Callie’s Cabin: Fall harvest salad bowl (recipe) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Callie’s Cabin: Fall harvest salad bowl (recipe)

Cal Orey

It was late fall many, many moons ago on the South Shore. The wind was strong, the temperature was in the 20s, but I was determined to leave the toasty cabin to go get my morning swim and hot tub fix.

I was swimming laps at one of the outdoor resort pools. Snow flurries began but the water was warm — my ears freezing. Walking on the fresh cold snow to get into the Jacuzzi was a challenge. The reward? It was awesome! And I treated myself to a Starbucks' pumpkin latte.

Once back home I ate a fresh salad. Then, the sun came out and my canines needed their walk. Another perk? I made the first crackling fire of the season. And so it goes with a roller coaster weather ride at Lake Tahoe.

If you're a local you know during shoulder season it can be warm and chilly. It's best to go with the flow and enter slowly with hot and cold foods so you keep your sanity!

This is a Sierra-inspired salad and hot beverage for fall.

Fresh Sierra-inspired salad

1 cup kale, chopped

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1 cup baby spinach, chopped

¼ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped

½ cup fresh berries (strawberries or cranberries — yes! They're tart but good)

2 tablespoons sliced red onion (optional)

Parmesan cheese, shavings or shredded

Vinaigrette: You can buy a fruity all-natural bottled dressing or make your own. Mix ½ cup olive oil, 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, and a bit of honey and dash of pepper. Chill in fridge.

In a bowl, combine greens, top with nuts, berries, onion, and cheese. Whisk up and drizzle dressing over your salad mixture. The salad bowl serves one to two poeple.

OK, I know a clean salad with real food isn't a pumpkin pie or apple cake with cream cheese frosting. Pair your greens with a mug of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick. Or, brew a cup of cinnamon or vanilla flavored coffee, add organic low-fat milk and, if you really want a treat, put a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle it with pumpkin pie spice or cocoa powder.

The bottom line: Fall doesn't have to be the time to pack on pounds or be sedentary. The more you get used to eating a healthful salad with fall time fruits and vegetables, the more energized you'll feel, and it will help keep seasonal change (cold, flu) woes at bay so you can go do it — outdoors and indoors.

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, and Tea) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Her website is http://www.calorey.com.

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