Friday, January 3, 2014

Oven Roasted Stuffed Apples: Feta, Walnuts, Dark Chocolate Balsamic

Ingredients per serving:
-1 apple (I used a medium-sized Fuji)
-1 TB feta
-1-2 TB roughly chopped walnuts
-2 tsp dark chocolate balsamic sauce, my recipe can be found here.
-Optional: Bacon of course

I forgot to buy bacon.  This makes me sad because there is a big snow storm coming and I do love bacon.  But since there is a big snow storm coming it also means the grocery was a madhouse.  So I think I will just be bacon-less for a few days as opposed to going back.

Anyway, cut the apple in half and scoop out the seed part and make a little well.  I used a combination of a knife and spoon to do this.  Top with feta and walnuts, you can obviously add more or less to your taste but I decided to go heavier on the walnuts than the feta.  I also used a reduced fat feta (Athenos brand).  Drizzle on a little dark chocolate balsamic, making sure that some gets down in the well too and not just around the edges.

Bake in an oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  I only did 25 in my gas oven in a dark metal cake pan.

I paired mine with a mixed salad blend and some salmon that I just cooked in a little bit of butter with seasoned salt and pepper on it.  The apples were amazing with the salad blend and I ate some of the bites with salmon which was equally good.  It was really a light and refreshing meal.

The best part about this to me is it made a really fancy salad in a really easy way.  You could roast a big pan full of these apples and use one or two parts of them to top salads for a big dinner, and it would be a lot faster than chopping up apples and whatnot to put in salad.  No one has to know that your super fancy dish took very little work!

Also, I like warm toppings on salad. I sometimes make one with roasted veggies, and it really does change the whole dynamic of a salad and, in my opinion, makes it a lot tastier.  Because the apples here had so much flavor, I did not even have to break out any extra dressing.

I would imagine you could do this with pears, but I am not sure as I have not tried it.

This all started from me going to the grocery without a list, which I said I was not going to do.  Secretly, there is very little change from when I make a list and when I don't.  Either way, I am still a kid in a candy store when it comes to the produce section and I constantly buy things that aren't in my plan.  Today, for instance, 3lb bags of Fuji apples were BOGO free at my Meijer.  That would never have been on my list, but there is no way I would pass something like that up!  I don't exactly know what I am going to do with 6 lbs of apples just yet however...

I also tend to make snap decisions when the grocery is packed.  With the big snow coming in, there were tons of people at the store.  I will hand it to Meijer, they prepared well and had a lot of lanes open.  I would guess that I did not have to wait but about 20 minutes at a max, which for snow panic is really not that bad at all.  That is also why I did not go back and get bacon...there was no way I was losing my spot in line!

But back to these roasted apples, I could eat an entire pan full of them. I love a good cooked apple and it is so nice to have one that is not drowned in sugar.  You can really taste the apple flavor and it is sweet and savory all at once.  The walnuts are amazing roasted, and the best part is some of the feta cooks a lot and actually gets a little crispy.  Yummy! It did not, however, instantly cure me of my sugar addiction that I developed over Christmas break after eating a few too many chocolate dipped marshmallows.

If anyone ever hands you a strawberry marshmallow dipped in white chocolate, do not eat it.  You will be addicted and there is just no coming back from that...

Happy crafting! Pin It Now!

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