks (Family Friendly)
    Fat Wuz Here (Family Friendly)
    Lexies Kitchen (Vegetarian)
    Simply Sugar And Gluten Free (Vegetarian)
    Gluten Free Easily (Gluten Free)

    Here are the Dec. 8th Salad posts:
    The Bitten Word (Gourmet)
    Girli Chef (Gourmet)
    Food For My Family (Family Friendly)
    Cook It Allergy Free (Family Friendly)
    Book Of Yum (Vegetarian)
    Glugle Gluten Free (Vegetarian)
    Add A Pinch (Gluten Free)
    Gluten Free Diva (Gluten Free)

    “I just need a few things for this blogger hunger event I’m participating in this month,” I said to my husband, after we ate sushi from the Whole Foods Sushi bar. I’ll only be a few minutes.

    Last night, I really didn’t think much about going into Whole Foods and spending $87.83. I needed to buy ingredients for the SHARE OUR STRENGTH event. Not $87.83 worth of ingredients. But, you know, while I was there, I picked up a few extra things. And when I got to the register and the tally was higher than I anticipated, I pulled out my credit card and paid it.

    Arugula $3.99, organic pear $1.99 lb., goat cheese $4.99, 2 English cucumbers $3.49, pomegranate $2.50, kalamata olives $4.99. That was just for the salad. Then I needed xanthan gum and carrots and oh yes, I’m out of cornmeal, and oh my that fresh basil looks lovely and lookey here Silk Pumpkin Spice Soymilk gotta buy two cartons ya’ never know if I’ll find it again in the little ‘burg I live in and blueberry kefir made from goat’s milk (I’ve been wanting to try it) and a bottle of wine after all it’s on sale and we need it for a housewarming gift and and and…

    You know how I know my husband really liked this Arugula, Pear & Pomegranate Salad? He scoffed it down without saying a word. Not one single word. He just ate it and licked his lips. Make it and I think you’ll do the same.

    Arugula, Pear & Pomegranate Salad
    click here for printable recipe

    Salad ingredients:
    arugula, rinsed and dried
    cucumber, sliced
    carmelized pear slices (see recipe below)
    1 1/2 tbsp sugar
    1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tbsp water
    candied pecans (see recipe below)
    goat cheese
    kalamata olives
    balsamic dressing (see recipe below)

    Plate the arugula. Add the cucumber, pear, pecans, goat cheese, and olives. Dress the salad with the balsamic dressing.

    Carmelized Pear Slices
    adapted from 2, 4, 6, 8: Great Meals for Couples or Crowds by Rachel Ray

    To prepare the pear, cut in half vertically through the core. Use a small spoon or melon baller to remove the core. Slice the pear into thin slices.

    Mix the sugar, cayenne, and water in a small bowl, blending thoroughly. Pour into a medium-sized skillet, preferably nonstick or cast iron, over high heat. The bubbles will start out slow, speed up, and slow down again at which point the sugar will begin to turn brown. Add the pear slices, tossing to coat them with the sugary mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a cookie sheet and allow to cool.

    Candied Pecans

    1 cup raw pecan halves
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 tbsp agave
    2 tbsp sugar
    1/8 tsp cumin
    1/2 tsp chili powder
    1/4 tsp sea salt
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    pinch of nutmeg
    pinch of cayenne pepper

    Combine the pecans with the olive oil and stir to coat. Add the agave and then the sugar, stirring after each ingredient.

    Put the pecans in a large cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Stir for one minute then add the spices. Stir constantly until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to parchment paper and quickly spread out. Set aside to cool.

    Balsamic Dressing

    4 tbsp white balsamic (or balsamic of your choice)
    1/2 tsp dijon mustard
    5 tbsp olive oil
    2 tsp agave (or other sweetener of choice)
    1 garlic clove, minced

    Pour the balsamic into a bowl or measuring cup. Add the mustard and whisk. Continue to whisk while slowly adding the olive oil. Add the agave and garlic, whisk again.

    I can’t just lick my lips anymore without remembering that probably within a mile of my house, there is a child whose belly is grumbling and if he or she was lucky, dinner might’ve consisted of a bag of potato chips from the gas station convenience store.

    In the Jewish text called Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Tarfon is quoted as having said “It is not your responsibility to finish the work (of perfecting the world), but you are not free to desist from it either.” What will you do today? And tomorrow? Won’t you join me in taking the pledge?

    Here are a few of things you can do to share our strength and help end childhood hunger:

    1. Click on the following “Take The Pledge” image and….take the pledge!

    2. Take a look at these cards which can be used for sending holiday greetings or as gift tags or decorations. They are printed on Crane’s Lettra Pearl White paper. Start with one. If you’re feeling more ambitious, buy ten. Think of how many bellies your contribution will fill.

