The Salad Challenge – Warm Arugula & Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Goat Cheese, Pomegranate and Walnuts

I’ve been in a bit of a diet rut lately, and I’ve decided to post about this journey here in oder to keep myself accountable and hopefully inspire others.

You see, over the last few years, my husband and I have been trying to follow a lower-carbohydrate diet. I’ve definitely had my share of ups and downs, and my weight has followed suit. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about how to change my food habits for the better, and have realized that while trying to stay low-carb, I’ve formed some not so good habits.

Since I’m home most days, I’ve fallen into the trap of making myself cheese quesadillas with low-carb tortillas. I think this is a great “once in a while” lunch, but eating them practically daily cannot be good. There’s little nutritional value and how “low-carb” can a bread product really be anyway? While they’re pretty tasty, the main reason I find myself eating quesadillas so much is because they’re easy. I can buy a  pack of shredded cheese and tortillas each week and there’s my lunch.

Anyway, I’ve decided to swap out most of my quesadillas for salads, which to me is a bit of a challenge. First of all, I find it hard to keep fresh ingredients in the house. Since I’m the only one eating lunch at home, they often go bad quickly, and I hate to waste food. Second, I’m pretty lazy. Salads often require a lot of slicing and dicing, and when I’m hungry, that’s the last thing I want to be worrying about. On top of all that, salads can get pretty boring and aren’t always the most satisfying meals either.

With all of that being said, I’m determined to find a way to make this salad thing work. I’m going to think more about the ingredients I’m buying and I’m going to do my darnedest to keep my salads fun, interesting and fulfilling. I’m also going to share them here!

Without further ado, here’s today’s salad:

Warm Arugula & Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Goat Cheese, Pomegranate and Walnuts

brussels sprouts and arugula salad

Ingredients:

– shaved Brussels sprouts

– arugula

– pomegranate seeds

– chopped walnuts

– goat cheese

– Lucini’s Fig & Walnut Balsamic Dressing (just a drizzle)

If there’s one thing to notice about this salad, it’s that I I didn’t have to chop a darn thing. I bought a bag of shaved Brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s to have for dinner last night, and set aside a few to use today. I sauteed them with some olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic, and then put them on the bed of arugula. At first I wasn’t sure how this would work, but the fact that they were warm and hearty made the salad a lot more satisfying. I love arugula, so I’ve been keeping big boxes of it the fridge, and am also trying to keep a variety of fruits, nuts and cheeses on hand to toss into salads. Pomegranate seeds are definitely a new favorite of mine. They add just a bit of sweetness and some crunch.

So there you have it, the first of hopefully many salads to come.

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pomegranate & bleu arugula salad

My husband was away on business for a few days, so I thought it’d be a good time to try some new Fall recipes.

Last night I tried a new quiche recipe for dinner, but it was a total flop. Not wanting to go for takeout, I took to my fridge to see what I could drum up. The day before I made this salad from Eat Yourself Skinny for a potluck brunch (totally delicious btw!!) and still had some leftover dressing, arugula  and bleu cheese.  I used these leftover ingredients and also added some pomegranate seeds and chopped walnuts.IMG_3477

As it turned out, my disaster quiche was a blessing in disguise — the salad was delicious! I’m not one to measure much (probably why my quiche failed), but here’s my recipe for the salad. I recommend eyeballing the ingredients like I did, though I wouldn’t suggest going too crazy with the bleu cheese because it can easily overpower the other flavors.

Pomegranate & Bleu Arugula Salad:

– Baby arugula

– Crumbled bleu cheese

–  Chopped walnuts

– Pomegranate seeds

For the dressing (from Eat Yourself Skinny): 

*I used just a small drizzle of this on my salad. You can cut the recipe down or keep the leftovers in the fridge for future salads.

– 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

– 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

– 3 Tbsp olive oil

– Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Beautiful Blooms

It’s been a pretty busy springtime for me, and while I may not be keeping up with posts the way I’d like to be, I have had time to stop and smell the roses. And that’s what’s most important anyway, right?

A few weeks ago, Chris and I both had our parents in town, which gave us the opportunity take part in a few mildly touristy activities. One sunny Saturday afternoon we spent at Filoli, which is a gorgeous historic estate, surrounded by fabulously lush gardens.

Thanks to a green-thumbed mother, I learned to appreciate gardens at an early age, and was thoroughly impressed with Filoli. The gardens were filled with many bold and gorgeous blooms, which gave me a wonderful opportunity to practice with my new camera. Here are some of my favorites:

Kitty Pics: Rain, Rain, Go Away!

So it’s actually not raining today, because … you know, we only get like ten days of rain per year here in sunny California, but I found this in the camera from a few weeks ago, and just had to post it. Zoey was so fascinated with the raindrops she sat there staring at them for a good 30 minutes, which is days in kitty time. I think she thought they were some kind of wild beast that she had to catch.

Update

It’s been an especially bad week for me keeping up with things here, but I’m hoping to get everything back to normal soon. As I mentioned not too long ago, I’ve been working on another project, which I’m proud to announce has gone live. You can now read all about my Bay Area food truck musings over at truckista.com. Hopefully this will make up for the slow week … and I promise to get back on track soon!

I’m about to head to my seventh yoga class at Dharma Studio, so you can expect some updates soon. While I’m not sure I’ll be able to catch up on my daily March photos, I should have some more of those for you next week too.

Happy Friday, everyone.

March Photo a Day: A Corner of my Home

I know I’m more than a few days behind on my photos, but here’s the one for today. I’m planning to post a backlog within the next few days, when I’m not running from spin class to yoga and reading The Hunger Games in between (rough, I know).  Speaking of busy, I’m actually working on another little project that I’m hoping to show you in the next couple weeks or so. Stay tuned!

a corner of my home