This story and recipe is in honor of my mom. Happy Mother’s Day!!
It’s special to reflect back on defining traditions between a mother and a daughter. To me growing up, “special occasions” mean that bonding day my mom and I left our little suburb town to go shopping in the city, which has been our tradition since… before I think I even had a long-term memory! We would get all dressed up, and I would probably don shoes that were far too uncomfortable to walk in all day, and bundle up in my warmest winter jacket, as San Francisco’s version of “warm weather” is like a refrigerator calling itself a heater.
My mother and I were serious shoppers, meaning that, it should have been considered the von Trapp family women’s olympic sport. Or at least I’d feel like I’d ran a marathon every time afterwards! We would enter the shops immediately upon opening hours, and shop until we were too hungry to continue; which is where our favorite Cafe atop our favorite department store would beckon to our growling stomachs. My mom, being the classy lady that she is, would always order this sophisticated salad, full of sweet fruit, succulent cream, vibrant colors, and, to my dismay, WALNUTS!! And this commenced my acquaintance with, and desire for, the Waldorf Salad. While the birthday appetizer and dessert were always shared, I was stuck with an entree that seemed too mundane, colorless, and unexciting, compared to the meal across the table.
Inspired, I have figured out a way to make my own Waldorf salad, to reincarnate those emotions of joy and bliss that my mother gained from eating that fruity melange of fruit and nuts when I was a kid. While we may be living on completely different coasts right now, I always think of her on special days. In honor of my mom, and all of the mothers out there, here is the Bubble Child rendition of the Waldorf Salad.
Candied flax seeds (can be made up to a week in advance- store in fridge):
1 tbs. butter*
1 tbs. brown sugar
1/2 cup whole flax seeds
1 tsp. whole grain dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
2 granny smith apples
2 gala apples
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
1/4 cup golden raisins
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup low-fat, plain yogurt (Greek yogurt works fantastically!)*
2 tbs. apple juice
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 cups whipped cream*
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: none or 15-30 minutes (depending on candied flax seeds)
To prepare the flax seeds:
1. Melt butter and brown sugar over low heat. Add soy nuts. Saute until nice and browned, about 2 minutes.
2. Remove from heat. Add mustard, thyme, basil, rosemary and hot sauce. Mix well!
- Spread onto large plate in thin layer, and store in refrigerator for 30 minutes (so they harden) or freezer for about 15 minutes (will harden more quickly!)
…5 minutes before cooled, prepare the salad!
- Dice apples, skin included, and mix with 1 tbs. lemon juice in large bowl, immediately, to prevent browning. Add celery, grapes, and raisins.
- In small bowl, mix yogurt, apple juice, 2 tbs. lemon juice, and 1/2 tsp. allspice. Fold in whipped cream.
- Remove candied flax seeds from refrigerator, break apart, and gently fold in to whipped cream and fruit.
- Pour yogurt mixture over apples, and gently stir in raisins.
Keep chilled before serving. Enjoy!
…for a meal version of this delicious classic salad, add 1 large, grilled chicken breast to the salad. I season the chicken with a bit of lemon juice and herbes de provence!
*For DAIRY-FREE, use non-hydrogenated, non-dairy margarine. Instead of yogurt, use soy-gurt or rice yogurt. In the place of whip cream, use either soy whip or rice whip.