IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY!
Today starts the last year in my twenties! Oh my.
I just had to share. In other news, happy weekend everyone!
Tonight I’m hosting a little celebratory cocktail hour in my own honor 😉 so today I’ll be baking a cake and cleaning my apartment. Don’t worry, I plan to fit in plenty of time to relax and celebrate my day!
Oh hey look, a salad and a recipe! Let’s talk about that today. I had this INCREDIBLE spinach, quinoa + candied pecan salad at CPK a few weeks back and have been packing it for my own lunches a couple times a week since then.
I am just not getting sick of it at all!
I’ve made it a handful of ways, but all of them have spinach, quinoa, and the candied pecans — thus the name. Add whatever you like to it, switch up some of the ingredients (some of my recommendations are below).
Then there’s the champagne vinaigrette! It’s tart and delicious, and keeps incredibly well. Inspired by the restaurant version, but I’m pretty confident it’s a lot healthier.
The best part is that it’s a piece of cake to prep ahead of time. I made a HUGE batch of quinoa the weekend before last. I left enough of it in a tupperware in the fridge to spoon onto a salad to pack for lunch, and I bagged the rest into individual little servings and popped them in the freezer. In the morning, I grabbed a bag, opened it and microwaved it for a minute. Resealed it, threw it in my lunchbag and by lunchtime it was just perfect to throw on top of the salad! You can bag up your other toppings or mix everything into a tupperware the night before work. You can store the dressing in a jar in the fridge for up to three weeks (and maybe longer, but I haven’t tried longer yet…) It is SO easy.
[buymeapie-recipe id=’3′][buymeapie-recipe id=’2′]
- 1 serving champagne vinaigrette (recipe below)
- 2 C lettuce of choice (I obviously love spinach in it, but I've done half spinach and half pretty much everything else you can imagine and it's great)
- 1 C cooked quinoa
- 1/4 apple, sliced or diced
- 1/4 avocado, sliced or diced
- 2 T candied or raw pecans (or walnuts)
- Assemble however you like!
- - add artichoke hearts - add sun dried tomatoes - sub any kind of nut you want (raw walnuts and honey roasted sliced almonds are both GREAT) - add crispy onion bits - add roasted chickpeas - add shredded carrots - add dried cherries or cranberries
- The nutritional information calculated by this recipe formatter is WRONG. This is definitely not a 900 calorie salad 🙂 Here is corrected (but still approximate) nutritional info: Calories 338; Calories from Fat 120; Total Fat 13.3g; Saturated Fat 2.4g; Trans Fat 0.0g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 12mg; Potassium 748mg; Total Carbohydrates 48.1g; Dietary Fiber 8.9g; Sugars 6.1g; Protein 9.1g
- 1/3 C champagne vinegar
- 2/3 C avocado oil (or olive oil)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 small shallot
- 2 t dijon mustard
- salt + pepper to taste
- Blend everything together.