Is it too basic for me to be posting a salad recipe on the day before January 1st? Am I a cliché? Actually, is there even anyone out there reading? Or are you all at some fancy hotel hob-knobbing with important people and sipping champagne from diamond-crusted crystal flutes? Bueller? Bueller?
Just in case there is someone else out there with NYE plans similar to mine (yoga pants, binge watching The Good Wife [Team Logan forever!], 9pm bedtime), I thought I’d do a little rambling on about new year’s resolutions. Tis the season to completely overhaul your life! And I am not even a little bit immune to the appeal of a freshly minted year.
Does anyone else feel like 2016 is going to be our year? I mean, I always have this nice, sparkly clean, hopeful feeling going into a new year, but something feels particularly rosy about this new year. Like this is going to be my year. And I’ve heard that from many of my friends, too. It feels like there is a collective optimism about 2016 that hasn’t quiet been around in years past. I love it! 2016 is overflowing with potential, and I’m excited to try to grab my little piece of it.
Last year was probably the first time in my entire three decades on this planet that I didn’t set New Year’s Resolutions. I know resolutions take a lot of flack, but I actually think it’s super healthy to take time each year to evaluate where you are with your life and set some goals moving forward. But last year, I decided to give myself a break while I was still in the midst of adjusting to motherhood (still am, but really was in deep adjustment period last year). Instead of setting specific goals, I set an intention word for my year–fearless.
Choosing a word to guide my year instead of specific goals was an excellent decision. I tried to live fearlessly throughout 2015, and I am in a much happier place a year later. Fearless was the right decision for me in 2015. And because I loved having that overarching theme for my decision making, I’ve decided to choose a word for 2016 as well—simplify. I wrote all about why that word is The One (capital T, capital O) over on my Instagram account.
But now that I have my sea legs on this whole being-responsible-for-raising-a-human thing, I feel like I can return a bit to my goal-loving, resolution-setting roots. In years past, I have made these giant, long lists of personal goals. But this year, I have exactly two. Less is more, no?
The totally uninteresting part of these two goals is that they are the exact same goals that everyone else on the planet has—taking better care of myself and saving money. Literally, these are the two top New Year’s Resolutions every. single. year. Now I really am a cliché!
The financial one isn’t really a new goal, it’s something we’ve been working on in earnest for the last six months. It’s more of a keep-on-keeping on resolution. We’ve saving money. We’re paying off debt. When my husband was laid off from his job a few years back, we found ourselves in a pretty rough financial situation, and we never want to get back there. So we’re still chugging along on the straight and narrow. Slow and steady wins the financial security race.
And, of course, like the entire rest of the world, I am resolving to treat my body better in 2016. I don’t put much stock in weight anymore (a drastic change from the girl I was when I started this blog), but I do know that I feel my best when I’m about 30 pounds lighter than I am right now. I care a lot less about the number, and a lot more about how I feel. And I’ve felt not great for a while now. I want to feel great again (regardless of what weight that is at).
I’ve had a really hard time getting back to my baseline health and fitness levels since becoming a parent (there’s that nagging adjustment period thing again), and I’m ready to make another go of it. I’m trying to keep it simple this time around. I’m cutting out the coffee and the sugar—not permanently, but I do feel like I need a “reset” because my body got a wee-bit dependent on the stuff during the holiday season. I’m drinking less booze and more water. And I’m upping the veggie intake. Which means you guys are going to see more veggie recipes (at least, until I get sick of all this über healthy stuff and make some cookies—probably somewhere around Valentine’s Day).
I’m kicking my resolve to eat better off with a not-even-a-little-cliché spinach pomegranate salad. It’s packed with so much color, flavor, and nutrition! It’s almost as enjoyable as eating an entire plate of cookies and washing it down with a gallon of eggnog. Almost.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m not the biggest of salad fans—I’m definitely not one of those people who can fill a mixing bowl with lettuce and happily go to town (I’m not a rabbit!). But I do love interesting salads like this one. I love the mix of flavors and textures. And I love that there are enough hearty mix-ins that it feels like a full meal.
If you’re headed back to work, this salad is also a great candidate for a salad-in-a-jar. There is nothing in this mix that won’t hold in the fridge for days. I will say that pomegranate arils tend to turn more quickly than most produce, so I would use any pre-mades salads within three days or so.
I’ve included the instructions for layering this salad into a jar in the recipe below. Happy New Year! Let’s all rock 2016, k?
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 green onions, sliced
- Zest and juice of 2 clementines
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper, to tasted
- In a bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Set aside.
- To make the dressing, combing all the vinaigrette ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Close lid, and then shake to combine. Pour dressing over the salad and serve.