Make This Salad Now

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I am RELISHING cooking my own food again following our Dominican Republic vacation.  There are a few things that are never as good away as they are at home (beds, towels, and food) – know what I mean?


One of my ‘career fantasies’ (what I’d do if money was no object, it wasn’t as hard as it would really be, and failure wasn’t possible) would be to open a little café/sandwich shop that only served breakfast and lunch.  I would serve The Grilled Elvis, Quiche Cornbread, Autumn Grilled Banana Sandwich, Strawberry Fields Breakfast Quinoa, Spring Ptitim Salad, Vegetarian Sloppy Joes, smoothies, coffee, booze, and this salad.


I actually made this salad for dinner last night, too, and the moment the Husband popped a bite in his mouth (I made him try it to confirm the flavor combination is really that amazing), he said, “You should put this on your restaurant fantasy menu.”


Alas, my café fantasy is just a dream, so I’ll share the combo with you instead!


In the mix:


  • Organic baby spinach  (I specify organic because I really think organic spinach tastes better)
  • Organic sliced strawberries (Ditto)
  • Chopped watermelon
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Raw cashews
  • Drizzle of creamy balsamic


It’s a simple salad recipe, but man – is it so good! 


It’s hot out there, so I’m waiting for the heat wave to pass before I go for a run.  Plus, I NEED to be productive with work first and not use exercise as an excuse to slack off. 


What’s your career fantasy?  Are you going to make it happen?



  • Freya May 22, 2011, 1:51 pm

    My career fantasy is living in the USA with a career! But yeah…that’ll never happen!

    • CaitlinHTP May 22, 2011, 1:53 pm

      I still think you should marry my brother in law, Nick. You guys are the same age!

      • Freya May 22, 2011, 3:47 pm

        Well, I’m open to offers! I’ll send him a case of beer or something and he’ll fall in love with me 😀

    • Hats @ See How She Runs May 22, 2011, 1:54 pm

      I like it! I’d like to live in the US for a little bit (I’d also like to live in Australia at some point in my life). At the moment I’d settle on just visiting the US (visited Aus once before).

      • Baking 'n' Books May 22, 2011, 5:01 pm

        Oh my…I’ll get in on any bidding please?! 🙂

        Love that salad – cashews are SO good on salads. But I wish I could just eat it as a main meal! It’s just a starter…perhaps if I didn’t inhale my food…

        Hmm – fantasy? Renting a 2-bdrm $1800+ apartment in desirable setting…NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!! 🙂

  • Hats @ See How She Runs May 22, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I’d love to open a coffee shop serving light bites (interesting and tasty sandwiches, salads, and soups) and pastries and cakes. It would be totally vegan too.

  • Morgan @ Endorphaholic May 22, 2011, 1:53 pm

    That looks delicious! If you decide to open a location in Santa Barbara, I’d be happy to personally support it by going for every single meal 🙂

    You should make a blueberry version with Trader Joe’s blueberry goat cheese!!

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) May 22, 2011, 1:57 pm

    My career fantasy would be a semi-professional runner (because that sounds less stressful and time consuming but more fun! :)), a stay-at-home mom, and a professional volunteer!

    I love coming home to my own bed and food, but our towels suck, so I’ll take the hotel towels over ours. Ha!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 22, 2011, 2:03 pm

    My dream is to open up my own cupcake bakery. There aren’t any good ones where I live!

  • Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 22, 2011, 2:03 pm

    the salad looks awesome and yes, nothing like cooking your own food the way you want it after traveling. life’s simple pleasures, indeed 🙂

    career fantasy. omg that is SUCH a big question. No, I am not doing it fully, but I kind of am in other ways, too, I guess? I dont know. I am off to ponder this for awhile. I love food, photography, writing, motherhood…and am doing all of those things, but there are other pieces missing and other pieces present that I’d like to change…add things/remove others.

    Need to think about this…. 🙂

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews May 22, 2011, 2:04 pm

    That looks delicious! Can’t wait to try it.

  • Whitney May 22, 2011, 2:15 pm

    My career fantasy is to become a clinical social worker helping every population! I want to open a shelter and serve fresh, local food to people experiencing homelessness. The shelter would be outfitted with all kinds of resources including free dental and medical check-ups for humans (and animals!), showers, computers, and more. I also want to be a life skills coach for inmates. And yes, I will make it happen! 😀

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) May 22, 2011, 2:33 pm

    I want to write recipes for publication and write a cookbook. I WILL make it happen. I would also like to have a bakery that could provide allergen friendly foods…I guess the list goes on and on. I have so much to do right now, but I really need a nap! Good luck and I hope the heat burns off a little soon.

  • Kayla May 22, 2011, 2:40 pm

    First of all, I NEED to make this salad now. My BFF from college and i used to cut a watermelon in half and eat it with spoons until we felt sick.
    My career fantasy is to play the lead in big Canadian musical in Toronto.. and to audition in NYC one day!

