May 312011

Yep, you read correctly…snow at the end of May! For Memorial Day weekend, a group of friends and I headed up to beautiful Lake Tahoe for a weekend getaway. It snowed 2 out of the 3 days we were there! Although unexpected, the snow was beautiful to watch fall and blanket the driveway and trees outside. It truly was a winter wonderland in late Spring. We spent hours playing Taboo, sang along to the live music played by our talented friends, and had a great time catching up next to the warm fire that was roaring all weekend long.

On top of all that, we had great food! Our group decided to pitch in and get enough food to make group meals throughout the trip. This time, however, we didn’t realize the idea of “enough food for everyone” also applied to spinach. Our friend, who was doing all the food shopping, got a little too much spinach for our trip (we still appreciate you shopping for all of us though, M!). This weekend opened our eyes to how huge the bags of spinach from Costco really are. And we got TWO bags, making it a total of 5 pounds of fresh spinach for our 3 day trip. (Just as a comparison, the pre-washed bags of spinach you get at Safeway or any general grocery store are only about 6 ounces each.) So, needless to say, we had to get creative with spinach once we realized we had more than enough.

Luckily, spinach is incredibly good for you, so instead of looking back on it as a bad thing, I’d like to think that it was really great that we ate so much spinach over the weekend! We had mounds of spinach salad, spinach in our sanwhiches for lunch, and a heaping pot of sauteed spinach for dinner. Let’s remember that spinach is an antioxidant, and it also helps fight heart disease and cancer. And among other things, it’s also a good source of fiber and vitamin C! Plus, I’m pretty sure it was the nutrients from the spinach that gave us all the energy to hike Eagle Rock in Tahoe City. Eagle Rock is actually a dormant volcano, and it’s about a 1.5 mile hike to the top. From the top, you can see a panoramic view of the lake, a bird’s eye view of the trees and cabins below, and all the snowy mountains that surround the area. We trekked through the snow to get up there, and the view was so impressively breathtaking. We sat for a while at the top and took our time to eat our lunches while enjoying the fresh air and gorgeous scenery. What a great trip!

View of Lake Tahoe from the top of Eagle Rock (in May!)

Our group at the top of Eagle Rock!

And to continue the trend of eating spinach (and to remind everyone that spinach is a great component to any healthy diet), here is a very simple, yet delicious spinach recipe. This salad is light, sweet, crunchy, and creamy all in one bite. The dressing is simple to make and adds a tangy flavor to the entire dish. Enjoy!

Pear and Blue Cheese Spinach Salad
1/2 Bartlett Pear (This is enough for about 1-2 servings. Add more if you are making a bigger salad.)
Fresh Baby Spinach
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Candied Walnuts

Simple Dressing
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Teaspoons mustard (either Dijon or spicy brown)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Slice up the pear into bite size pieces. On a bed of spinach, add the cut up pears. Sprinkle crumbled blue cheese and candied walnuts over the top of the salad. For the dressing, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Drizzle over salad. Enjoy!

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  7 Responses to “A Weekend Filled with Spinach and Snow”

  1. We would’ve made Popeye proud! Great post, Steph!

  2. That salad looks amazing – but I’d have to replace the blue cheese with goat cheese. Blue cheese makes me so nauseous I feel like I have to lie down if I accidentally ingest it.

    • Yes, goat cheese is so amazing!! It actually took some time for me to appreciate blue cheese, but now I love it! And it’s actually funny because I was going to use crumbled gorgonzola for this recipe but the store was all out! Goat, blue, and gorgonzola are all nice and creamy, so any would work for this salad!

  3. This looks great!! I love salads and its always nice to find a new recipe to mix it up. I love the apples in waldorf salads and using pears in this salad also sounds delicious. What a perfect recipe for summer with all the fresh fruits and veggies everywhere. Thanks!

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