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Here is one of my favorite winter salad recipes (by Pinch of Yum). Pomegranates grow well here in Phoenix and they are the perfect addition to any dish this time of year because of the vibrant, red color of the juicy, gem-like seeds. Some stores offer the seeds already extracted from the fruit. If you purchase them this way, make sure they are fresh. I like getting the fruit and taking the seeds out myself. If you extract the seeds over a bowl of water, the seeds will sink to the bottom and the paper-like inner fruit membrane will float. Just skim that off and drain the seeds!
The ingredients include: kale, walnuts, feta cheese, wild rice and pomegranates.
I like Uncle Ben’s Ready Whole Grain Medley which is a combination of brown and wild rice. It’s pre-cooked and ready to use after 90 seconds in the microwave. Easy peasy. Though the recipe calls for baby kale, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen baby kale available here. I used regular kale and combined the green and red leafy kale for color. The different textures and colors of the ingredients allow for a beautiful display before tossing.
The dressing is a subtle combination of shallots, honey, olive oil and vinegar. The only labor is the chopping of the shallots. The rest of the ingredients are easily combined in a blender or food processor.
This salad would also be perfect with a piece of grilled salmon or chicken on top. The wild rice makes this a heartier salad that would stand up well with a protein addition. Isn’t this a pretty and festive salad?
We served this last night at an event at our home, along with my turkey chili and cornbread (doctored up with kernels of corn, cheese and diced green chiles). It was the perfect simple, cozy meal for friends. I’m all about easy and simple this time of year!
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2 cups chopped baby kale
- 2 cups cooked wild rice (you can use leftover rice or buy precooked)
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1/2 cup minced onion or shallots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 squeeze lemon or orange juice
- Prep the salad ingredients (chop, rinse, toast, etc.). Chill the ingredients in the fridge while you're making the dressing if you want a cold salad.
- Mince the shallot or onion and saute in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to reduce the bite. When soft and fragrant, remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. (If you want a stronger flavor for your dressing, skip the sauteing altogether. The shallot in particular works well for this.)
- Pulse the onions or shallots with the remaining olive oil, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and the orange or lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust. Add additional olive oil or water to keep the mixture moving through the food processor.
- Toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing just before serving. I like to serve this at room temperature.