Christie Slay, a homemaker, keeps things healthy in the Slay home since husband Scott Slay became a volunteer boot camp instructor. She joins Scott at Terrell Mill Park in east Cobb where they workout five days a week at 5:30 a.m. Scott is president of a company that designs and builds smokestacks and industrial pollution control equipment.
I had to start tweaking things. I do enjoy trying to find ways to make things healthier. I’ve been trying to make a lot of recipes healthier,” said Christie of Marietta.
Christie has two children: Mary Chanan, a sophomore at Kennesaw State University and Beau, an eighth-grader at the Walker School.
Christie’s sister-in-law gave her the recipe for the salad.
“It’s definitely boot-camp approved. It’s very healthy. I like it because it can be a side, and it can be a main dish if you add grilled chicken,” said the former schoolteacher.
“(The salad) is healthy and tasty at the same time. It is hearty with the pears and the chicken if you add that,” she said.
Sometimes Christie substitutes baby lettuce mix for the arugula for color. The greens are topped with toasted walnuts, cranberry and Gorgonzola cheese. She passes the homemade honey mustard dressing with poppy seeds in a decorative bottle so that each person can get as much or little as they want for their individual serving.
The salad is a family favorite.
“Even Beau likes it. A lot of times he’ll say ‘that’s an adult salad, mom.’ He likes the one with the ranch and the bacon,” she said, laughing. “(Beau) has dubbed this an adult salad but it’s one that he likes.”
“It’s a family friendly salad that is very versatile,” Christie said.
Arugula and Pear Salad
1/2 cup walnut pieces (toasted in olive oil and sea or kosher salt)
5-6 cups arugula, cleaned and dried (Or substitute baby lettuce mix for more color)
1 Bosc or Anjou pear, thinly sliced
8 ounces Gorgonzola crumbles
1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries
Sea or kosher salt, course ground black pepper to taste
Roast nuts that have been lightly tossed in olive oil and sea salt in the oven at 375 on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. Cool.
Combine arugula or spring mix and pear in a salad bowl (reserving a few pear slices to place on top). Add nuts and cranberries. Toss. Place greens mixture on individual serving plates. Top with Gorgonzola crumbles and reserved pear slices. Sprinkle reserved pears lightly with celery salt. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow each person to dress his or her salad with dressing.
If making ahead, after slicing pears, dip in lemon juice so they will not turn dark.
1/4-cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1-2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3-4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
In a jar or bowl, mix the above ingredients together until well blended. Store, covered, in refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.
This side dish can easily become a main dish by simply adding grilled chicken.