The other day my best friend’s mom asked when I was going to start seriously dating someone that I was just sort-of seeing?
Ummmm I don’t know, I just turned 24? And what is this — an intervention? I mean is there a deadline I missed out on that says you have to be in a super serious relationship by a certain age? Can’t it all be casual and cool? I like going on dates, I’m just not on the marriage train. I prefer to live in the reality that love is a fairy tale, you know after I chase down all of my dreams and travel around the globe.
Speaking of romance, Valentine’s Day is coming up! Quick, let’s eat salads before we overcompensate by shoving heart-shaped Reese’s in our mouths!
Just kidding… Sort of?
Lately, I have been a complete train wreck. Okay not necessarily in a bad way though; I’ve just been focusing on prioritizing my projects for work AND keeping up with the blog. Juggling them can be difficult and most of the time I end up working on the weekends with little time for guzzling my favorite margaritas. Wait, now that I think about it… aren’t margaritas a priority? Hmmmm. I’ll have to ponder that one.
Anyway this whole getting my life organized thing has forced me to become incredibly prepared since I’m always on the go. This includes making my meals ahead of time: oat muffins for the morning, greek yogurt with caramelized almonds for a sweet afternoon snack, and this pretty super fruit and nut salad that I’ve enjoyed chowing down on for lunch.
The salad was inspired by a fresh peach and strawberry arugula salad I made last summer for some friends. I had used peaches, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to create the dressing. So to recreate it, the only change I made was to sub in the blueberries for the peaches.
Ohhhhh you guys, that blueberry balsamic vinaigrette is just so good! But it’s not the only thing that’s delicious. The salad is packed with good-for you things including:
- Blueberries: they’re loaded with vitamin C & K and packed with fiber and antioxidants. Hello beautiful skin!
- Dried cherries: perfect for your metabolism and help to improve sleep.
- Dried apricots: another great source of vitamin C, and also vitamins A & E.
- Sunflower seeds: a great source of protein and high in essential fatty acids, which help promote good cholesterol They’re also high in vitamin E, B1, and provide a rich source of minerals.
- Almonds: packed with fiber and manganese and heart healthy fats to help you stay full, longer.
I finished the salad with a bit of goat cheese, and I must tell you, it was what pulled it all together! It just pairs perfectly with the blueberry vinaigrette for a tangy and sweet bite. Plus, you get the delicious crunch from all of the good-for-you nuts. I just loveeee it! But you know if cheese isn’t your thing, simply omit!
I promise you’ll really enjoy this salad, and you better because chocolate is in our future.
Toasted Almond & Blueberry Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese + Blueberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
A beautiful blueberry arugula salad packed with super fruits and nuts. Tangy and sweet, it’s finished off with goat cheese and an insanely delicious blueberry balsamic vinaigrette. So fresh and so good!
- 6 cups organic arugula or 1-10 oz bag of organic arugula
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, finely diced
- 2/3 cup fresh organic blueberries
- 3 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
- goat cheese, for topping
- For the dressing:
- 2 teaspoons low-sugar blueberry or strawberry jam
- 1/2 cup fresh organic blueberries
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, plus more if desired
- pinch of salt
In a large bowl add arugula; top with dried apricot, dried cherries, and fresh blueberries. Toss gently.
Next make the blueberry balsamic vinaigrette by placing jam, blueberries, olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a food processor or blender and pulse to combine. Add a pinch of salt, and if necessary adjust vinaigrette to your liking by adding additional fruit and/or balsamic vinegar.
Drizzle some of dressing all over salad and toss gently to combine. I always start with a little bit of dressing and add more if necessary. The trick is to remember that you can always add more, and a little bit goes a long way. You don't want a soggy salad!
Sprinkle almonds and sunflower seeds over the top of the salad. Place salad into cold bowls and sprinkle on goat cheese if desired. Enjoy!