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Strawberry Spinach Salad and a Blog Award

May 17, 2012

I am delighted to be nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award, thanks to Stephanie from It’s not just about the recipe…. It’s so nice to feel that all the time I put into Spontaneous Tomato is appreciated, particularly by other food bloggers. And while we’re on the subject of appreciation, please check out It’s not just about the recipe, for many appealing and varied recipe ideas, especially for breads and baked treats!

As for the One Lovely Blog Award, the rules of the award are: 1) Display the blog award; 2) Create a link to the site that nominated you; 3) Write 7 random facts about yourself; and 4) Create some links to blogs you love!

So here goes nothing…

7 Random Facts:

  1. I’m a PhD student in Linguistics. (I don’t write much about it on here, but that’s how I spend my time when I’m not working on the blog. Although come to think about it, it should be the other way around…)
  2. This semester is my first time working as a teaching assistant for a beginning Japanese class! And it is SO MUCH FUN. I’ve taught English in Japan before, but teaching Japanese is even more challenging and enjoyable.
  3. My girlfriend’s name is Paula, and she was the brains behind Rainbow Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting. She used to make bread in her breadmaker, but now she bakes bread from scratch every weekend. So far she’s perfected baguettes, focaccia, and challah. I hope they will appear on this blog at some point…
  4. I’m afraid of riding in canoes, kayaks, or rowboats. I can handle bigger boats, though.
  5. I don’t like cooked fish. That doesn’t mean I don’t like fish; I love (cooked) shellfish, like shrimp, mussels, clams, and lobster, and I also love all kinds of raw fish in sushi, but I can’t get over the fishy taste of seared, grilled, or baked fish fillet… Perhaps you have a recipe that will convert me? But until then, it’s just not my favorite.
  6. I’m good at editing for others (anyone need to hire a freelance editor?) but bad at editing my own work; with every single blog post I struggle (and usually fail) to limit my total word count and number of photos.
  7. I don’t have a green thumb at all, so one corner of my balcony is now a sad, sad plant cemetery, with the dead remains of cilantro, Italian basil, Thai basil, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, and chives.

7 Blogs I Love: (or am just getting to know, but already love!)

  1. v:gourmet. Ruth from v:gourmet presents simple and delicious-looking vegan recipes and mouth-watering food photos.
  2. emmycooks. Emmy of Emmycooks is an inspiration to me! I don’t know how she can post a recipe EVERY DAY when I can barely produce two per week. And her recipes are all extremely approachable yet creative and healthy.
  3. Girl Cooks World. Check out this blog, by Cate, for its gorgeous photographs and truly global gluten-free recipe collection. Including many Nepali recipes, which I hope to try out!
  4. My Fancy Pantry. Shari’s love of Indian food is evident with every beautiful photograph and recipe post, and she branches out creatively from traditional Indian curries with recipes like Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza.
  5. Simply Scratch. Laurie’s blog has helpful step-by-step photographs, and delicious-looking recipes for how to make your own edibles from scratch.
  6. Everybody Likes Sandwiches. A lovely blog, by Jeannette, with an extensive and tasty-looking recipe index. I want to make ALL of these recipes!
  7. Beyond Kimchee. This cooking blog, by Holly, has beautiful photos and easy explanations for how to make a variety of Korean dishes.
  8. Pinch My Salt. Nicole’s beautiful blog, Pinch My Salt, has countless scrumptious-looking recipes, especially for appetizers, breads, and desserts. The perfect place to plan a dinner party menu.

Ok, I know that was eight, not seven, but I couldn’t narrow it down…

And because I didn’t want to leave you without a recipe, here is a simple salad idea, inspired by a winning combination that my older sister likes: strawberries and spinach. Yes, it’s strawberry season already in Santa Barbara! And this is one of my favorite salads in strawberry season, so I hope you will forgive me for posting yet another salad that involves goat cheese… Don’t worry, I won’t get carried away and post only goat cheese salads from now on; this particular combination is just so good. Promise me you’ll try it.


Strawberry Spinach Salad

Ingredients (per person):
~ 1-2 large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
~ 5-6 ripe strawberries, thinly sliced
~ 1 Tbsp. of goat cheese
~ dressing of your choice
~ pinch of pine nuts or chopped pecans

How to make it:
Scatter the sliced strawberries over the spinach leaves, and crumble the goat cheese over the salad. Add nuts if desired, and dress with a simple salad dressing, like a balsamic vinaigrette.

