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Tuesday dinner with Lost in Cheeseland

By Ann | October 23, 2012

I’ve always thought of salads as insubstantial, not something to make in the evening, which is when I eat my largest meal. So when Lindsey from Lost in Cheeseland sent me her spinach salad recipe for Tuesday dinner, I immediately started planning the snack I’d eat two hours later. But to my surprise, her version was so packed with wholesome, satisfying ingredients that I left the table feeling simultaneously virtuous and well-nourished.

 

Here are some things Lindsey loves: baking and eating cookies, drinking coffee (especially at Télescope Café!), and a good balade around Paris. She is a writer and blogger who contributes regularly to the T magazine website. She also maintains a gorgeous blog where she shares tips on Paris, bonnes adresses, as well as stories about being an American expat in France. She lives in Paris with her often-hungry, rock-climbing French husband, Cédric, their kitty Cali, and — if today’s recipe is any indication — a refrigerator full of fresh, crisp salad greens…

Salad Tuesdays
by Lindsey Tramuta

It’s no secret that I enjoy baking — everything from cookies and brownies to muffins and sweet breads — but in the last year I’ve hit a wall when it comes to cooking. Be it from an ever demanding work schedule during the week or depleted culinary inspiration, I’ve been more interested in dining out than making something fresh at home. My husband’s hectic work week does not generally lend itself to elaborate cooking either so we aim for simple but hearty (he is always ravenous by the time he walks through the door!). Tuesday night is slightly less chaotic than Monday but not enough to make us want to spend too much time in the kitchen!

Salads, either with mixed greens, grains or pasta, are our go-to meals when we don’t feel like investing too much time into what we make. We pack them full of vegetables and protein to keep us sated and have a loaf of bucheron (country bread) on hand to pair with a slice of aged Comté for dessert. The ingredients we include vary by season but this summer that often included spinach, grilled peppered chicken, crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, crushed walnuts and a basil vinaigrette. This recipe below is a slight variation for autumn!

  

Early Autumn salad

Note: As Lindsey says, “quantities are hardly an exact science” and, in fact, that’s the beauty of this recipe — you can mix and match with whatever you have on hand. I did love her secret ingredient — wheat germ — which adds a warm, toasty flavor and satisfying crunch. “Toasting it brings out the nutty flavor which is great atop salads like this one,” says Lindsey. “But if blending within a recipe, it’s best untoasted since it’s quite bland.” I learned the hard way to be very careful when toasting the stuff — it burns in a flash. If you have any browned nuts, wheat germ and honey left over, they make a delicious breakfast topping for Greek yogurt.

Serves two

Sliced chicken breasts, grilled with olive oil and herbs (or hard boiled eggs if we don’t have chicken on hand)
About 8 ounces of spinach
1/4-1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup sliced toasted walnuts or pecans
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup Honey-balsamic vinaigrette
Optional: Wheat germ sprinkled once salad has been tossed

This is Cali and she approves this recipe.

(All non-salad photos, courtesy of Lindsey Tramuta. Photo of Lindsey, credit Ashley Ludaescher.)

P.S. More Tuesday dinner 

Topics: Tuesday dinner | 23 Comments »

23 Responses to “Tuesday dinner with Lost in Cheeseland”

  1. Marika Ujvari Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I will definitely make this salad today!!! It looks and sounds delish.

  2. Lindy Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Ah the egg question. It’s funny, but only since moving to rural France have I embraced the egg again. A proper organic outdoor egg cannot be beaten. When I’m forced to buy them in London I only use them for baking.

    And this is a timely recipe. It gets me out of the rut of Salade Nicoise. Thank you for posting it.

  3. Jenny Beaumont Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Yum! There was a long time in my life when I was feeling tired a lot…then I thought about what I was eating and realized that I wasn’t getting enough protein! And yes egg is a great alternative…have to laugh @Lindy’s comment “A proper organic outdoor egg cannot be beaten” ha! Pun intended?

    Thanks for sharing Ann & Lindsey!

  4. Jeanne Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    I love a nice hearty salad for dinner. If I add eggs, tuna or some type of meat, nuts and cheese, I feel satisfied. I also like to have some delicious crusty bread to go along with it. Too bad my husband is not convinced that a salad can be dinner.

  5. Bobbi Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Yes, salad, of course, but oh that cookie…

  6. parisbreakfast Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Salade compose is perfect for dinner..
    Oh why did I make a spinach omelet for breakfast?
    Cali is adorb

  7. Camille Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    We’re big fans of the “big salad” in our house, too. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends of cheese and charcuterie, as well as lots of healthy vegetables. In the winter, I top them with something hot, like poached eggs, roasted potatoes, or caramelized onions. Yum! Thanks, Lindsey and Ann, for getting me excited about salads all over again!

