Monday, April 8, 2013

It's Spring: How About Some Crunches?

Don't panic, I'm not talking about exercises for your abs. No delusions of six-pack grandeur here!
By "crunch," I meant crispy greens-- salads. There is something about spring that begs for them.
But salads don't always have to be iceberg lettuce and quartered tomatoes drenched with ranch dressing. Salads can be a fun,  interesting, colorful (and healthful) combination of tangy and sweet. 
Like this one that's a favorite in the Calvert household:

Berry, Glazed Walnut & Goat Cheese Salad

Gather your ingredients: fresh spring mix greens, walnuts, berries (I used organic strawberries and black berries here) some mild goat cheese (you can substitue Feta or Bleu if you prefer), and a nice poppyseed dressing (this one was mango poppyseed). If you like a little tang, add a thinly sliced green onion. 

To "glaze" the walnuts (or pecans), simply melt butter, add some brown sugar, small pinch of salt, and the nuts, stir over medium-low heat until coated and a bit browned. So yummy!

Top the chilled greens with the berries, chunks of cheese, glazed nuts, and a drizzle of  dressing. Then add a slice of lightly buttered whole grain bread, and Voila! A simple Spring Crunch--no gym clothes required.

 And now, just for fun, here's a tiny snippet from my (ready to release any day now!) newest novel,
Rescue Team. Our hero, Wes Tanner, takes nurse Kate Callison out for dinner--a romantic spot with a view of the Austin skyline:

“You’re lost in thought,” Wes said, bringing Kate’s attention back.

“No,” she said in a hurry. “Only remembering how much of this amazing city I’ve discovered, thanks to you.”

She glanced toward the window again. “That shoreline down there—with Stevie Ray Vaughn himself—the capitol, those crazy food trailers and Lake Austin.” Where we kissed.

His eyes met hers and Kate felt her face flush. “And now this spot,” she added, glancing across the casually upscale oak-and-brick dining room toward a lively bar offering spotted cowhide stools. And, in summer, apparently the city’s best view of the famous Congress bridge bats. “It’s great.”

He pointed to her empty salad plate. “You were just surprised to find Humboldt Fog goat cheese this far from California.”


Kate smiled at him, feeling the same persistent quiver that had begun at Wes’s arrival on her doorstep tonight. It wasn’t so much that he’d looked different, though he certainly did: jacket and dress shirt paired casually with nice jeans and boots, and an enticing hint of a scent that had nothing to do with horses. It wasn’t that he’d left his “Got Water?” truck behind in favor of a comfortable sedan—something she greatly appreciated with her clingy dress and heels. And the quivers didn’t even spring from the way Wes kept a protective hand at the small of her back when they crossed the street to this restaurant. The truth was that they came from the sense that tonight was different. Because I’ve never known a man like him. 

There you go, salad with a side of romance.

What's your favorite salad? Does goat cheese make you say, "Baaaaa"? Or is a fave for you as well?  Do tell!

Happy reading and Bon appetit!


Anonymous said...

Love the snippet of romance, you can keep the goat cheese tho off my salad!

Jessica R. Patch said...

Okay, the salad and the book look super yummy! :) I love reading your novels and your delicious recipes, Candace!

Ann Revell Street said...

Love goat cheese and the salad looks so good!

Connie said...

Salad looks good. I'd have to leave off the strawberries since I'm allergic. Maybe add some peaches or blueberries. I can take or leave goat cheese.

CandaceCalvert said...

Yes, goat cheese is an acquired taste--I'm a bit picky about it myself. I like it to be mild in flavor, and have recently discovered this one:

CandaceCalvert said...

Hey, Jessica! Great to see you here, friend. Still smile remembering the fun time I had with your book group.

CandaceCalvert said...

Ann! It's one of my very fave salads, though I like the plain poppyseed dressing rather than the mango for some reason. And sometimes I like bleu cheese in place of goat. LOL, I look at the picture and realize I had WAY more fruit/nut goodies than greens.

CandaceCalvert said...

Connie: strawberries are such a problem for many people. I'm oddly allergic to raw apples and raw carrots. No problem with carrot cakes or apple pie though, LOL! Thanks for stopping by the blog.