My favorite quick dress-up for food that takes me from workaday-dull to bright and shiny: dried cranberries and walnuts.
My take-to-work breakfast? Plain nonfat yogurt, swirled up with some honey, a handful of cranberries and another handful of walnuts (bought in big bags at Costco – they last and last). Crunchy, creamy and sweet – oh yeah.
At home, I add them to spike up instant oatmeal. I also substitute half the raisins in oatmeal raisin cookies with cranberries for a brighter flavor and add walnuts for crunch and depth.
Boring salad? Add handfuls of cranberries and walnuts and make it fancy-schmancy (especially good with orange/clementine segments, red onion and feta – separately or in combination).
Today I incorporated them into my leftover turkey salad. Zippy!
Leftover Turkey Salad
leftover turkey, removed from bone, gristly bits removed, and chopped into small squares (2-3 cups)
handful dried cranberries
handful chopped walnuts
one celery stalk, chopped fine (mostly because I don’t really like celery)
half a red onion, finely chopped
4 -5 Tbs mayo and nonfat plain yogurt in whatever ratio you prefer
1 Tbs brown or yellow mustard
Mix all together in a bowl and serve in sandwiches or over salad.
Notes: Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon), blueberries and Concord grapes, are the only commercially-grown native North American fruits! They are loaded with vitamin C and dietary fiber and manganese and other good things and may very well help prevent some urinary tract infections in women, but the jury is still out on that.