I wish I could put off spring just a little longer. If winter were one of my students, I'd make him repeat a grade, just to enjoy him a little longer. Maybe I should move to Alaska. It's a secret escapist fantasy of mine, anyway. You might think that I don't love spring, but you'd be wrong. I love the chirping birds, the bright blue skies, the colorful flowers, the urge to be outdoors tossing a frisbee. But I love winter, too. I love the coziness, the sparkly frost and snow, the shadowy silhouettes during the dinner hour, the pots simmering and the oven baking, and the solitude of shrinking in and away. If I were Mother Nature, you would be assured 6 months of ice and snow. I'd be about as popular as Obama.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
But I'm not in charge. So here comes spring in just a couple of weeks, officially. In the meantime, I find myself craving leafy greens and tender berries, in spite of myself. I'm still hanging on to my zesty citrus and hearty apples, so I created this salad to represent the best of both winter and spring. I admit to eating it daily for lunch. The dressing is sweet with caramel undertones from the brown sugar, yet zesty from the apple cider vinegar and a hint of mustard. The dressing is also deceptively low in fat, but you'll never notice that. But it's spring and that means its almost almost almost swimsuit season. Groan. Just another reason to love winter.
Winter to Spring Salad
Estimated Cost: $5.00
Money Saving Tips: It's almost time to plant spinach! Plant a row of spinach a week to keep you saving all throughout the spring. Choose any apples or berries that you find on sale and vary the nuts according to what you have on hand. You'll have plenty of extra dressing for more salad later in the week.
1 (6 ounce) bag baby spinach
1 large orange, peeled and sectioned
1 sweet apple, sliced thin
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/4 cup paper thin slices of red onion
1/3 cup toasted pecans, broken into bits
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
For Salad, layer spinach, orange, apple, strawberries, onions, and pecans on a platter. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a screwtop lid. Shake until well combined. Just before serving, drizzle dressing all over salad.
Captain Crunch Chicken