Let’s take a trip.
Pack your bags. We are outta here.
I am craving warm weather, especially with Mother Nature finally showing her pleasant side. She has finally graced us with a pretty good stint of warm weather.
Only to have snow and a lovely high on 47 degrees today. Mother Nature you are a piece.
This past weekend was absolutely gor-ge-ous here in KC. I mean like flip flops, shorts, sun dress wearing weather. I think every single human being was beaming with giddiness as the sun kissed their cheeks. I know I was.
Friday evening we hit up one of our favorite restaurants in KC with my best friend and her husband. Luckily, we snagged a patio table. It was the only way to go on such a beautiful day. While at dinner, we got to talking. Another of our best friends lives in Hawaii. While my best friend has been out to see her a few times, I have yet to visit. (I know, hard to believe right?) Well, that is all about to change. That night we made it official and we are headed to land of Mai Tai’s and lei’s next spring to visit our best friend. Surprise Kelly and Patrick!
This chick can hardly contain herself! Traveling is something I honestly love to do, yet do not do it near enough. That needs to change.
And oh boy is it going to! Tropical destinations just make my heart sing.
Cute cover ups.
Cabana boys delivering my next margarita.
Who can say no?
Luckily the future hubs and I don’t have to stay put much over the next year. Traveling is definitely in our future.
From our honeymoon in Riviera Maya in July (3 months!!), to an adults only vacation with my family in January, then off to Hawaii with our best friends in February. I am going to forget what snow is.
And I am okkkkkaaaaayyyy with that!
So what does all that have to do with a salad? Uhhh…..
Shrimp is so fresh (so clean, clean…) and reminds me of eating dinner while looking over the ocean. All the vibrant fruit just scream spring and warm weather since they are all coming in season again and I just cannot stay away. I try to find any way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in our meals as I can. And adding them to salads is my favorite way to jazz them up; rather than just chowing down on a big bowl of strawberries. Which is delicious by all means, but throwing them in salads, if you haven’t picked up on that by now, rates pretty darn high on my list.
Crunch and salty, smoked almonds add some major crunch and the creamy goat cheese adds a slight tang to the whole dish. And the dressing is amazing. It is tangy and citrusy due to the fresh blood orange juice (another favorite of the season!). Then the rest of the dressing is rather simple – olive oil, champagne vinegar, shallot, salt, pepper, and honey to tie it all together.
This salad is vibrant, fresh and so refreshing you will just think you are sitting ocean side, all while waiting for your cabana boy to bring your next cocktail!
- 1 lb raw shrimp (21-25 count), deveined and tails off
- ½ Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 8 cups fresh baby spinach
- ½ cup red grapes, halved
- ½ cup strawberries, sliced thin
- 1 green apple, chopped
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ cup smoked almonds
- Juice of 3 blood oranges, about ¼ cup
- Zest of 1 blood orange
- 1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
- ½ Tbsp minced shallots
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place shrimp on a sheet pan, pat dry with paper towel then drizzle with the olive oil, then sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Toss together.
- Spread the shrimp into one layer and roast for 8 - 10 minutes, just until pink, firm and cooked through. Allow to cool for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the dressing. Combine juice, zest, vinegar, shallots and dijon mustard. Whisk in olive oil slowly until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper.
- In large bowl, assemble the salad. Lay spinach on bottom. Then add fruit, cheese and almonds. Add dressing and toss together gently. Divide among 4 plates and top with shrimp. Serve immediately.