We just got back from our honeymoon in Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver (ate so much great food – more on that soon!)
I also just started a new job this week doing marketing for an architecture firm which is super exciting. Lots of big changes lately…
I have to be up pretty early for work, so I’ve been packing my lunch the night ahead. And after indulging ourselves on vacation, we’re trying to eat healthy and get back to a routine.
It seems that every place we visited in the northwest had amazing salads – a lot of them including beets, sweet potatoes, avocado, and other ingredients I normally associate with fall. I stocked up on tons of these ingredients at Trader Joe’s as soon as we got back from our trip, so we have plenty to keep us eating well.
One of the non-traditional items we asked for on our wedding registry was gift cards to Joe & Son’s Olive Oils. We already bought several varieties – including chipotle infused olive oil, Tuscan herb olive oil, and fig balsamic. They are perfect for simple salad dressings (and we’ve used them to drizzle on popcorn as well).
I’ve made a version of this salad 3 times this week already – it’s my new favorite lunch. You can add or subtract ingredients as you like, but one of the things I like is that it has such a wide variety of ingredients. You can include whatever veggies you like, or even add hard-boiled eggs, chicken, or other proteins.
- Baby spinach
- Sweet potato, peeled, cut into cubes, and roasted (follow this recipe to bake them…)
- Mushrooms, sliced
- Pomegranate seeds (removed from fruit – you can buy them pre-seeded or follow these instructions to do it yourself if you are patient)
- Steamed & peeled baby beets (Trader Joe’s sells these pre-packaged to avoid the mess and hassle…), sliced
- Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains blend, prepared according to package (it’s a mix of Israeli couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans, and red quinoa)
- Trader Joe’s Sweet & Spicy pecans (if you haven’t tried these already, do yourself a favor and buy multiple bags…), broken into pieces
- Marinated mozzarella, chopped (I got Trader Joe’s aka Trader Giotto’s which is in olive oil with spices already)
- ½ an avocado, diced
- Olive oil & vinegar dressing – we used Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic from Joe & Sons
- Freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients & enjoy! If you are planning to bring this for lunch, wait to add the nuts and the dressing to keep it from getting soggy (although this does hold up pretty well even with dressing…)