Apple Pecan Arugula Salad {w/cranberries}

I have a habit of buying random ingredients without any concrete plans for use. This happened the other day when I went to Whole Foods to check out their (as advertised) new lower produce prices.

I can’t say I really noticed any difference in prices. The berries I walked by still seemed too expensive to put into my cart; however, I realized I had no real reference for the price of produce because I typically buy it cheap at my local Mexican grocery store. I literally never buy produce at Vons (Safeway) or Ralphs (Kroger) unless it’s on sale and only buy the economically priced produce at Trader Joe’s. Man I’m cheap, huh?!

When I wandered over to the pre-packaged salad selection, I grabbed a bag of organic arugula for purchase. I was somewhat satisfied by this purchase because it was only $1.99 (which honestly seemed like a standard price for a tiny bag of triple-washed lettuce) and I really love an arugula salad.

Part of the fun about buying random ingredients with no plan for use is to try to come up with a suitable recipe. If you google “arugula + salad” one of the first salad recipes you find is one from Minimalist Baker (love her blog). I liked the recipe because it was simple to assemble and we had all of the ingredients called for on hand without having to run out and buy anything. Score!

I changed the recipe slightly because we had red onions last night in our breakfast bowls and I’m not a huge fan of red onions. The taste is rather overpowering and sticks to your ribs. I subbed carrot ribbons because thin ribbons of colorful vegetables make me happy. I also changed the dressing recipe slightly because my lemon seemed to be extra large.


  • ½ c. raw pecans
  • 7 oz arugula (organic if you can)
  • 1 large apple, your favorite variety (I used honey-crisp) sliced thin 
  • carrot peels (I used two carrots)
  • dried cranberries 
  • lemon-olive oil dressing (see below)


  1. Toast pecans for 8 to 10 minutes (or until browned and fragrant) in a small pan over medium low heat. If you’d like you can add a bit of olive oil and some salt to the pan. Set aside to cool.
  2. While pecans are toasting, prep remaining salad ingredients and add to a large mixing bowl or ziplock bag. Add dressing to the bowl or ziplock bag and toss to combine (or seal and shake the bag).
  3. Top with pecans (I crushed them between my fingers) and serve immediately. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if necessary.
This will feed two people as an entree or four people as a side. While you can refrigerate leftovers and eat within the next day or two, I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m not a fan of leftover salad unless we are talking a kale caesar which tastes better when the lettuce has been marinating in the dressing for at least 24 hours and can hold up for a few days just fine.

*For the dressing: combine juice of one extra large lemon with 1/4 cup olive oil, two tablespoons maple syrup, one teaspoon dijon mustard and a pinch of salt and pepper in a jar and shake to combine.

**You can use a mandolin or vegetable peeler to make really thin apple slices and carrot ribbons.

Recipe rating: 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s