Monday, January 18, 2016

Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Pecans and Goat Cheese

Yesterday's post was about my recent at-home date night with my husband, Gerald. Above is a peek at the elegant, but somewhat masculine table settings.

We have been trying to eat healthier lately. Our busy lifestyle calls for quite a bit of "fast food" during the week, whether we pick it up in the drive-thru, or make it at home. It's hard to control what you eat when you dine out, so I decided to make some healthy dishes I thought we would enjoy while the kids were away.

Our three course meal began with a salad. We've both been eating a lot of basic green salads with veggies during the week, so I wanted something a little different. I looked to see what I had on hand and created this elegant (and delicious) spinach salad with blueberries, pecans and goat cheese.

TIP: I've stopped buying mixed greens and just stick with baby spinach these days. It's better for you, and it lasts so much longer in the fridge. Plus, I feel it's heartier, and I feel more full after a salad. The brand I buy (at Costco) comes in one of those plastic boxes. Once I open it, I lay a paper towel on top of the spinach before closing the box. It absorbs condensation, making the spinach last longer. I change out the paper towel each time I use some.

I began by making my salad dressing.

In a small mason jar, mix 1/3 cup light mayo, 1/3 cup fat free buttermilk, one tablespoon of honey, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon dry mustard and one teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Screw on the lid and shake vigorously. Refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.

I saw these pecans in the produce aisle at Walmart last week. They caught my attention because my grandmother was from Valdosta, and some of my favorite people in the entire world still call it home. These were not overly sweet, and in fact, had a little kick to them. I thought they'd be good on a salad, and since we're eating a lot of them lately, I have been keeping my eye out for some different toppings.

I began by tearing the spinach into bite sized pieces. I added about a 1/4 cup of blueberries and literally only five or six of the pecans. I also found some goat cheese in the fridge leftover from a Christmas recipe. I added a scant tablespoon of it to each salad.

Just before serving, I drizzled a little of the salad dressing over the top. Not much at all. They didn't need a lot because the dressing has a good bit of zip and the goat cheese adds creaminess.

Gerald and I both really liked the salad. The dressing is delicious! It got thick and creamy after a little while in the fridge...even with the FF buttermilk. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Check back tomorrow for my healthy Pasta Primavera recipe.

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!
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