Spinach, Blueberry, and Blue Cheese Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

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I took a short break from the internet at the end of August, and I can’t believe we are into September already! But it’s still officially summer and the weather is still warm for many of us, so I thought I’d post a recipe for a fruity, cheesy salad. Salads make great light lunches on hot, humid days and it’s even more convenient when you can make them ahead of time for work or just to have handy at home. I found lots of great grab-and-go ideas in Mason Jar Salads and More by Julia Mirabella. The salads are made by layering the ingredients vertically in Mason jars (the 9781612432892.011dressing usually goes on the bottom–this salad is an exception). In addition to recipes for salad lunches, the book includes some breakfast smoothies and oatmeal you can make-and-take in mason jars, as well as other healthy lunch options that include pasta and rice. There are some snack ideas, too, and lots of great homemade vinaigrettes to try out.

I decided to make the Spinach, Blueberry, and Blue Cheese Salad and instead of using the Red Wine Vinaigrette that the original recipe calls for, I made the Blueberry Vinaigrette. I thought the blueberry-spinach combination was really good, and I loved the taste of blue cheese with it, too. The Blueberry Vinaigrette was great on this salad–it added even more blueberry flavor. If you like fruit and cheese, this salad is a great way to enjoy those mix of flavors. Some of you may not be crazy about blue cheese, so if that’s the case, you could try substituting feta cheese. This is a really easy salad to put together–hope you enjoy it!

SPINACH, BLUEBERRY, AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD WITH BLUEBERRY VINAIGRETTE from Mason Jar Salads and More

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 3 cups spinach leaves, divided
  • 1/4 cup shaved or sliced almonds
  • 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Blueberry Vinaigrette (see recipe below)
  • 1 quart-size Mason jar

Place the blueberries, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil until it is the right consistency.

Place the blueberries in the bottom of the Mason jar. Next make layers of 2 cups spinach, the almonds, and the remaining 1 cup spinach. The final layer should be the blue cheese. If you’re eating this right away, you can pour the vinaigrette over the salad and serve. If you’re storing this in the fridge for later, see below…

On top of the blue cheese, make a parchment paper cup (cut a square of parchment paper to an 8×8″ size; place it over the jar and push down to form a little cup). The edges of the parchment paper should extend beyond the edge of the jar; bend edges downward over the outside of the jar.

Pour the vinaigrette into the parchment paper cup and twist on the lid, making sure it is tight. Refrigerate until ready to eat and mix the vinaigrette in with the other ingredients in your salad. Note: !f you’re going to eat this salad on the same day you make it, you can put the dressing in the bottom of the jar and eliminate the parchment paper cup. Otherwise, the salad will last longer if the blueberries don’t sit in the dressing.

BLUEBERRY VINAIGRETTE

  • 3 Tablespoons fresh blueberries
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoons olive oil

Place the blueberries, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add the olive oil until it is the right consistency.

I love using fresh fruit in salads–it adds so much extra flavor! What fruits do you like using in your salads?

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Blueberry-Honeydew Smoothie

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Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie

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I saw this smoothie at Food.com not long ago and was kind of intrigued by the blueberry/green tea combination, wondering just what that would taste like. I had plenty of green tea on hand, some blueberries in my freezer, and … Continue reading

Corn and Blueberry Salad

ncCornBlubrySal2nm Sometimes you come across a recipe that sounds so different, you just have to try it! I love all the ingredients in this Corn and Blueberry Salad, but I never would have thought of putting them together myself! What a brilliant idea this salad is…a sweet and savory mix of lots of yummy, healthy ingredients. The sweetness of the corn complements the blueberries…and the red onion, jalapeno, and cilantro give this salad a nice savory punch. And I have to mention the cucumbers, too, that give this summery side dish a great crunchiness. All of these ingredients are marinated overnight in a slightly sweet and savory dressing, which I think would be good on a salad, too. I found this recipe at Better Homes and Gardens and I changed it slightly by adding extra blueberries–one cup just didn’t seem like enough, so I doubled it to 2 cups. I’m glad I did…I thought it was just the right amount! CORN AND BLUEBERRY SALAD slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 6 ears of fresh sweet corn, husked (or substitute 4 1/2 cups of frozen corn, unthawed)
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

In Dutch oven, bring salted water to boiling. Add fresh corn (or frozen corn, if using). Cook, covered, 5 minutes, or until tender (if using frozen corn, just cook about 2 to 3 minutes). When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cobs. In a serving bowl, combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. For dressing, in screw-top jar, combine lime juice, olive oil, honey, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and shake well to combine. Add to salad; toss. Cover and refrigerate overnight (up to 24 hours). This is such a unique way to use blueberries! What creative recipes have you used blueberries in?

Cupcakes for the 4th of July

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I’ve been seeing lots of fun patriotic-themed recipes the last few weeks, and here’s one I found at  Midwest Living that’s easy and festive…decorate white-frosted cupcakes with raspberries and blueberries for a yummy red-white-and-blue treat!

Are you making any special recipes for the 4th?

Have a safe and happy holiday!

Desserts for a Sweet Fourth of July

Here are a few yummy desserts I found over at MarthaStewart.com. All of these great photos are from Martha’s site, too. Some of these don’t involve any baking, so even if it’s really hot out you can still make some yummy no-bake treats! The Red, White, and Blue Berry Trifle (shown above), is one of the no-bake desserts, and it’s so fun and festive, even without the sparklers! (The sparklers shown are special cake sparklers, recommended for outdoor use only!)

I love these Flag Cupcakes, decorated in a simple and easy way with piped blue buttercream dots and red licorice stripes!

These Pretzel Sparklers are a lot of fun, too! All you do is melt 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate, then coat the top third of each pretzel rod with the chocolate, using a pastry brush. Cover with sprinkles, stand upright in a glass and refrigerate about 5 minutes, or until firm. You could also use white chocolate instead of semisweet chocolate and add some edible glitter to make them more sparkly if you want.

Here’s another Red, White, and Blueberry Trifle…this one is made with cream cheese; the other trifle (the first photo in the post) is made with mascarpone cheese.

These Red, White, and Blue Parfaits look cool and refreshing with their red and white striped layers!

I like the idea of using raspberries and blueberries to decorate these Fouth of July Cupcakes…such a simple and easy idea, and so pretty!

These are just a few of many ideas at MarthaStewart.com…there are 30 fun and patriotic ideas for you to take a look at!

Wishing you a sweet Fourth of July! What kinds of treats will you be making for your celebration?