Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Berry Blue Cheese Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing!

As much as I LOVE sweets, and baking them and eating them.  That indulgence is usually reserved for the weekends.  During the week I'm trying my best to stick to healthy eating.  It's also very important for the Warfarin drug therapy that I'm on to maintain a consistent level of greens intake, as the my levels can drastically fluctuate if I change my diet.  During Christmas vacation was a perfect example, as my INR rate went as super high - 3.1!.  Usually my issue is that it is stuck really low, but that is because the amount of vitamin K in the form of leafy greens (kale, spinach, parsley, green tea) I consume on a daily basis.  I had taken time off to stay with the kids while they didn't have school, and without my routine of work, and healthy eating, the sweets got the better of me.  
I'm back on track now, but I have to remember how potentially dangerous this could be!  My prescription is based on my specific drug needs.  So not eating properly, not only affects my diet and weight-loss goals, but has life threatening consequences.  The trick is finding the salads that keep me on track, and keep my palate from getting bored.  
What I love about this salad is that the delicious Maple Balsamic dressing, paired with fresh and/or dried berries, even curbs my cravings for sweets; so hopefully I don't reach for a(nother) treat!

Berry Blue Cheese Salad
I usually just make this as a single serving salad, measurements are approximate and easy to double or play with according to personal taste.

2-3 cups mixed spring greens
1/4 cup or handful blackberries
2-3 strawberries, hulled and sliced or chopped
1-2 Tablespoons Blue cheese, crumbled ( I used Bleu D'Auvergne from Janice Beaton - Yum!)
1/8 cup  or small handful raw walnuts
1/8 cup or small handful dried berry mix (blueberries, cranberries, cherries), Optional

Using a small salad bowl, add pre-washed mixed greens, and a handful of blackberries (or blueberries!), chopped strawberries, followed by blue cheese, walnuts, and dried berries, topped with a Tablespoon or two of the Maple Balsamic Dressing!

Maple Balsamic Dressing
This dressing is a perfect compliment to the greens and sweet berries in this salad, if you don't have the time, and happen to be a Superstore or No Frills shopper, try President's Choice Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.  It's a great alternative to my homemade dressing.

1 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Add all ingredients into a jar, or container (make sure it seals well) and shake! Voila!

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