Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Spectacular Spinach Salad

In my teens and early twenties, when I pictured eating supper with my future husband and kids, it would look something like a Norman Rockwell painting.  Everyone sitting around the table, sharing their day, chuckling at the antics of the kids ("Oh, you little scamps!") and enjoying a delicious, homemade meal together.  I wouldn't be in pearls, heels and a beehive but there would be 'oohs' and 'mmm-mmm good's' as my family dug into the meal that I spent the afternoon happily preparing.  This meal would be followed up with the kids offering to clean up the dishes so I could sit down and relax.  Bliss.  And, honestly, not very realistic.  And that's ok.
Zip ahead 20 years and things are great. I am truly blessed.  My family is fabulous ... but not exactly Rockwellian.  Sure, we sit around the table and laugh our butts off about our days and eat good food but .... not everyone's idea of 'good food' is the same in our house.  Brad and I adore grilled salmon, roasted veggies and potatoes.  The kids prefer hamburgers, macaroni, 'breakfast for supper' and spaghetti.  Our bellies like different things.  And differences make the world a better place, right?  Except at my supper table.  I'd rather have all of our bellies in synch.
I put the word 'spectacular' in the title of this salad because it is truly delicious and, well, spectacular started with an 'S'.  But I'm also pretty sure it also has magical qualities.  See, Brad and I love spinach but all three of my kids are not on the spinach bandwagon.  Not even close.  And yet ... they ate this salad without whining, without pushing the spinach to the edges of their plate in an attempt to 'camouflage it' (a technique which I constantly tell my kids that I invented back in 1979) or without continually asking 'how many more bites do I have to have?'.  Our five bellies all agreed on a dish with spinach in it?!
Honestly?  It kind of freaked me out.
I sat there quietly watching my kids eating their salad with my 'Mom Squinty Eye' trying to figure out what the heck was going on.  Was I being Punk'd?  Was Ashton Kutcher going to walk out of my pantry with a video crew?  What was going ON?
Sure, my kids weren't fans of the mushrooms (it's spectacular and magical, not all-powerful) but they ate it fairly willingly.  And that made me happy more than I care to admit.  But I will gladly take what I can get because I love 'em and I know that someday in the future they will look back at all of the food that I happily and lovingly prepared for their wee bodies and know that they were pretty lucky.  I'd rather that day come sooner than later but what can y'do?
On the other hand, another part of me kind of wishes that I could see into my kids' futures as they sit down with their spouses and kids. Sharing their days and breaking bread together.  And, if I'm being truly honest, I hope that their kids give them a little flack for the spinach that they serve up so that my kids can get a little taste of karma.
Because I'm banking on the fact that karma tastes pretty darn good too. ;)


4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced thinly
6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
6 cups baby spinach leaves, stems removed
2 cups croutons
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced

1 small onion, chopped
2/3 cups white sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Prepare dressing:  Place all dressing ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.  Store extra/leftover salad dressing in the fridge for up to a week.

Place hard-boiled egg slices, bacon, spinach, croutons and mushroom slices into a large bowl.  Just before serving, drizzle salad dressing over salad.  Serve immediately.

Source: Allrecipes.com (Bermuda Spinach Salad)

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