There are several categories to choose from for Fabulous Nest Friday posts, and I have chosen "Kitchen Witch" (no big surprise there!) All joking aside, it worked out well as I have recently put together a wonderfully tasty salad with a yummy new ingredient that I was planning to share!
There's just something about the Spring, when the sun shines brightly and the grass turns green, that makes you want to eat lighter, fresher foods. Foods that leave you feeling ready to go for a hike or do some gardening instead of curling up under a blanket with a good book or the remote control. Spring is also when many fruits and vegetables begin coming into season and make their annual debut at the grocery stores. It's little wonder that we start to crave light, fresh foods with all the wonderful ingredients to choose from!
Salads are a favorite of mine. Because it is so good for us, I always buy a large container of baby spinach and try to add it to as many dishes as I can. A side salad is a great way to get the spinach in. I like to jazz salads up with fruit, nuts, beans, anything to add taste and texture, but if you're short on ingredients or prep time, try just grating some carrot on top of the spinach and adding a flavorful dressing. It will add a flash of colour to your plate as well as oodles of vitamins! I like dinner salads as well, but I'm a girl who needs her protein, so I often add meat, fish, or a hard boiled egg to a salad to make it a meal.
I also enjoy making my own salad dressings. Some can be mixed up easily by putting the ingredients in a mason jar or cruet, and shaking them up. Others require blending (I love my Magic Bullet for these!). If you've never made your own salad dressing, I highly recommend you try! The difference in flavor is unbelievable, and you can adjust the seasoning to your preference.
|Springy Spinach Salad|
I discovered honey goat cheese completely by accident. I have been dairy intolerant for years, however I can eat goat's milk and products with no problems. It was a huge relief when I discovered this as it re-opened the world of cheese to me again. In my opinion, while most dairy alternative products (such as those made with soy or rice) are excellent, the cheeses are where they fall short. They are well made, and they do well in dishes where they will be melted, but they never taste better than cheese food products. Goat cheeses, however, are very similar to those made with cow's milk. There are more and more available all the time; I've had cheddar, mozzarella, brie, camembert, and of course, the well known chevre, or soft goat's cheese.
We recently had friend's of ours over for a "Build Your Own Pizza" night, where we put out lots of pizza toppings and shells and let their children design their own pizzas. I made up three large pies for the adults, with a variety of toppings. I had wanted to get a brick of goat mozzarella for my section of the pizza (I usually do a quarter or a half with "my" cheese) but none was available where I was shopping. Rather than run around to several grocery stores, I decided to purchase a log of soft goat cheese and use that instead. It was only when I started to assemble the pizzas that I realized that I had actually purchased a honey flavored soft goat cheese! I still used it, and even though it tasted a little strange with tomato sauce and anchovies, I could tell that this was a tasty cheese that would complement the right dish very well.
And so the other night, as I was looking for a little something else to add to my salad, I remembered my honey goat cheese and crumbled some on top of my salad. Unbelievable perfect, and perfectly delicious! This is a salad for someone with a sweet tooth, especially when paired with the maple dressing! So good!
Have a wonderful weekend! I hope you discover a new and fabulous ingredient, and that you share it with me in the comments!!