travel, hike, eat. repeat.

my adventures are often on a budget… and always clumsy.

spinach salad with bacon vinaigrette


I love salad.


Sometimes I love salad.

I always love french fries. Always. And I always love pizza. Those are my two favorite foods. Sure, I jazz them up, and I pretend to be *quite* the connoisseur (a fancyschmancy way of saying, I eat them in all quantities and styles, all of the time).



If I loved salad like I love french fries and pizza (sometimes together, as one meal. I’m gross. Let’s deal with that.), I would weigh negative weight. Because right now I weigh some weight, an amount of weight. And it’s all pizza and french fries.

But it might just have happened, last night, in the heat of my kitchen, that I found a salad that I love almost as much as I love pizza and french fries.

I stepped on a scale this morning. I definitely expected to have lost all of my pizza and french fries weight overnight. I mean, I ate a large freaking salad. Alas. Apparently you have to stop eating pizza and french fries and continuously eat salad for some time for the scale to change. In fact, I had gained .3 pounds. Probably from the bacon fat I used to make the salad dressing.

And to that I say, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME, LIFE?

So, anyway, before I drool over my keyboard thinking about this salad and pizza and french fries and how now I want to eat all 3 right now, let me give you the recipe.

This salad is freakishly good. You have been warned.


They’re like big orange french fries… from the ground!

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen. It’s that salad. It’s her salad but even more on crack.

I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe nearly exactly, with some changes and editions. (1) I don’t measure things. I season and chop and dice by what looks right. (2) I added several things.

My additions:

8-10 Brussels sprouts halves (again, I eyeballed it, for what I’d want to eat)
1 large chicken breast, halved (half on last night’s salad, half on today’s)
broccoli! I love broccoli! A handful, chopped to taste, or 1 small head with as much or little of the stem as you prefer
a generous handful of sliced carrots


I used a small George Forman grill to cook my chicken breast. While the grill warmed up, I brought a small pot of water to boil. I put the Brussels sprouts in the boiling water for 4 minutes (blanching) until softened. I added the chicken to the grill (used various spices + olive oil) and placed the Brussels sprouts on the grill. I put a small coat of balsalmic vinegar + olive oil + salt, pepper & garlic on the brussels sprouts. I diced the chicken and half the Brussels sprouts and placed in the salad.

(Side note – this is an easy peasy way of making grilled, delicious brussels sprouts. I could eat this every single day. Move over pizza & french fries… to the other side of the plate!)

For the vinaigrette, I used less than 2tbl of the bacon fat, warmed it up over medium heat, threw in an amount of olive oil (again, I eyeball), balsalmic vinegar, honey, garlic, pepper, two splashes of dijon mustard and played with it until it was what I wanted.

TIP: The dressing is delicious, but you only need a very small amount to flavor your salad. Too much will be overpowering!

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