  • Paige @Running Around Normal May 22, 2011, 2:40 pm

    aww, haha I love that the husband automatically thought of your restaurant 🙂

  • Dominique May 22, 2011, 2:41 pm

    My career fantasy is to open up a bakery. I’ve always wanted to open a bakery and have done in a little bit of work on the side (cupcakes for weddings, birthdays, engagement parties). The BF and I have plans to make it happen once he’s done with school (he’s going to be a teacher) so the actual store will have to wait a bit.

    Your salad looks amazing. I love watermelon and strawberries in salads.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 22, 2011, 2:51 pm

    I LOVE salads with fruit and nuts. This looks great 🙂

    My career fantasy is just beginning….and I am STOKED about it. Hello world!

  • cathy May 22, 2011, 3:00 pm

    i love the combo of items you’d serve in your fantasy cafe, caitlin!
    i love my job (i work in a running store, it’s pretty sweet) but i WOULD love to somehow turn my knitting hobby into a career…my fantasy would be to make kids’ items, each one unique – like ‘haute couture’ for the toddler set. i just need to find the niche market of indulgent mothers + grandmums!
    enjoy your sunday!

  • Sara May 22, 2011, 3:15 pm

    Strawberries and spinach with a bit of balsamic is my favorite!! I use feta or gorgonzola though because I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese. I’ll have to try it with cashews!

  • Carolyn L. May 22, 2011, 3:17 pm

    My career fantasy is to be a writer. I wouldn’t mind opening a patisserie though, either. Ah, dreams…

  • katie @ KatieDid May 22, 2011, 3:31 pm

    i love the look of this salad with all the different textures. my career fantasy… i think its to be a massage therapist and acupuncturist. Or maybe wellness counselor of sorts. Something in the alternative side of health.

  • Gretchen May 22, 2011, 3:46 pm

    My career fantasy is just to teach. It’s just discouraging right now because education is really a field that shouldn’t be facing, you know, budget cuts and such, but it is. I graduate in December with a master’s and certification in elementary ed, so in theory I should be able to make this dream happen soon-ish…right?

  • Ali @ Ali Runs May 22, 2011, 3:54 pm

    I can’t wait to try this salad! I am always looking for new, fun salads. My career fantasy would be to open a book store/coffee shop where I could read great books and drink coffee all day long.

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 22, 2011, 4:05 pm

    I love fruit in salad. It’s so crazy delicious!

  • Amanda @ The Beauty Notebooks May 22, 2011, 4:08 pm

    I have so many dreams floating around right now! Possibilities: journalist/writer (food writer/editor would be fun), bakery or tea room owner, or RD! *the only problem with the last one: I am not so keen on science! I am sure I would do well with it, but I am more of a creative person, so I wonder how I would deal with all the science requirements. plus…I am going for my undergrad in English/creative writing! Regardless, I love nutrition, good food and enjoy helping others, any RDs out there have any advice for me?

  • kalli@fitandfortysomething May 22, 2011, 4:12 pm

    i got a kick out of this post….and so cute that hubby said this should go on the fantasy restaurant menu. TOO CUTE! my fantasy dream is to own a wine bar/cupcakery-HEAVEN 🙂

  • Kim May 22, 2011, 4:12 pm

    My “career fantasy” is to retire in 7 years and take bicycle vacations. Yep, I’m going to make it happen!

  • Tricia May 22, 2011, 4:15 pm

    way to make me famished! All I have been thinking about this week is spinach with fruit and then you post this recipe. NEED FRESH FRUIT

  • Courtney May 22, 2011, 4:34 pm

    Ditto on the dreamin’, girl. 🙂 I’d love to open a little bakery.

  • Katherina @ Zephyr Runs May 22, 2011, 4:36 pm

    Opening up a cafe!! I have a fantasy restaurant menu, too 🙂 This salad looks delicccious!

  • Stephanie@MyThornsHaveRoses May 22, 2011, 4:47 pm

    I am making it happen right now. 🙂

  • Sarah May 22, 2011, 4:52 pm

    Spinach, fruit and nuts! I can nearly taste it’s goodness. I don’t actually have a career fantasy and I’m not sure whether that is good or bad. Will have to think about that one.

  • abby May 22, 2011, 5:02 pm

    I love strawberry and goat cheese salads!! I use the same brand dressing, just in the strawberry pomegranate flavor then add in toasted pecans. yum yum!!

  • kate May 22, 2011, 5:08 pm

    my fantasty career is to be a full-time yoga teacher (and actually make a living doing it!) and im on my way to making it a reality.

  • Charlie May 22, 2011, 5:17 pm

    This salad looks amazing! Simple is often delicious :).
    My fantasy career would be to have a bakery and sell granola & cupcakes!

