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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spinach Salad with Beets, Asparagus, Caramelized Onions, Lentils, and Feta

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A few weeks ago a representative from Melissa's Produce sent me an email offering me the opportunity to try a few of their products. I'd never actually heard of the company, but I'm not one to turn down free food...especially when it comes in the form of produce, which typically makes up the bulk of my grocery bill (that and butter, sugar, and flour)! Imagine my surprise, then, when a box arrived filled with beets, lentils, freekeh (a new-to-me grain that I'll be posting about soon), quinoa, shallots, dried cranberries, and more! Not only does Melissa's supply produce, but their product line is actually huge.

The items arrived right before I left on business travel, and when I came home I was caught up in work and school and getting back in the swing of things...meaning I didn't really have any plans in place for some of this food. As it turns out, no plans were needed. I threw together some of Melissa's products with some of the stuff I already had on hand. I had no idea how it would turn out and even went so far as to warn Ryan that dinner might not be good. I couldn't have been more wrong! We both loved these salads! The flavors and textures worked together wonderfully and we both dominated huge platefuls of the salad. My favorite part? The fact that both the beets and lentils that Melissa's Produce sent were already cooked, meaning less work for me! If you go that route (you can buy products straight from their site if they don't have them in stores near you), you can have dinner ready in less than thirty minutes (depending on how caramelized you want your onions).
Have you ever bought pre-cooked beets? This is my first time ever cooking with beets (I always order them in restaurants but never want to roast my own, so this was perfect!!) and now I can't wait to do more with them!

One Year Ago: Strawberry, Mango, Avocado Salad (an all-time favorite)
Two Years Ago: Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Pancakes

Spinach Salad with Beets, Asparagus, Caramelized Onions, Lentils, and Feta
*adjust quantities for number of salads you want
-fresh spinach
-beets, cooked and chopped into small pieces
-asparagus spears, cooked and cut into one-inch pieces
-caramelized onions (cut onion into strips and cook in butter or olive oil over low heat for 30+ minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and soft)
-lentils, cooked
-balsamic vinaigrette (I recommend the one from this salad)

1. Assemble spinach on plates or in bowls. Top with beets, asparagus, onions, lentils, and feta. Drizzle with desired amount of balsamic vinaigrette.