spinach salad with Dried plums and cranberries

It’s a Dreary and Drizzly day here in New York. It’s Downright chilly out and a Darn shame that it can’t just be spring already…. Daffodils in bloom, kids picking Dandelions…

Okay. I think you get it. It’s D day here at the A to Z challenge.

And this gray day could really use a punch of color and brightness.

So, I painted my nails hot pink (I’m obsessed with my new Julep subscription)

And decided to mix up a delicious salad.

Now salads can be boring.

If everything is all one note, same texture, then you’re just going to feel like a bunny munching on greens. No offense to bunnies. Easter Bunny, if you’re reading, I’ll leave you some carrots in exchange for some robin’s eggs.

But if you’re having a salad for lunch, you want it to be interesting enough that you won’t be at the vending machine getting a Snickers bar, and satisfying enough that you’re not rummaging around for a bag of pretzels at 3 o’clock.

Lately I’ve been really into adding dried fruit to my greens. It adds a nice chew, a hint of sweetness and a new texture.

Here’s my spinach


I added some marinated artichokes for some fat and some zing


next some dried cranberries and dried plums (yes, prunes. sounds so much better to say dried plums though, no?)


Some sunflower seeds for crunch and protein to keep me full


A simple dressing of sunflower oil (to pick up on the sunflower seeds) and champagne vinegar and voila!

An interesting, delicious and filling salad



Fruit and Nut Couscous Salad



Usually, I’m good with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some fruit for lunch at work. When it’s really hot, yogurt with some fruit and homemade nutella granola are my go to.

But sometimes I need something different.

Salad are great and so are leftovers.

But I didn’t really want something savory for lunch. I didn’t want something too sweet either (vanilla yogurt and nutella granola straddles the line between lunch and dessert, I’ll admit).

So on days like this, I reach for couscous.

Quick cook couscous is one of the greatest inventions ever. Pour it in a bowl, add some boiling water, cover for a few minutes and boom! couscous. You can let it sit and steam while you make your breakfast.

Once you have the couscous cooked you can pretty much add anything you want to it.

Today, I went with some chopped dried apricots and plums, some chopped roasted pecans and a lot of cinnamon. I had these things on hand, so go with whatever is in your pantry.

The grains are filling. The dried fruit is chewy with enough sweetness. The nuts add some crunch and some protein. And cinnamon is just the best spice in the world.

Whip some up.

Make your coworkers jealous.