pear salad with sweet & spicy pecans + creamy pecan dressing


I’ve been seeing babies everywhere.

I think that happens right before you’re about to have a baby of your own. Suddenly, at the grocery store, in the library, at church, the screaming tiny things just appear. And they’re everywhere.

I’ve always had an apprehension about babies. Even after having successfully guided four babies into toddlerhood & beyond.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the sweet scent of their freshly bathed skin. The cuddling & coos. The amazing-ness of having a new member of your family.

But I worry a lot when they’re so helpless & they can’t communicate in a way that always is clear.

I remember not being able to sleep for about three nights after I had Hyrum (my first).

I just lay there, anxious, eyes wide open. It was as if my fight or flight response had been kicked on (by a day old baby)–so much adrenaline & all I could do was listen for the sound of his breath.

Fortunately, this anxiety eased a bit with each child, but while the anxiety has lessened, my knowledge of babies (and the work involved) has increased. I have greater confidence as I step into this role of new-babyhood as a seasoned professional. I know how to change diapers. These mammory glands know exactly what to do. I’m aware of the rhythms & patterns, habits & rituals of infant-dom. And in some ways, it’s scarier–knowing the sheer amount of work involved.

But it’s also the first time we’ll have a baby where our children will all be able to be active participants, since they’re older.

Helpers yes, but more than that, there’s more of us to love this little human.

And that’s exciting.


I made this the other day for lunch. Joseph & the kids ate the rest for dinner.

pear salad with sweet & spicy pecans + creamy pecan dressing

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings (salad only); about 2 cups dressing

Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe (salad only); 2 TBS. dressing

Calories per serving: 236 (salad without dressing); add 79 calories with

Fat grams per serving: 13 g; with 2 TBS. dressing, add 5 g

pear salad with sweet & spicy pecans + creamy pecan dressing

pear salad with sweet & spicy pecans & creamy pecan dressing | vegan, gluten-free, grain-free


  • 15 c. pre-washed spring mix greens
  • 1/2 pound fresh french green beans (haricot verts)
  • 3 bosc pears
  • 1/2 sweet onion (not yellow)
  • 1/2 pound (1/2 16 oz. block) extra firm tofu
  • 1/3 coconut bacon (optional--see recipe link below)
  • 1/3 c. craisins (dried cranberries)
  • for sweet pecans
  • 1 c. pecans
  • 2 TBS. agave | pure maple syrup or honey will also work
  • 1 TBS. coconut sugar | sucanat or unrefined sugar will also work
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • few dashes of hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • for creamy pecan dressing
  • 1/2 c. agave | pure maple syrup or honey will also work
  • 1/2 c. raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBS. cold-pressed flax seed oil | or olive oil or water
  • 3/4 c. pecans
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
  • dash of red pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)


  1. This salad combines sweet & savory, with just a hint of spice. Don't be afraid to use the red pepper sauce--it's just a small amount & adds a subtle kick.
  2. Start with making your candied pecans, as you'll want to give them time to cool.
  3. for the candied pecans
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (otherwise you'll have to clean up a stick mess--the parchment paper makes clean up easier & prevents pecans from sticking to pan).
  6. Combine all ingredients for the pecan. Mix.
  7. Bake for 5 minutes. Stir half way through.
  8. Remove from oven & allow to cool (about 5 minutes).
  9. for the coconut "bacon"
  10. I used Gena's recipe though I added a bit more sweetener (2 TBS. rather than 1 1/2) & 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke. I also didn't follow baking instructions & set the temp at 350, rather than 325, so the end product was more cooked (nearly burnt, if I would have left it in the oven any longer) than Gena's.
  11. Trim ends of green beans & blanch, if desired. I ate mine raw, but I think many people would prefer theirs blanched (boiled for 1-2 minutes, then quickly submerged in cold water to stop cooking process).
  12. Thinly slice onion into half moons. Likewise, halve pears, discard seeds & thinly slice.
  13. For the tofu: gently squeeze out any water. Wrap in a paper towel to soak up any excess water. Crumble with hands & set aside.
  14. For the dressing:
  15. Blend all ingredients on high in blender until smooth (1-2 cycles on the dressing setting if using a Blendtec). Refrigerate & use dressing within 7 days.
  16. To assemble:
  17. Layer: spring mix, pears, onion, crumbled tofu, cranberries, pecans, & finally coconut bacon (if using). Toss gently. Serve with creamy pecan dressing.

Additional Nutrition Info: Salad without dressing, per serving--25 g carbs, 6 g protein, 6 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 103 mg sodium, 6 WWP (weight watcher plus) points; Dressing, per 2 TBS--9 g carbs, .5 g protein, .6 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 145 mg sodium, 2 WWP (weight watcher plus) points

This recipe submitted to Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend–check it out for more great healthy vegan, gluten-free, & refined-sugar-free recipes!



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  2. Clyde
    on November 15, 2013 at 1:21 pm said:

    Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News.

    Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

  3. lfwfv
    on October 31, 2013 at 9:01 am said:

    Love thinking of a sweet newborn in the loving arms of your family members. Such a beautiful image. I want another one ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately, i think my body has decided my little guy is still nursing too much for it to be ready to carry another one. Trying to be patient ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. luminousvegans
    on October 30, 2013 at 6:53 pm said:

    This sounds wonderful! The combination of the pears and sweet pecans is great. I think Neal would like this because he is a big fan of pears. I always forget that fruit can make excellent salad components.

  5. Dana
    on October 30, 2013 at 8:33 am said:

    I can’t imagine a better mom than you, Janae! Lucky baby to be born into your sweet family. We’ve been toying with the idea of fostering another child as well, and debating whether we have the time and energy to do that plus be there for our two kids and all that they are into, with me in a demanding FT job and C about to enter an accelerated 18 month BS to BSN nursing program in January. We want to give back to others in gratitude for all our blessings, but we also are mindful of our limits- and knowing all the work (sweet work, but still exhausting) that a baby brings- makes us pause a little. Still, we aren’t spring chix, so if we want to help, now is the time. Gives me something to ponder!

    The recipe looks delish! Can’t wait to try it. I’ve been seeing coconut bacon recipes all over pinterest and I know my boys will flip when I finally make it for them. Thanks for sharing!

    • Janae Wise
      on October 30, 2013 at 8:56 am said:

      Ah, such a decision! It’s hard when you want to give, expand your family, help others. It’s always a matter of introspection, & I think you’re wise to contemplate all the other factors & responsabilities in your life. That said, I think we’re able to give much more than we think. It’s definitely not easy, but from a faith perspective, God blesses those who are willing to give–with greater strength, peace, fortitude. Anyway, you’re right, lots to ponder!

      About the coconut bacon–it is kinda the “it” thing right now. I’ve only just tried it myself, & found it delicious. My kids, though, eyed it with great suspicion & still aren’t sure how they feel about it:)