    3. Make a donation to the Share Our Holiday campaign.

    Here is a list of activities you can choose from to allow you to take part in the pledge, whether taking action online, or donating money, or getting involved in your community, or becoming an advocate in local or national government, or attending culinary events in your area.

    And finally, do you have 33 seconds? If so, listen to this PSA about ending childhood hunger. 33 seconds, that’s all. And thanks for reading all the way to the end. That means you care.

    { 19 comments… read them below or add one }

    Shirley @ gfe December 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Congrats on your new blog, Ellen! It looks totally spectacular!

    What a moving and thought-provoking post for the Share Our Holiday Table event–thank you for it. I'm so happy to be part of this event with you and others for Share Our Strength and No Kid Hungry. I hope we truly make a difference this season, and hopefully for the future.

    The salad looks downright amazing. So beautiful, delicious, and healthy–always my favorite trio when it comes to dishes. :-)

    Hugs,
    Shirley

    Reply

    Gluten Free Diva December 8, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Thanks Shirley! I appreciate your feedback on my new blog design. And I would agree with you – beautiful, delicious, AND healthy is a great way to go:).

    Reply

    Lexie's Kitchen December 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Well HELLO Gluten Free Diva! What a Diva-ish pic of you : ) Love it. What a tasty salad. Salads are where I lose my imagination and inspiration. Thanks for this one. I envy people that can whip up delish salads. So great to be doing this event with you. And woohoo on your new site : )

    xo
    -Lexie

    Reply

    Gluten Free Diva December 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks Lexie! We had a blast taking new pictures for my header. I was really glad to be given the opportunity to "stretch" my salad wings. I usually go with the same old same old and my husband is always asking for something different, and this fit the bill.

    Reply

    Wenderly December 8, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    What a gorgeous salad! And *perfect* for the holidays! I'm so happy to be participating in this wonderful event with you! Thanks so much for putting my blog in your links!

    Reply

    Gluten Free Diva December 9, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Right back atcha! I loved your contribution as well!

    Reply

    girlichef December 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm

    This sounds fantastic! The caramelized pear and the goat cheese…oh my…I'm totally salivating over here. Thank you for sharing my link and for raising awareness…I'm proud to share my table with you :)

    Reply

    Gluten Free Diva December 9, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Salivating allowed:).

    Reply

    @SensitivePantry December 8, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    Ellen – the new blog looks great. I love your salad. Mmmm….carmelized pears. – Nancy

    Reply

    Gluten Free Diva December 9, 2010 at 12:47 am

    Thanks Nancy! Good to hear from you my friend!

    Reply

    glutenfreeforgood December 9, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Ellen,
    Love the blog design, love your cute photo, love the looks of this salad. It's nice to have some fresh food mixed in with all the holiday treats! Your mix of candied pecans (a favorite of mine) and kalamata olives is really interesting. Sweet, spicy and salty. Yum! This sounds seriously delicious.
    Melissa
    P.S. Sending good thoughts and prayer energy your way.

    Reply

    Gluten Free Diva December 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    Thanks Melissa, especially for the good energy. All is well!

    P.S. I've been nibbling on the handful of candied pecans that were leftover and they get better with age!

    Reply

    Michelle December 9, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Salad looks fantastic. Thanks for participating in our efforts to end childhood hunger with Share our Strength!

    Reply

    Carol December 10, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Hi you beautiful Diva you! Love the new blog – congrats! Fab salad, perfect for the holidays!

    Reply

    Dorothy December 10, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Thank you for raising awareness of childhood hunger. I really like your new look and name! Thanks so much for the link! The salad looks amazing. Pear and spiced pecans are two of my favorite salad additions, but I never thought to caramelize the pears. Brilliant!

    Reply

    @andloveittoo.com December 10, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Ellen- the combination of sweet and spicy seems to be a theme at this virtual party. I love the idea of caramelized pears and cayenne pepper, pomegranate and caramelized pecans? Mmmm, this dish has my mouth watering. I look forward to giving your salad a try!

    xoxo
    Sunny

    Reply

    Penny December 13, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Hi Ellen,

    Beatiful blog….recipes and photos are amazing. MUST.MAKE.THIS SALAD!

    Reply

    Jenny January 6, 2011 at 6:57 am

    That salad looks amazing. Share our Strength – good job!

    Reply

    Gina M. January 16, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    This salad looks like something I could eat every day and not get sick of. Delicious! :)

    Reply

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