  • Carol May 22, 2011, 5:24 pm

    Your salad looks delish:)

    Career fantasy:
    I would love to own a bake shop (either cafe or on-line)…or both! I have so many of my grandmother’s recipes I would make plus tons of healthy goodies I have created over the years!

  • Michelle May 22, 2011, 5:47 pm

    I’m thinking more and more about looking into personal training. I love helping people reach their fitness goal and I’d love a schedule that more flexible with kids (ie – I’d love to be there when they got home from school, instead of having to pick them up from extended care). I just wouldn’t know where to start!

  • Katie @ peacebeme May 22, 2011, 6:29 pm

    My two career fantasies are to publish a novel (be a novelist) and to go to PA school. I am TRYING to conquer self-doubt and pursue both of these.

  • Parita May 22, 2011, 7:25 pm

    My dream is to have my own business one day – not sure doing what yet, but just the thought of being my own boss makes me happy! I know it’s super hard, so my dream will have to wait.

    And I really need to try the whole watermelon in my salad thing – looks so refreshing!

  • Christine May 22, 2011, 7:37 pm

    I love that your breakfast/lunch shop would serve booze.

    My dream job would be a novelist. My second dream job would be to open a bookstore (do you see a theme?) that also served as a bar and an ice cream parlor.

  • aubrey @ italktofood May 22, 2011, 7:49 pm

    YES! You should do it! Look at Kath!

    I am following my dream. I am spending money I don’t have to pay for the most expensive culinary school in the nation because I want to be a “chef”! I’m not going into it for the money, just following my passion. So far it’s been amazing 🙂

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg May 22, 2011, 7:49 pm

    My dream career would be owning a business — something to do with cleaning and organizing which is something I absolutely love.

  • Glenneth May 22, 2011, 8:02 pm

    Thanks for the salad idea! Made a couple of modifications (watermelon didn’t look good so skipped it, subbed blue cheese for goat cheese and pecans for cashew – trying to use up what we have). Couldn’t find a creamy balsalmic but found a berry one that was perfect. Love this salad. I see it for lunch or dinner quite often this summer.

  • Amy May 22, 2011, 8:19 pm

    mm love fruit in salads!! that looks so good!

  • Karlee @olivewineandfood May 22, 2011, 8:35 pm

    can’t wait to try it!

  • Christy May 22, 2011, 8:42 pm

    You must try this salad with the Honey Goat Cheese from TJs. It’s to die for! I always makes salads with strawberries and the honey cheese. It’s one of my favorite meals.

  • Lee May 22, 2011, 9:00 pm

    I might have to disagree with the towels. I think hotel towels are pretty awesome!

    Im not sure what my career fantasy is. Not what I’m doing now, that’s for certain.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 22, 2011, 9:54 pm

    Do you think you’ll ever act on your dream to own a cafe?

    My dream is to be a dietitian, which I’m currently in school for. Ultimately I would LOVE to be the nutritionist for a professional sports team. 😀

  • Laura May 22, 2011, 10:10 pm

    yumm that salad looks delicious!

    random question, but where do you buy your cashews? what type are they?

  • Joanna May 22, 2011, 10:31 pm

    I had a salad similar to this in a restaurant tonight and it was SO good!! i love fruit in salad so much. Ive never tried watermelon, definitely on the to do list 🙂

  • Elisabeth May 22, 2011, 11:07 pm

    Hmmmm… I’ve got several career fantasies – mainly working for NASA (just a pipe dream, likely 😉 ) and becoming a physician or physician assistant. I hope to make one of the latter two happen pretty soon, since I’m 29!

  • Khushboo May 23, 2011, 1:00 am

    I would come to your café if you opened one- the menu already sounds so yum!

  • Amber K May 23, 2011, 11:03 am

    Oh my gosh, there are definitely fruits/veggies that just taste plain better when organic! Strawberries and spinach top my list.

    I don’t really have any career fantasies. Well, I guess that’s not true. I don’t have any specifics on what my job actually is, but I have dreamed about having a job that allowed me to fly anywhere I wanted first class. I lucked out and was upgraded last week while flying and I don’t think I can ever go back to coach 😉

  • Liz May 23, 2011, 12:49 pm

    I want to run a CSA, teach yoga, and be a holistic health educator….but I just sort of mapped this out and am figuring out how to pursue it all!

  • Veronica (Run Write Repeat) May 23, 2011, 12:54 pm

    I definitely need to try that salad!
    My career fantasy is to be a freelance writer/author. Who knows…

  • suzy pepper May 23, 2011, 7:36 pm

    Why is the cafe just a fantasy? You could do it, and it would be a great job for you!

  • Jolene ( May 25, 2011, 12:52 am

    I have a career fantasy that people pay me to eat food. That would be great!

  • Sam June 1, 2011, 8:21 am

    This looks refreshing and DELICIOUS!

  • Amy July 10, 2011, 6:04 pm

    Just made this and it was a fantastic summer salad! Thanks!!

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