A summer spinach on salad.

I am cilantro lover and I don’t care who knows it. To all you freaks out there that say it tastes like soap: shut up.

If you are one of those freaks, there’s a very good chance you’re genetically predisposed to dislike it, and you’re not just a picky eater. If this information comes as a sigh of relief and you desire proper paperwork to display as an alibi at cilantro-heavy food events, I present you a solution: You can pay California-based geneticists at 23andMe an easy, one-time payment of $199 to analyze your genome. Scientific data proving that you’re not just an asshole who hates the greatest herb in existence may be worth the investment.

My only beef with cilantro is that when I purchase it from the grocery store, a majority of it goes to waste. Every trip to the garbage can broke my heart. With this overwhelming guilt weighing on my conscience, there needed to be another option. I set out to do something different. Something new. Something that challenged me to grow. So, I started a little herb garden.

I confess, I didn’t germinate the seeds myself in cute little half egg shells because a. I didn’t realize this was a step in the gardening process, b. every time I crack an egg, my skills rival those of a 3-year-old baking brownies for the first time with limited adult supervision, and c. I’m lazy. With that said, I did pick out the pre-grown herbs based on how pretty they were from Home Depot. In my opinion, this decision making process requires a similar level of expertise.

My pre-grown plant babies were growing so well until I left them to celebrate my independence for the 4th. That’s when the war on herb took off. My basil unleashed its power and drained the nutrients from the soil, leaving my cilantro as nothing but a skeleton of the life it could have had.

~*~ RIP Cilantro 2016-2016 ~*~

Needless to say, the recipe below does not include cilantro. I wish I was sorry about my prior rant, but I feel enlightened. I may or may not be projecting my green thumb failures on you.

I found a recipe on Pinterest for “THE BEST strawberry salad dressing.” It called for 4 ingredients total and I was like, “Oh? I can count to four.” I made a few adjustments to the recipe and a salad was born.

Fruit is in season, y’all, and it’s cheap AF. I bought two pints of strawberries and two pints of blueberries for less than $5. My frugal heart started growling and my stomach skipped a beat. I eat fruit parfaits nearly every morning. Cutting fruit up at the beginning of the week to be easily accessible in the mornings  finally gives me something besides coffee to add to the pros list of getting out of bed.

Here’s what you’ll need to add to your grocery list…

For 2 servings of the dressing (I doubled the recipe originally and now have way too much dressing):

  • 4 large strawberries
  • 1/3 c. Canola oil (or other oil mild in flavor)
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 2 tbsp. Mirin (alternative: white wine vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. Rice vinegar (dismiss if you used above alternative)

For Salad:

  • Pint strawberries, washed and chopped
  • Pint blueberries, washed (or don’t wash if you’re feeling dangerous or exceedingly lazy)
  • Spinach (I got a giant container for $5 at my grocery store)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • Feta cheese (optional but delicious)
  • Grilled chicken breast or thighs
  • Fresh basil, chopped (also optional but deliciouser)
    1. First things first, you’re gonna wanna wash your produce and cook yo chicken. Chicken breasts were on sale for 1.99/lb and $7 essentially got me the breasts of Hulk if he were a chicken. I grilled my chicken. And by grilled, I mean I dried every ounce of moisture out of the breasts because I’m a novice griller and left the breasts on the grill for about 10 minutes too long.
    2. If you take another breast-cooking route, I encourage you to make the dressing while they cook. Simply add all of the ingredients to a food processor/blender and blend until smoove.
    3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, chop the strawberries, onion, basil and chicken.
    4. Put the spinach on your most photogenic plate and top it with everything.
    5. Cry because it’s so colorful and pretty. Dry your eyes, snap a pic, Instagram it, and tag me so I can see your interpretation.


Cool statements about this recipe:

  • You can make any changes you want! Like romaine? Ditch the spinach! Hate everything about blueberries? Add a different fruit. Love nuts? Oh my god, add all the nuts. Into goat cheese? You’ve goat to be kiddin’ me.
  • It’s light enough to make you feel good about your food choices and heavy enough to leave you full and happy.
  • This salad can very easily be turned into a vegan, vegetarian or dairy-free one.
  • The dressing tastes like it belongs on an ice cream sundae and would probably be pretty good on it.
  • If you pack it to bring in to work with you, you’ll finally have a reason to use those cute little tupperware containers.

If you read this and decide this salad is for you, then you’re very good at reading and have fantastic taste. The video below is what I’ll leave you with as inspiration. I encourage you listen and expand your music knowledge while you chop the strawberries.

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