  8. katy Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    I love salads for dinner. When I lived alone, I used to eat crunchy Finnish crackers with cheese or hummus and a big bowl of greens with whatever I had on hand. I never thought to add wheat germ, though!

    And despite not being a cat person at all, Cali looks very sweet! Such inquisitive eyes!

  9. Kat Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    I, too, might have to give salads a second chance after reading this :)

  10. CK Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    I was stuck in a mindset of salads really only being appropriate during summer — or maybe late spring. So this is a welcome innovation. But one note: every season is cookie season!

  11. CK Says:
    October 23rd, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    And for what it’s worth, on the egg issue: I find it interesting that I eat far more eggs in France than I do in the United States, and far more shrimp in the United States than I do in France.

  12. Mardi (eat. live. travel. write) Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Love this series. Love Lindsey. Love Cali. And yes, that salad looks amazing. Wish I had had one for my own dinner!

  13. Emma Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 4:57 am

    Nice! I love massive salads, they’re one of my favourite things to eat. I love the simple structure of this salad and the ingredients can’t be beaten (and I would definitely choose hard boiled eggs!).

    Cute lil kitty too :)

  14. Abigail Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Salads always get my vote. (Side note: when traveling cheaply in France, sometimes Romain and I long for the realiable old American Supermarket salad bar.) An wheat germ? Love that idea! I confess I love it in smoothies but never thought to add it to a salad.

  15. Ann Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Mariki — I hope you enjoyed it! I loved the spinach leaves, which I rarely eat raw.

    Lindy — I just bought my first eggs at the Farmer’s Market and your comment is making me feel very virtuous indeed! Do you have your own hens?

    Jenny — Sometimes I can’t figure out why I’m really hungry, and then I realize it’s because I haven’t had any protein. And, love that you spotted Lindy’s pun — eagle eyes (ha ha!).

    Jeanne — I bet Lindsey’s salad could make him a convert — especially with a lovely slice of Gruyère to fill in the corners.

    Bobbi — I KNOW! Lindsey’s cookies and brownies are outrageous.

    ParisBreakfast — Oh, but a spinach omelette also sounds delicious. And, yes, I’m in love with Cali!

    Camille — Ah, the Big Salad — great reference! I love your ideas for wintry hot toppings. Actually, I bet the three of them would be pretty delicious together.

  16. Ann Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Katy — I love those crunchy Finnish crackers! And I’m impressed with your very healthy secret single foods. When I lived alone I ate a lot of grilled cheese made on the waffle iron. ;)

    Kat — It’s a great combination! I especially loved the toasted nuts and wheat germ, which really made the salad lively and fun (to me).

    Mardi — I love the versatility of Lindsey’s salad. And I bet it would pair beautifully with one of the gorgeous savory tarts I see on your blog!

    Emma — Yes, it’s so simple but satisfying! I think the spinach adds a certain leafy savor as well.

    Abigail — Wheat germ, I know — what a discovery for me. I’m planning on adding it to cookies, too!

  17. Shut Up & Cook Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    Love a good hearty salad, although admittedly whenever I tell my husband we’re having salad for dinner he then looks at me and asks, “but what are we having for *dinner* dinner?”

    This might do the trick though, so am excited to give it a try!

  18. Voie de Vie Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I definitely give the dinner salad short shrift, but with Camille’s yummy suggestion of some added carmelized onions, I think I might give this a whirl.

    Oh, and Cali is tres parfait!

  19. Lindsey Says:
    October 24th, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    Shut up & Cook – I have the SAME conversation with my husband but as long as there’s enough bread and cheese on the side to go with it, he’s usually satisfied :)

    Thanks for having me, Ann!

  20. Lil Says:
    October 25th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    i love salad and i love eggs – the boy at home, on the contrary. he’s starting to eat more eggs but if we’re having salad for dinner, same convo too! like lindsey, good thing there’s bread and cheese to the rescue. and some gazpacho too during warmer months.

  21. Ann Says:
    October 25th, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Shut Up & Cook — I think *all* husbands/boyfriends might be cut from the same cloth! But as Lindsey says, the cheese and bread really help.

    Voie de Vie — I say the more stuff in the salad, the better!

    Lindsey — Thanks for stopping by! I loved sharing your recipe — and kitty!

    Lil — Gazpacho is a wonderful idea. And I just read a recipe for sangrita — a combination of tomato and orange juices and chili that pairs with tequila — sounds dangerously good (though not sure about satisfying).

  22. Andi Says:
    October 26th, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    We eat salad almost every night during the week, with and without soup, so I am always looking for new ones and I adore Lindsey!

  23. Andrea aka @3samovar Says:
    October 27th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    great idea for this series and I love that you have a link to pinterest!

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