If I’m honest, a New Year’s Resolution is the furthest thing from my mind right now. However, might I offer a suggestion to those of you who are still Christmas shopping and also not thinking about healthy habits in 2019? Continue reading “EAT. MORE. VEGGIES.”

Spinach Strawberry Salad

This is as close as Andrew’s Aunt Linda and I can get to Cafe Patachou’s (a Carmel, IN French bistro) salad by the same name.  Aunt Linda even begged the chef personally for the vinaigrette recipe, and was rewarded with at least the ingredients, if not in exact measurements.  We make it constantly in the summer.

For 4-5 servings:

1 package baby spinach leaves

1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered

1/2 (or less) red onion, sliced

1/2 C candied walnuts or pecans

1/4 C gorgonzola or feta cheese crumbles

1/2 C croutons


1/3 C olive oil

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp honey

salt and pepper


-Slice onions to your preference: thin for less strong, thick for a stronger onion taste

-You can use feta, goat, gorgonzola or blue cheese here based on your affinity for blue cheese

-Definitely use (or make your own) candied nuts–it’s crucial!

-The dressing makes about a half-cup, which is more than you’ll need for this salad.  Refrigerate the rest and use again on your next salad!

Fig, Pecan and Blue Cheese Salad

You can’t go wrong with figs and blue cheese!  For the longest time I stayed as far away as I could from blue cheese, because I didn’t like the smell.  I’m not even sure how I came around to it, but I’ve come to like it in small quantities and with the right flavor pairings.  Things like honey, balsamic reductions and other sweet things complement blue cheese or gorgonzola quite nicely.

Fig, Pecan & Blue Cheese Salad

Serves 2

4 figs, quartered

1 oz. pecans, toasted

2 oz. blue cheese

4 cups arugula and spinach mix


2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp best-quality balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp honey

salt & pepper

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice and honey until emulsified.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle dressing over bowls filled with salad ingredients.

*Variation: Candy or spice the toasted pecans:  While warming on the stovetop in a skillet, add either sugar or chili powder to season.