Related recipe posts:
> Warm Goat Cheese Salad
> End-of-summer Tomato Salad
> Shaved Fennel Salad with Strawberries and Purple Kale

29 Comments leave one →
  1. Bee permalink
    May 17, 2012 7:54 am

    Oh yum, I looove strawberry spinach salad! I’d drizzle some balsamic dressing or balsamic reduction on this and gobble it up for lunch :)

    • May 17, 2012 9:12 am

      : ) I actually used a store-bought fig and walnut balsamic dressing on it (and I have big plans to come up with a recipe for a homemade version of that dressing soon!).

  2. May 17, 2012 8:39 am

    Congrats on the award! What beautiful strawberries and salad!

  3. Food Stories permalink
    May 17, 2012 9:06 am

    Thx for connecting with me on foodbuzz. I subscribed to your blog feed and can’t wait to see what your next post will be!

  4. May 17, 2012 9:21 am

    Totally my kind of simple salad! Thanks for the blog award :) & the nice words!

  5. May 17, 2012 9:41 am

    quick, simple, but deliciously good!

    come check out our food blog!!

  6. Sandhya permalink
    May 17, 2012 11:29 am

    This is awesome, Allison, congrats! How many of these are people you met purely through your blog? Looks like you’re starting to get quite the nice following — very cool! :)

    • May 17, 2012 4:39 pm

      Thanks, Sandhya! And yeah I’d say that most people are probably finding me on here through being WordPress bloggers themselves… Finally having a facebook page is probably helping to get the word out there a little bit too. (And I’m finally posting twice a week, instead of twice a month! Yay.)

  7. May 17, 2012 3:56 pm

    This is awesome and thanks for the nomination. I love this award – such a great way to discover people, their blogs, and share the love. Again, thanks. You made my day.
    Cheers, Ruth

    • May 17, 2012 4:37 pm

      Yes, I think it’s a really nice way to show each other some mutual blog appreciation, and get to know some new blogs! I had fun coming up with this post, and I’m glad it made your day : )

  8. May 17, 2012 9:02 pm

    Thank you so much! What a nice compliment. Especially coming from you, since I enjoy your blog so much. I already know and love some of these blogs and look forward to checking out the rest!

    • May 19, 2012 11:51 am

      Of course! I thought of your blog right away, and was hoping that no one would beat me to nominating you for the award : )

  9. May 17, 2012 9:49 pm

    This is a simple delightful salad. I love the addition of strawberries.

    • May 19, 2012 11:52 am

      Yes, it’s soooo delicious. Especially when the strawberries are ripe and super sweet.

  10. May 18, 2012 10:06 am

    Hi Allison, Congrats on your blog award! Well-deserved. :) Thank you for leaving a comment for me earlier this week. It’s always nice to hear from people who visit my blog. Your strawberry spinach salad looks lovely, and perfect for Spring. I’m trying to eat more salad at lunch, and this will be nice to try. Have a nice weekend!

    • May 19, 2012 11:56 am

      Thank you for commenting on my blog, too! I was happy to find your blog since it’s such a great resource for Japanese food, and so far I’m better at eating Japanese food than at making it. : )

  11. May 21, 2012 9:49 pm

    My ten year old son has become our salad maker and he never neglects adding the strawberries–we’ve been treated to some interesting combinations, but this one looks just plain superior. I think I would sometimes substitute blueberries. But I am a blueberry fanatic. Thanks for the great idea.

    • May 21, 2012 11:13 pm

      That’s so cute! I’d like to hear about some of his other combinations… It’d be awesome to have the freedom of creativity in the kitchen when still only ten…

  12. May 22, 2012 1:46 am

    Congrats Allison and thanks for dropping by my blog earlier. Cheers!

  13. May 31, 2012 6:46 am

    Congrats on the award! this particular recipe is one of the most interesting salad recipes i’ve come across….would love to try it out.
    great going…cheers!


  1. The FFIT Life
  2. Shaved Fennel Salad with Strawberries & Purple Kale « spontaneous tomato
  3. Grilled Apricots with Arugula and Burrata « spontaneous tomato
  4. Fig and Walnut Balsamic Vinaigrette « spontaneous tomato

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