cranberry, orange, raspberry vinaigrette {major yum}

i have never been the girl excited about eating a salad.  nope.  but as i am getting older and my taste buds changing, i have found the world of salads a bit more exciting.  the ease of my vitamix makes making homemade dressing so extremely simple.  i took a basic smoothie recipe with oranges, raspberries, and cranberries and decided to switch up some ingredients to make a salad vinaigrette.  citrus, sweet, and delicious.

for our dinner party, i pared the dressing with a salad of mixed greens, sliced pears, walnuts and dried cranberries.  nothing artificial in the dressing.  all calories come from whole food ingredients.  the best kind.

the recipe {adjust to  your tastes}

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries + 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup, or adjust to taste
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp fresh orange juice {juice from 2 oranges}
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper

1. in a medium pot, heat the cranberries and raspberries, maple syrup, and vinegar over medium heat until the cranberries burst, about 7-10 mins.

2. slightly cool cranberry mixture and place in a blender along with the rest of the ingredients (except salt and pepper). blend until smooth. now add salt, 1/4 tsp at a time, to taste. blend again. adjust other ingredients to taste if necessary. you may want more maple syrup than i used. i liked this dressing with a bit of tart aftertaste to really let the cranberries shine. place in fridge to chill. should keep in fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5-7 days.

leftover salad lunches for the week for me means i don’t do the 11:30 scramble of finding something healthy to eat.

hopefully you noticed the much improved photography {above}.  as part of my “reinvestment” plan of some of the money the holiday order boom brought to my etsy shop, i bought a photography light box!  when purchasing, i only had my etsy shop in mind but when my good friend and fellow blogger, shannon, saw my new box, she reminded me that i could take amazing food photos for my blog too.  there is still a lot to learn but i am having a blast experimenting.

below is the light box in action with one of my etsy pillows.

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