Salad Recipe

I have some really exciting news to share with you… well at least I think it is exciting!  Hillshire Farm invited me to try their new Gourmet Creations Sausage, and create a “Simplicious Dishes Recipe” for my family. My recipe will be recreated this weekend in New York City at the Blogher conference, were thousands of bloggers will be meeting.  Hillshire Farm will be giving away samples of my recipe at their booth in the expo hall.  Wow! Just a little pressure, but such honor to be picked as a featured blogger!

 I was given the Chicken Apple with Gouda Cheese Sausage to try.  I will be honest this is not a flavor I would normally purchase, so I was not sure what to expect.   These are fully cooked, so all I did was slice them and heat them in a skillet.  They smelled great while cooking and as for the taste…. well they tasted even better!  The perfect blend of sweet but savory flavors.

It has been really hot the last few weeks so I decided to see how these would taste in a green salad. With our favorite homemade poppy seed dressing and glazed pecans  (recipe below).  It looked pretty, but how did it taste?   It was absolutely delicious, the Chicken Apple Gouda Sausage really complimented the tart apples and the sweet pecans and craisins.

But then the real question what would the family think?  Would my 4 little ones and husband eat it? Right off the bat they were eager to eat the sausage, but also enjoyed their salad as well.  My kids all asked for more and ate every last bite.  When I asked them what they thought of the new salad Mommy created, they all just gave me a thumbs up because their mouths were full and they were too busy eating.  I laughed and said so I guess this salad gets Six-Thumbs-Ups…. so that is what we decided to call it ” Six-Thumbs-Up Salad”.

Salad ingredients needed

  • 5oz (about 7 cups) Spring Salad Mix
  • 1 – 12oz package of Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations Chicken Apple with Gouda Cheese Sausage (sliced and heated in a skillet)
  • 1 cup glazed pecans 
  • 1 large green apple chopped or sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small red onion chopped or sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup craisins

Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

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Last week I shared two recipes with you….

Mandarin Orange Lime Poppy Sees Dressing

Cilantro Lime Marinade 

But I did not share the salad recipe that brought them both together in one dish.  I made it again this weekend for a family Easter picnic and everyone loved it, so I thought it would be worth posting.  This is a tossed salad so amounts do NOT have to be exact.

Spinach Mandarin Orange & Pecan Salad

  • 1 12oz bag of baby spinach  (washed and dried)
  • 1 cup crasins (dried cranberries)
  • 1/8-1/4 cup red onion sliced thin
  • 3/4 cup candied pecans
  • 2 cups mandarin oranges

Top with grilled chicken (Cilantro Lime Marinade for Chicken) and Mandarin Orange Lime Poppy Sees Dressing


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