I've spend the majority of my life wishing I craved salads the way some people do. I try and try but I just never seem to enjoy them, with the exception of a salad from Kelso's in North Kansas City - and it's mostly a result of their homemade creamy garlic dressing (I've actually blogged about it before!). There's this part of me that's dying inside to be a "salad eater". Maybe it's because it's a healthy menu item to crave. Maybe it would help me get closer to my dream. Maybe I should add it to my dream list!
So Thursday, Julie - the wife of a praise team member at church - made dinner to help the team as most of us were heading to practice straight from work. On the table sat a bowl filled with a fabulous, colorful salad containing berries and walnuts, tossed in a fresh raspberry vinaigrette. I was so hungry and it was so pretty! Something compelled me to try it although, I'll admit, I envisioned it going into the trash like all the other lettuce I couldn't bare to choke down.
I could NOT believe how amazing it was! It hit my taste buds in the best way and I wanted more... and I had more! AND leftovers were sent home with me to enjoy again! I took the salad to work and started munching on it right after I arrived this morning. I couldn't help myself... it was all I could think about! I ate the rest for lunch and loved every bite. I was totally satisfied and later found myself wishing I could have more for dinner!
Julie, YOU ROCK and I can't thank you enough for spending your time, effort, and money to make such a great meal for us. You couldn't have known it would make this kind of impact on me. Now THAT, my dear, is using your God-given gifts to impact lives! After a few minutes of begging, Julie shared her salad recipe with me and I can't keep it to myself. I hope you enjoy it!
(Not my photo, but you can find another tasty salad recipe here!)
Berry Walnut Salad with Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette
Berry Walnut Salad
Fresh spinach and/or romaine lettuce
Strawberries, hulled and sliced
Walnuts or pecans, chopped
In a large bowl, mix greens, strawberries, blueberries, dried cranberries, and nuts.
Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette
1 pint fresh raspberries (or 1 cup frozen)
1/4 cup apple cider or balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp Dijon mustard (or 1 teaspoon dry mustard)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Add raspberries, vinegar (or cider), sugar, and mustard to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Slowly add oil until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Coat salad with dressing just before eating to prevent wilted greens.
Variation: To make a creamy raspberry vinaigrette, stir in 2 tablespoons of raspberry yogurt!