Monday, August 31, 2015

the poverty luxe kitchen vol. 22: spinach + chèvre salad.

fun fact about me: im not a huge fan of salads, and i never have been (even while i was vegan, i never ate salads). james could eat a huge salad with every meal if i made one (actually, he frequently makes his own to accompany whatever it was i made), but for the most part, salads just dont do it for me. partly because they tend to be a lot of work, partly because most salads have some kind of thing i dont like in them, partly because i dont like my foods all mixed up and touching, and mostly because every single time i eat a salad (unless its like, tuna salad) i end up even hungrier than i was before i started eating salad. 

so i just never made salads. 

but then last semester i had a bit of a sticky situation for lunch: i had an awesome 20 minute break between my classes to eat a real lunch, BUT my school doesnt really have any gluten free options to buy, and there arent any microwaves available so bringing leftovers (which is what i usually eat for lunch at home) was out of the question. at first i tried to load up on snacks (fruit, cheese, crackers, granola bars, etc.) but that took a lot of prep and frankly, wasnt a real lunch. 

so then i gave in and decided to bring a salad, which was probably just a big container of spring mix with some balsamic vinegar on it because thats basically the only "salad" i ever made. and that wasnt really a real lunch either (especially considering last semester was basically the entire second half of my pregnancy). after that i decided i would figure out a salad that would keep me full at least till the end of class, and that i would actually like. oh, and it had to be easy to make, because no way was i getting up extra early to chop veggies OR adorable layering a weeks worth of salads in mason jars. 

heres what i came up with: spinach (heartier and more nutritious than the salad mix i was used to using), goat cheese (my favorite), and some simple toppings (no peeling or chopping at all!), and the simplest dressing ever. overall, its very satisfying. for a salad, i mean. 

spinach and chevre salad. 
(note: im not using any specific quantities so that way you can decide exactly how much salad you want to make. see also: i have no idea how to write a recipe for salad)

heres what you need: 

goat cheese (plain or herb flavor)
roasted pumpkin seeds (very inexpensive from the bulk bins at sprouts)
dried cranberries (preferrably unsweetened)
toasted pumpkin seed oil (from bluff cove olive oil co.)
balsamic vinegar
black pepper

heres what you do: 

place desired amount of spinach in a large bowl, topping with goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, and dried cranberries. 

drizzle with pumpkin seed oil and balsamic vinegar, adding black pepper if desired. 

normally i eat this salad by itself when i pack it for school or an outing where ill need my own lunch, but it also makes a great side dish, especially with salmon or mac and cheese)

im curious, what are your favorite kinds of salads? 

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