So as I’ve mentioned before, I’m not really a dieter, but I AM trying to get a few more fruits and veggies in our meals right now. It’s so easy, when it’s cold and snowy, to load up on comfort foods — creamy soups and nice, meaty chilis, and cheesy lasagnas and mac and cheese. And often, after I’m done making those things, I don’t really want to spend much more time working on a green salad to go along with them.
But this green salad is so easy. And so good for you. And so yummy.
Seriously. It doesn’t involve any chopping or anything — you just dump all the ingredients in and eat up.
You can use any greens you’d like, but I’ve been using packaged baby greens like these:
The first time we had them my husband announced, “I know they cost a little more, but I love these baby greens. They make me feel rich.” No. I can’t explain it, either. But if a small splurge on baby greens makes a man feel rich, and is good for him to boot, well — we’ll indulge him on that. If you don’t feel quite as passionately about your greens, you can use whatever you’d like. Just remember — the darker green, the better for you.
Also — toast your walnuts. You won’t regret it. Just lay them out on a baking pan or sheet and pop them in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes until they look darker brown and…well…toasted. Keep an eye on them, and toss them around a bit. They’ll make your house smell amazing and bake-y, and they taste pretty great, too.
I’m crushing hard over maple vinaigrette right now. I like it so much better than regular vinaigrette, which I’ve always found a little too sour for my taste. But with the little smidge of sweetness from the maple — oh, this is just right. Not too sweet. Not too sour. Goldilocks-style.
I just finished Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist, and I think she’s definitely inspiring my cooking. It’s a great book, with a few recipes I’m working through, interspersed with essays and thoughts on life and family and friends and people who gather around your table. Comfort reading to go along with your comfort food, I think.
So — have this as a side at dinner, or as a main green salad for lunch. You could even stuff it all in a Mason jar and take it to work (I’d pack the dressing separately, add it at the last second, put the lid back on and just shake it all up.)
And buck up — all this cold and snowy weather can’t last forever. Before you know it, we’ll all be eating this at our outdoor patios with a nice, tall glass of lemonade, yes? Yes.
- baby greens
- 1/2 c dried cranberries
- 1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 c walnuts, toasted
- 1/4 c olive oil
- 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tb Dijon mustard
- 1 Tb pure maple syrup
- Add all salad ingredients together.
- Toss gently with salad tongs.
- Add all dressing ingredients to a container with a lid (like a Mason jar.)
- Shake vigorously.
- Drizzle over salad and serve.
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