Spinach and Quinoa Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese and Diced Dates

September 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

What to do with spinach and quinoa that you are bored with and don’t want to eat? You add blue cheese, bacon and sweet dates of course! Now, you and I both know that blue cheese and bacon do not a healthy meal make so I really wasn’t even planning on sharing this. So I’m telling you this as a warning: don’t do what I did kiddos. I remember this day exactly, I had already had pancakes for breakfast so I guess it was really a curse-you-diet kind of day…

First, get a big pot of water going for the quinoa and cook per instructions. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes once done.

I like to add 1/2 tsp tumeric to my quinoa. This adds a little flavor and also makes it this nice, bright color.

Then sautee the spinach. Harmless so far.

I would do a very hearty handful, this stuff always disappears when cooking.

Oh, but then here comes the bacon.

I oven bake my bacon at 375° for about 12-15 minutes. Break apart into smaller pieces.

And it’s all over with the blue cheese…

Crumble however much you like. There are no measurements and no judgements here.

I kept the dressing very simple: tbsp balsamic vinegar, tbsp olive oil, tsp honey, tsp dijon mustard

This was the right ratio but don’t feel the need to use all of it since you don’t want to mask the taste of the ingredients!

And then mix it all together and toss in some sugary, sweet diced dates, just for the heck of it.

How can something so wrong taste so right?

Now don’t say you got it from me–can’t have my name associated with so decadently transforming what could be a healthy lunch.


Arugala with Diced Dates and Blue Cheese

August 23, 2012 § 3 Comments

This week I inadvertently made a transitional salad. I didn’t realize the combination would have subtle hints of fall to come while still being sweet and peppery enough for August. I used store-bought diced dates so the process was a cinch, just a matter of whipping up the dressing.

Toss arugala with diced dates. BOOM two ingredients done.

I quickly learned shredding was not the way to go–blue cheese is much easier to crumble by hand.

Dressing from Gourmet Made Simple:

1 shallot minced (unless you are a huge fan of shallots, I would maybe use 1/2)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vegetable stock 
1 tsp honey

I personally thought my shallots were not “minced” enough, I prefer a finer texture but the larger pieces provide much more of a bite.

Whisk it all together. I actually used chicken broth instead of vegetable stock since I had it on hand. I can’t imagine the overall effect is very different but it is worth a test!

The sweetness of the dates and creaminess of the blue cheese balances the peppery arugala and bite from the shallots for a perfect warm-weather-turning effect.

I think it’s good now through October.

Something about this combo is just SCREAMING for a flatbread variation…





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