Winter Salad Fantasy

Now that I’m a working woman again (more on the end of grad school soon), I get to partake in the grand tradition of commuting. I don’t mind it, really. In the morning I can read the Metro and do the crossword, allowing me to both stay informed and mentally agile. In the evening I do the sudoku and fantasize about what I’m making for dinner.

Today, there was no question about it. I was craving what I’ll call my winter salad fantasy— it’s a salad of mixed greens, blue cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries. The tangy blue cheese, sweet cranberries, crunchy almonds and fresh greens become irresistible to me when tossed in a light garlic salad dressing. I paired it with a baked acorn squash and some chicken. Delish.

Winter Salad Fantasy (makes 2 big salads or 4 side salads)

Ingredients:

  • store-bought “fresh herb and greens” salad mix (if you’re not into pre-washed salad mixes, I recommend arugula or baby spinach)
  • dried cranberries, approximately 1/2 cup
  • almonds (crushed, sliced, or whole), approximately 1/2 cup
  • blue cheese (about 2 oz, or 1/3 cup crumbled)
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • one or two cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper

Toss salad, cranberries, almonds, and blue cheese together. (Add more of any ingredients if you don’t like the distributive quantities I suggest! In a separate dish, mix about three or four tablespoons olive oil with about one tablespoon lemon juice. Mix in one (or two, if you want) crushed garlic cloves, add salt & pepper to taste. Adjust other ingredients as necessary until the dressing tastes good to you. Drizzle over salad and toss. YUM.

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More Recipes From the Broke Yet Creative Graduate Student

Summer Tuna Salad

Open and drain one can of tuna (solid white albacore, dolphin-safe, in water).

Smush in:

  • about a tablespoon of mayo (or more to taste)
  • a teaspoon of lemon juice (fake from a bottle is fine, rice vinegar would probably also be ok)
  • a tablespoon of olive oil (canola oil or veg oil will not do; this is what gives this a grown-up taste
  • salt & pepper

Add:

  • small handful (2-3 tablespoons) of nuts (I suggest almonds, walnuts, or pecans)
  • small handful (1-2 tablespoon) of dried fruit (I suggest craisins or raisins, but also try dried apricots).

Stir to insure equal distribution. Enjoy!

Although the nuts and berries tend to be a bit pricy, they last a while (and are even more cost effective if you buy them in bulk). The whole thing has a nice protein punch, but with a yummy sweetness from the craisins.

Also: crasins + almonds make a great mid-afternoon snack that satisfies the hunger urge while letting you nosh during long lectures. For an extra treat, splurge and mix in a pack of M&Ms from the vending machine.