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Ok, enough with the carbs! lol I’m just kidding.
I’ve been posting any kind of carb these past few weeks though, so now let me introduce you to a lighter dish: my spinach goat cheese salad with pecans, sweet potatoes and a delicious maple vinaigrette! To die for!
Carbs are still there (sweet potatoes), so don’t worry: I’ll never abandon them! Oh NO!
You can consider this a side dish or a complete meal your choice: it has vitamins, fibers, carbs, fats and proteins as well, what more could you ask for?
My spinach goat cheese salad is here to become your favorite salad ever.
I was half serious when I told you – above – ‘enough with the carbs’. I have and I will never cut carbs out of my diet, but these past few weeks I’ve been overwhelmed with rich-in-carbs recipes: bread, babka, cinnamon buns, focaccia etc.
Don’t get me wrong: I consider them part of my diet, in moderation. But I need something lighter now…
So, last week I was craving a giant salad…and baby spinach…and sweet potatoes. And pecans and maple vinaigrette. Ok, no wonder I’m posting this!
I let the weekend pass (because I was visiting my parents on Saturday and Sunday), and on Monday I went buying all the stuff.
It always happens: whenever I crave a food/recipe, I become extremely impatient and I champ at the bit to turn my hands on it. Like in this case.
This spinach goat cheese salad is special, it’s not your average spinach salad.
If you’ve been following me for a while now you know that I LOVE sweet and savory, so no wonder I’m in love with this big bowl of goodness and its balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
I prepared this right before lunch, today (Tuesday), then put it into an airtight container so my boyfriend could bring it at work with him. He just told me it was just like freshly made and so good (regarding me, I’m about to eat it!). I guess, then, that you can consider it a perfect meal to “meal-prep”!
Giving my two cents: if you prepare it in advance, do not add the goat cheese and the vinaigrette until the very last moment, otherwise your spinach leaves will “dunk”.
Salads FAQs: the perfect salad.
How do you make a good salad?
Honestly, I think the answer here is: try to combine each of the macronutrients (fats, carbs and proteins).
Choose your base: a green veggie like spinach, lettuce, arugula…
Add carbs: sweet potatoes, quinoa, barley is good too…
Enrich it with fats: add high quality extra virgin olive oil, almonds, pecans, seeds, avocado…
Complete with proteins: eggs, mozzarella, goat cheese, feta, beans, tuna, mackerel, crunchy tofu…
How can I make my salad more filling?
Make sure to have enough proteins, add a bit more of fats (more avocado, oils, nuts…) and another veggie (tomato, radicchio, carrots, cucumber…).
Can you eat spinach raw in salad?
I wouldn’t post this if you couldn’t add it to your salad, right? So the answer is YES. And it’s so good! Make sure they’re younger leaves, aka baby spinach.
“Baby spinach is the spinach that has been harvested during a fairly early stage of plant growth, usually between 15-35 days after planting.” – resource: whfoods.com
How to make vinaigrette…with a twist.
How do you make a simple vinaigrette?
Vinaigrette is so simple to make: you just have to combine oil and something acidic, generally 3 parts of oil and 1 of vinegar.
My balsamic vinaigrette dressing, though, has a special touch: maple syrup, to give a nice and sweet flavor! (plus, I added more balsamic vinegar because my boyfriend loves it!)
How do you store homemade vinaigrette?
You’ll see I made about 100 gr of dressing, so you’ll obviously have some left over. Store it into a jar, bottle or container with a tight lid, into or outside the fridge (the acidity of the vinegar should be enough to keep the dressing stable).
TO STORE YOUR VINAIGRETTE:
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Store your vinaigrette into an airtight container or bottle, like this one!
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SPINACH GOAT CHEESE SALAD
- 100 gr Baby spinach
- one big Sweet potatoes - (450 gr)
- about 25 gr Pecans
- 80 gr Goat cheese (or feta to crumble on top)
- Sesame seeds
For the maple vinaigrette:
- 30 gr Extra virgin olive oil
- 55 gr Maple syrup
- 20 gr Modena balsamic vinegar
- a pinch Salt
- First, preheat your oven at 200°C (400°F)
- Peel your sweet potatoes and chunk them.
- Put them into a bowl, season with just a tiny bit of oil and salt. Bake for about 30/40 minutes or until soft.
For the vinaigrette:
- Combine extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and salt into a bowl. Stir until emulsified.
For the salad:
- Put together your salad - on a plate or bowl - by adding baby spinach (obviously wash it before), sweet potatoes, goat cheese (or feta), pecans and sesame seeds. Drizzle some vinaigrette over the top (don't use it all, store the remaining in the fridge) and your salad is done!