Monday, October 15, 2012

The MOST Amazing Spinach Salad

I recently found an incredible food blog. Shutterbean. It's one I'd heard of but hadn't looked at. I spent about an hour or maybe more the other day reading recipes and pinning the ones that looked irresistible on Pineterest. They're mostly very vegetable-heavy, very healthy meals, and the author, like me, thinks mayo is gross! It's perfect. I should say here that I love reading recipes. I could read cookbooks and recipes online all day. It's seriously one of my favorite things.

Anyway, as I was planing this week's meals I couldn't help myself. I have 4 of her recipes bookmarked for this week alone. I'm really excited about it. Tonight was my first go at Shutterbean's food, and I was not at all disappointed.

The recipe (The Super Spinach Salad) is a copycat Trader Joe's recipe. I used to shop there in LA, and while I'm not one of those crazy-obsessed TJ devotees, I am a fan. I knew I would love this salad when I saw the picture of it (how can you not love such a colorful salad?), and I was hoping so badly that Kimball would love it too. He did. :)

It contains the perfect combination of salady things. It has garbanzo beans, avocado, quinoa, carrots, tomatoes, pepitas, and dried cranberries. And then the dressing is even better! It's made with carrots, fresh ginger and lime, onion, garlic, sesame oil, vinegar (I used rice vinegar), and agave. So darn good.

I highly recommend it. It's super healthy, pretty quick, very easy, not too expensive (I had most of the ingredients already), and it's really filling (thanks to the garbanzos, and quinoa). The dressing (pictured below, isn't it beautiful?) is incredible. It has cooked, pureed carrots in it, which makes it one of the stranger dressings I've had, texture-wise, but it's so fresh and healthy. It's perfect.

A couple things to note: 
1. the recipe calls for pumpkin seeds, which I thought would be weird, but it should have clarified and said to use pepitas. Don't use those big ol' white pumpkin seeds. You want the little green ones. 
2. I added crispy wonton strips, which were a fantastic addition. 

3. the recipe for the carrot ginger dressing makes a ton! It's okay, since it's so good, and it lasts in the fridge for a while, but you could halve it and be fine. 

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