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fruit and nut salad with vegan cashew cheese

Every time we go to one of my favorite restaurants, The Red Fern, I have to order this amazing salad - it has the best mixture of textures & flavors and smells so good. (If you're ever in Rochester, you need to go there to try everything on their menu, seriously.) Now normally, I'm the last person to order a salad when out at a restaurant, but this draws me in. It was one of my first favorites on their menu, and its flavor combinations cannot be denied. It's so good!

While not entirely the same, this salad has all the texture, all the flavor, and really requires no dressing - a "must" for most any salad I make for myself. You can switch out the kinds of fruit or greens very easily, and the almonds could easily be cashews if you have them on hand. Try this combo of sweet & salty for one of the best salads you've ever had! :) 

candied almonds

  1. Toss 1 cup raw almonds into a pan on medium-low heat with 1/4 cup maple syrup, a heaping pinch of coarse sea salt, and a liberal amount of cracked pepper.
  2. Stir until coated.
  3. Let cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Lay them out on a rubber mat or parchment paper to cool & harden.

cashew cheese

Make our cashew cheese, then refrigerate it before serving on this salad.

assemble the salad

  1. Segment an orange.
  2. Tear up a couple handfuls of baby spinach.
  3. Sprinkle on some golden raisins.
  4. Then top with the candied almonds and a dollop of the cold cashew cheese on top.

The salad serves one, but the almonds & cashew cheese makes more than enough for several servings. Enjoy! 

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