Goat Cheese & Spiced Walnuts Salad w/Mustard Vinaigrette

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    Being out of town this week has really thrown my diet and eating schedule for a loop. While I love to go out of town and go on vacation, I always end up splurging and eating like a cow. What can I say? I’m a foodie and I love trying new places to eat. That’s actually one of my favorite parts of going on vacation or out of town: eating, haha

    I really have some clean eating to do this month..or what’s left of this month. And what better than to stuff my face with greens, goat cheese, and walnuts? Oh, oh, I forgot about the amazing salad dressing that is paired with this healthy salad. Homemade salad dressing is so much better than store bought..and it lasts FOREVER. Well, for a LONG time. But, for me, when I made this, it didn’t last very long. I brought it to work and kept it in the fridge here and used it every day. It’s so flavorful and I loved how easy it was to make.

    Did I mention that this salad dressing also congeals pretty badly the longer you have it? Haha, mine ended up looking like cholesterol in a jar or fat in a jar. But no worries, nothing wrong with it, I stuck mine on the heater at work (yeah, our heaters are STILL ON) and it un-congealed and it was all liquid gold again. Liquid gold, mmmmm.

    Nuts. Who doesn’t like nuts? Specifically spiced nuts. Spiced walnuts. It smelled like Christmas in my house. Who doesn’t love Christmas in May? Haha, it was kind of weird, I have to admit. I felt like I was walking the streets of NYC and smelling those fragrant nuts.

    ANYWAY. I know I’m going off on crazy tangents right now. I’m trying to listen in on a conference call while trying to write about a salad. I hope I don’t say nuts or liquid gold during this call..

    Goat Cheese & Spiced Walnuts Salad w/Mustard Vinaigrette

    This salad is perfect for clean eating, and the dressing is so flavorful!
    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Cook Time: 10 mins
    Total Time: 20 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 2
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    Ingredients

    For the salad:

    • 2 cups pre-washed baby spinach
    • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled

    For the dressing:

    • 2 tsp garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp shallots, minced
    • 2 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
    • 2 tsp dried oregano
    • 2 tsp dried parsley
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
    • 1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese

    For the spiced walnuts:

    • 1 cup walnuts
    • 2 tbsp butter, melted
    • 5 tbsp granulated sugar
    • 1 tbsp cinnamon
    • 1 tsp nutmeg

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
    • Place salad ingredients in a large bowl.
    • In mason jar, add in all the ingredients for the salad dressing and shake vigorously.
    • For the spiced walnuts, in a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Then melt butter in a microwave safe bowl then add in walnuts and stir to coat. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Pour the nut mixture on parchment paper and spread out evenly. Bake for 10 minutes.
    • To assemble the salad, add walnuts on the spinach and goat cheese. Using a spoon, spoon on dressing to desired amount.
    • Keep salad dressing in the refrigerator when done.

    Notes

    Source: Dressing from What's Gaby Cooking?

     

  • 15 Comments
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
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    Comments

  • Kathryn says:

    Haha, you’re so funny! Love that you were writing this on a conference call. This looks a great salad, definitely feeling the need for some clean eating right now.

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel says:

    ha you crack me up. It’d be funny and awful if you slipped up while on the call! :)

  • Bev @ Bev Cooks says:

    Spiced walnuts. My HEART.

  • Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray says:

    Iiiiiii love spiced nuts. TWSS?

    • Julie says:

      Definitely TWSS ;)

  • Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says:

    What a great summer salad, Julie! I love, love, love walnuts in my salad and your mustard vinaigrette sounds so flavorful too. Have a happy weekend, lovely lady! :)

  • Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says:

    Yay for clean eating! I somehow managed to gain 10 lb despite the fact that I run 5 miles a day. I think all the baked goods finally caught up with me.

  • Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks says:

    Julie, this salad looks amazing! I love the idea of spiced nuts; I’ve never had them so I will have to give them a try. Have a great weekend!

  • Stephanie says:

    haha One of my favorite things to do while travelling is to eat as well. And afterwards, I feel like I can’t eat for a week! Good thing your salad and dressing are light.

  • claire @ the realistic nutritionist says:

    Oh Julie t his is gorgeous!!

  • Ali @ Gimme Some Oven says:

    Mmmm….I LOVE spiced nuts! And this dressing sounds amazing! :)

  • amy @ fearless homemaker says:

    oh wow, this salad looks awesome, especially with the goat cheese + spiced nuts. YUM!

  • Baking Serendipity says:

    Salad is a total start-over meal in my house too. Usually, I make it because I know that it’ll get me back in a healthy mind-set, but only tolerate it. This would be the exception! I love all the flavors :)

  • Cassie says:

    We have been eating tons of salads lately. And I can’t even remember the last time that I ate store-bought salad dressing. It’s so hard to go back after making homemade, it’s just so much better. My mother-in-law always puts grainy mustard in her vinaigrette and I love it. And goat cheese on salad=winner!

  • Laurie says:

    What a classic and yummy salad. I love the addition of a spicy walnut. And the mustard vinaigrette.. yumm!!

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