Spinach and Stripes

Spinach, how do I even begin to express my love for spinach. There are two reasons why I am such a fan of spinach. First reason is the obvious, the health benefits are great. The second reason, is because it is SO versatile. Spinach can be used in so many different ways. A salad, smoothie, stuffed peppers, sandwich, pizza and so much more.

So fresh, green and healthy. Yum.
So fresh, green and healthy. Yum.

My favourite way to use spinach is a spinach salad. No other lettuce is needed and it tastes great. By eating a spinach salad you are eating vitamin A and vitamin K, protein, folate/folic acid and it’s a decent source of fiber (which for gluten free peeps we need to make sure we get since we aren’t eating the fiber from bread that most others are). Just think how healthy of a lunch it is if you bring a spinach salad to work. Unless…oh no…unless you do the unthinkable. I don’t even like talking about it. (Can you tell I’m avoiding it, even in my writing?) Oh here it comes, that word that can be so good or SO bad…

DRESSING

Ahhhh the dressing. It can ruin what starts out to be such a healthy meal. Those awful creamy Kraft dressings make me want to come to all of your houses and throw every single one of them into the garbage, just think of how much fridge space you would have if I did that. (But because I don’t know where you all live, I can’t do this. Feel free to go do it yourself right now. I promise my blog will be waiting right where you left it when you come back.)

So if I’m going to bash these dressings so badly, I must give you an alternative. This alternative tastes so much better (like on a scale of 1-10 my dressing is a 10 and creamy Kraft dressings are a -500). Here it is the dressing that you can use on any salad you make:

The ingredients to one delicious dressing.
The ingredients to one delicious dressing.

-Dijon mustard
-pure honey (take note of where you are buying your honey, local pure honey is the best stuff out there and actually usually cheaper than the junk you find on the shelf in the grocery store. For any of you in the Alma/Elora/Fergus area the name and phone number of a local honey is in the picture. It is DELICIOUS. I sometimes eat it by the spoon full but don’t tell anyone because I think that may make me weird?)
-apple cider vinegar
-olive oil
-garlic

First step is to mix a scoop of liquid honey and a squirt of Dijon mustard in a bowl. Then mix in a little bit of apple cider vinegar, some olive oil and garlic. Done and done. Once again I’m aware I am not giving you amounts, it just depends how big of a salad you are making and how much dressing you need. The only two ingredients you don’t want to put too much is, apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard or they can over power the taste BUT if that happens just add more olive oil and you’re good to go.

I’m telling you this dressing works for just about any and all salads you make.

Now for the actual salad. I have 3 main ingredients that are a must and as for the veggies you can throw in whatever you have. First ingredient that is a must is sunflower seeds (or almonds), second is dried cranberries and third is sautéed apples. (If you don’t have apples throw in strawberries or raspberries).

I could eat a plate full of these apples. AND they're healthy!!!!
I could eat a plate full of these apples. AND they’re healthy!!!!

Sautéing apples:
Slice apples really thin (leave the skins on). Put apple cider vinegar in a frying pan and turn to medium-low. Throw in the apples, a little cinnamon and let sauté for 20 or so minutes. The longer you sauté them the softer (and better) they’ll taste. (Keep an eye on them, I find I’m constantly adding more apple cider vinegar to the pan so the apples don’t get dry).

Now for the salad.
-spinach
-red peppers
-mushrooms
-onion
-celery

Or whatever veggies you enjoy and have in your fridge.

Get.In.My.Belly.
Get.In.My.Belly.

This salad is the most delicious salad. AND the sautéed apples don’t go bad so you can make a large salad for supper and put some in a container for your lunch the next day (just make sure you keep the dressing on the side if you do that so the spinach isn’t drenched in dressing over night).

I made a big salad for dinner so I had enough for lunch the next day. I put the dressing on my smaller portion so my salad for lunch didn't get soggy overnight.
I made a big salad for dinner so I had enough for lunch the next day. I put the dressing on my smaller portion so my salad for lunch didn’t get soggy overnight.

While eating my delicious salad at work I got asked a question regarding style and I just had to mention it because I feel like people are missing out on good style because they’re scared. Yes it is allowed to combine stripes and patterns. A stripe shirt and a patterned scarf is totally, fully ok and not just ok but looks GOOD! (And when people look at you funny just know that you’re the stylish one and they’re missing out on looking great. You’ll see them doing the same thing in a couple of weeks.) So go ahead, be brave, be daring, looking fantastic. Wear a striped shirt with a patterned scarf. You won’t regret it, I promise.

What did I tell you. It's ok, admit it. You thought I was crazy telling you to wear a pattern and stripes. You were calling me nuts. Until now. It looks great, I know.
What did I tell you. It’s ok, admit it. You thought I was crazy telling you to wear a pattern and stripes. You were calling me nuts. Until now. It looks great, I know.

Go out there and be beautiful. Eat well and dress even better (which I hope now includes stripes and patterns).

-tal xo

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