Tag Archives: walnut

Spinach, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

To get back on track after the craziness that was January/February – I’ve been eating a lot of salads lately. It’s partly in an attempt to detox and get back on a healthy track – but also because I’m absolutely fallen in love with this salad. I think I’ve eaten this exact salad for lunch on the weekdays for the past 3 weeks or so. It’s getting a little out of control, but in a totally great way.

I saw a few different salads in the food magazines I subscribe to that included goat cheese, spinach and beets and took what I liked best from the salads and made one of my own! I forget the exact magazines, because I get too many, but what resulted was a deliciously balanced and healthy salad – and it’s so easy to put together! I always keep nuts, particularly walnuts, in the house and I always have canned sliced beets on hand because I can’t stand the mess of roasting and peeling beets – but I love the flavor. Using these ingredients, I’m already halfway to a yummy salad lunch!

I don’t measure out the ingredients for this salad exactly, I just sort of throw it together (and I usually put 5 together in storage containers for the week during Sunday food prep). I also make a big batch of a simple lemon salad dressing at the beginning of the week and then portion it out as I need it for weekday lunches.

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Spinach, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
Makes one salad. Measurements are approximate – have fun with it!

    – A couple handfuls of fresh spinach, about 2-3 cups, depending on how big you want your salad to be
    – 1/4 cup quinoa, cooked and cooled
    – 2-3 tablespoons walnuts
    – 1/4 cup cooked and cooled sliced beets (I use canned – so quick and easy!)
    – 3-4 tablespoons crumbled or sliced goat cheese
    – Juice of a lemon
    – 2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a salad bowl or container. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil to serve. Alternatively, whisk lemon juice and olive oil in a container until emulsified and store until ready to use as dressing.

I can’t get enough of this salad. The tang of the goat cheese pairs so great with the sweet beets and the earthy spinach and walnuts. Plus, it’s so quick to throw together! I hope you enjoy 🙂

Banana-Walnut Baked Oatmeal

In addition to the succotash and Caprese pasta salad that I took camping, I also made a batch of baked oatmeal to take along for breakfasts. I figured baked oatmeal would be an easy thing to make ahead of time, and reheat when it was time for breakfast. Plus, it’s easy for everyone to customize with their favorite toppings! 🙂

I was inspired by a baked oatmeal recipe that I saw on PB Fingers, but changed it up a bit to incorporate some of my favorite things (walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds) and exclude the things I’m not crazy about or didn’t have in the house (flavored almond milk, coconut). I was so happy with how it turned out that I made another batch as soon as I got back from the camping trip! It’s such a convenient breakfast or hearty snack to have prepped and ready to go.

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After combining all the ingredients, I just cut the oatmeal into eight squares and store them in Tupperware containers. I’ve been eating this as a mid-morning snack at work because it’s nice and hearty and helps me not eat lunch until early afternoon, instead of scarfing it down at 11:30 like I usually do.

And it couldn’t be easier to make! Just combine all the ingredients and then bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 400 degrees. The oatmeal gets nice and crispy on top which is a great texture in the finished product. The first batch I made, I didn’t grease the pan and it was a mess to get out of the pan, as well as to clean the pan – it definitely reduced the number of crispy pieces! I don’t know what I was thinking not greasing the pan, like the oatmeal was just going to pop out on its own? 🙂 Craziness. The second time around I used a small piece of paper towel and “greased” the pan with about a tablespoon of coconut oil. It worked great! Nice, square, crispy pieces of oatmeal!

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Banana Walnut Baked Oatmeal
Makes eight servings.

    – 3 cups rolled oats
    – 2 teaspoons baking powder
    – ½ teaspoon salt
    – 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon (I’m a little cinnamon-crazy so I probably put it more than this! :-))
    – 2 cups soy milk, or milk of your choice
    – 1 egg
    – 1/3 cup applesauce
    – 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
    – 2 bananas
    – ½ cup sunflower seeds, not in the shells
    – ½ cup walnuts
    – 1 tablespoon chia seeds
    – 1 tablespoon flax seed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together, mashing the bananas up really well (I found that using my hands is the most effective, and messiest, way to do this!). Grease a 2 quart dish with coconut oil or other fat. Pour the oatmeal into the pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Cut into squares and serve with your favorite toppings. I personally like mine with a scoop of Greek yogurt, a little honey and some fresh fruit (this time I went with blueberries). My mom likes hers with some slivered almonds, milk, and fruit while my dad prefers his with just honey on top. It’s also delicious with maple syrup!

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Feel free to mix it up and add whatever nuts/seeds to the dish that you like! I’m already dreaming about a pumpkin version for the fall… 🙂

Question of the Day:
What are your favorite oatmeal toppings? If you don’t like oatmeal, what is your favorite go-to breakfast food