Leslie is a new friend I run with in Boca Ratón… She is a salad lover like me.
I always end up talking food with everyone I meet and this is one of Leslie’s favorite salads to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as Leslie and I enjoy it.
SPINACH AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD
Baby Spinach leaves
Goat Cheese crumbles
Spiced Nuts – like almonds or pecans
Dress with Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- Mix all the ingredients in a large salad bowl and dress with Balsamic Vinaigrette. Toss well to combine.
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Mix all the ingredients in a small glass jar and shake well.
After a week without eating solid foods, you certainly want to maintain your system as clean as possible. We are encouraged to eat only fruits and salads after we finish our spiritual retreats.
This was the salad I made right after we came back to the “land of the eaters”… it was improvised by what was freshest at the market on New Year’s Day, but it turned out to be so delicious, that we prepared it exactly the same for a few days after because I got so enamored of the flavors.
This is my way to get you enamored with salads too… hope it works!!!!
MIXED GREEN SALAD
2 large handfuls of Baby Arugula
1 large handful of Baby Spinach
1 handful of Alfalfa sprouts
1 Tomato, sliced
¼ cup sliced Almonds
¼ cup dried Cranberries
Lemon Vinaigrette – Lime juice, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Salt and Pepper
- Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large salad bowl. Squirt the juice of ½ a lemon, drizzle some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients with your hands to combine well.
- Eat immediately… as the lettuces will wilt if you let this salad sit for too long.
I firmly believe that God or the Universe, however you prefer to say it, puts the right people in our path for us to learn and grow… And Annie Mariel has been a real blessing in my life. It’s as if God, in his all-knowingness, understands and knows exactly the type of person you need in your life at a certain time in your life.
We got along almost immediately since we met each other about 5 yrs ago in a conversational French class. We have lots of things in common – we’re both consultants, we both enjoy anything French, we both enjoy to travel, we follow yoga and spiritual practices, we are both vegetarians… bueno, almost vegetarians because Annie Mariel still eats seafood and shellfish on occasion. But she gets my idiosyncrasies of being vegetarian. She has passed on to me her love of running and we even applied to run the Amazing Race together… (oh boy!!!)
Annie Mariel is a great supporter and fan of KarmaFree Cooking… and for my last supper of 2012 she wanted to contribute by bringing a salad. She knew I was going to cook pasta. She asked me to make it as light as possible, so I pleased her by making the sauce all tomato, instead of mixing it with some cream or half and half, like I like to do on other recipes. She told me she would surprise me with the salad… and that she did.
This salad had a little bit of everything… and it was delicious! I asked Annie Mariel if I could feature her salad in KarmaFree Cooking and she agreed. I hope I make her proud. Try it for yourself…
ANNIE MARIEL’S COMPOSED SALAD
Sliced Red Onions
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Toasted Almond Slices
Crispy Fried Onions
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients. Toss lightly to combine
- Dress the salad with vinaigrette.
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Sal and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Place all the ingredients in a empty glass or mason jar. Shake well to combine. Let rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine well.
- Serve on top of your favorite salad.
My grandpa instilled in us a love for avocados… to him, a salad with dinner would mean slicing a few “rajas” of avocado on the side. His favorite was rice and corn with ketchup and avocado. I know it sounds “kookie”, but you need to try it.
But the love for avocados comes from both sides of the family because once, while visiting my aunt and uncle in Miami, I had to buy a new suitcase to be able to travel with the 5 huge avocados my uncle bought for me to bring back home.
And as much as we love avocados, we don’t have a lot of family recipes using avocados. We just love them so; we do not see them as an ingredient in a recipe. They’re the exclamation point to any dish they’re added to!!! A few slices or wedges of avocado on the side of anything make the meal better. A soup??? Drop a few pieces of avocado inside to make it sing… A sandwich?? Slice a few avocados to make it creamier…
Lately I am training for a ½ marathon and I am trying to eat better and leaner. I am eating more salads, which I like, but I am particularly lazy to make them at home often. I’ve found the best way to fall in love with a salad is to make a killer dressing. Fall in love with a dressing and you’ll fall in love with the salad underneath.
And because I want you to love avocados as much as I do… I want to present to you a very easy avocado based dressing that’s much a dressing as a salsa to brighten other dishes too.
CHOPPED AVOCADO SALAD DRESSING
½ large avocado, cut into little pieces
1 small tomato, diced finely
½ small white onion, diced finely
½ cup Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tbs Rice Vinegar
The juice of 1 small lime
½ tbs kosher salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and allow the mixture to meld and combine a few minutes before serving over your favorite salad.
Because the dressing includes avocados, tomatoes and onions, it’s great for a simple lettuce-only salad. You don’t need anything else IMHO. But this dressing also works as a topping for tacos, for burritos, for enchiladas… or as a sauce in sandwiches.
If you want more recipes using Avocados from Mexico, visit this link here. And if you live in the US, check out the coupons for Avocados clicking right here.
To be honest… I was not going to blog about this. This was just the salad I had for lunch yesterday.
This was the order of events…
I am proud to say, I am friends in FaceBook with Top Chef Master Suvir Saran. We have friends in common and once I confused him with someone else because his face was familiar to me. Hello!!!! The mutual friend made me come to my senses and instead of him taking offense with my confussion, he friended me. And we’ve been “FaceBook Friends” ever since.
Suvir shared a picture of a delectable Caprese Salad yesterday in his page and I was inspired to have a Caprese Salad for lunch too. I had some avocado I do not want to go to waste and I added some to my salad. That’s it… that’s how this dish came to be.
Photo Courtesy of Chef Suvir Saran
Today, I shared my pic in Facebook, emulating Suvir’s move and there are so many Likes and compliments that I was urged to share here with you all. People want to learn to make this salad… so, here’s the non-recipe:
CARIBBEAN CAPRESE SALAD
Romaine Lettuce – 3 leaves, cut thinly into strips
About 10 GrapeTomatoes, halved
3 slices of Fresh Mozzarella – ripped into smaller pieces
2 wedges of avocado, cut small
Balsamic Vinegar – the best aged one you can find
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Just assemble the veggies in a plate.
- Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar over the veggies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper over salad.
- Toss to combine as you eat it.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. This was fresh, filling yet left me space to eat some mashed potatoes with broccoli. I know the combination sounds weird, but that’s my lunch menu for you.
Thanks Adela for encouraging me to share this… please, now PIN AWAY!!!!