(I'm no longer posting on this blog - enjoy the recipe but if you want to see what I'm up to, visit me here.)
Still recovering from Nashville, haha! Posting, cleaning house and everything else has been put on the back burner. Luckily, I slept in quite late today and am feeling so much better. I was a zombie at work all week. I just can't party and not sleep at 31, like I could at 21. ha!
Anyhow, are you sick of salads yet? Not me! I ate like a bear preparing to hibernate all winter long (and for some of the spring!) so I'm all about eating more of my veggies and less of the heavy stuff (but watch, next week I'll post something incredibly fattening-it's just my nature so roll with it). Trying to shed the pounds I've gained and increase my energy and I find that eating a variety of salads helps me do that.
A couple of years ago, a woman named Sandra that I waitressed with had made a big salad with strawberries and poppy seed dressing and brought it into work. She had so much of it that she insisted I take some home and try it. At the time, I wasn't a big fan of fruit in my salads so I was a little hesitant but of course that has changed, and I was actually delighted with the combination. So I haven't talked to Sandra in awhile (which reminds me, I totally owe her a call! I'm so bad with returning phone calls!), I do make a similar strawberry and poppy seed dressing salad now and it makes me think of her every time.
This salad will only take you about 10 minutes to make but the dressing definitely tastes better and has more flavor if you let it sit in the fridge for an hour or two. I recommend making it the day before it you can-but it certainly isn't necessary!
For the salad
1 lb of fresh strawberries, washed, hulled & sliced
1 medium sized red onion, quartered & sliced*
7-8 oz of washed baby spinach
For the poppy seed dressing
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon of light mayo
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion *
3 teaspoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon of dried parsley or 1 tablespoon fresh
kosher salt to taste
a few dashes of garlic powder**
1/2 cup olive oil
*You can reserve one of the quarters of red onion and finely dice it to be used in the dressing.*
Place the baby spinach, red onion and strawberries in a large bowl or serving dish. In a medium sized bowl, add all dressing ingredients except for olive oil and whisk together. ** I used garlic powder here, rather than real garlic because I don't want a strong garlic presence in this dressing. Raw garlic would probably overpower the dressing. I like garlic in almost everything but I know there are others who don't!** When the dressing starts to combine, slowly whisk in the olive oil until well blended. (Feel free to do this in a blender or food processor too!). Pour desired amount of dressing over the spinach, strawberries and onion and toss until the dressing is worked through.
Voila, you are ready to serve! I like to add some raw almonds and bean sprouts and eat it for lunch or bbq some boneless chicken breasts and serve for dinner. Yum!
Well, I'm working at the restaurant tonight (last scheduled shift actually! decided to finally give it up after 11+ years of it. My weekends will be all MINE now!) and then the rest of the weekend is open. J is in Jersey visiting the fam and dropping little bro off at Princeton for a summer work/study program (smart kid!) so I'll probably spend sunday on a bike ride and doing things around the house. Happy Saturday folks!
All text and photographs (except where noted otherwise) © 2008, 2009 Food is to love / Andrea Quigley