For me, a successful day is made up tiny personal victories.
I won when I pressed snooze only 3 times (opting to skip my morning workout, honestly I don't even know why I try...) and woke up early enough to take a long shower, watch the Today show, check out Savannah Guthrie's outfit, and lounge in bed in my bathrobe for a hot minute.
I wore a new white blouse to work and managed not to spill coffee on myself. Win!
Definitely a win when I resisted all temptation to flop on the couch and settle in for a 5 hour Homeland marathon after work and instead pressed play on the Insanity DVD.
Minor loss when I dropped both my coffee and spinach/banana smoothie all over the floor walking into work. (It seriously looked like a crime scene.)
But definitely a win that I resisted the urge to irrationally cry like a 4 year old
I managed to not to eat one of the Birthday Cake Oreos that Luke brought into our house like a jerk.
And I would most definitely call this salad of roasted fennel, red grapes, walnuts, fennel and a quick red wine vinaigrette a win!
Win, win, win.
This is my absolute favorite salad. It's a great winter salad for when there is a serious lack of good, fresh produce.
These flavors work together perfectly-- the anise flavor of the fennel, the saltiness from the feta, and the sweetness of the grapes. It all just works.
I even had enough to bring a little for lunch the next day, slightly easing the post-traumatic stress disorder from the Great Coffee and Smoothie Massacre of 2013.
Roasted Fennel and Red Grape Salad
recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis - she adds pancetta to her salad as well, which would be amazing. I just didn't have any on hand. I did have walnuts, feta and red grapes which is how this came about.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil if you are out like I sometimes am). Put the fennel, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper into a sealed Tupperware and shake until mixed. Pour the mixture on the baking sheet and bake until caramelized, about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes add the grapes to the pan and roast until they burst, about 10 minutes or less. (And if you forgot to toast your walnuts, throw those in too while you're at it.)
Cool the fennel and grapes slightly then add that and the feta cheese on top of the mixed greens in a large bowl. Toss together with the red wine vinaigrette and serve. (You probably don't need all of the vinaigrette, so add a little and check it out first. I halved the recipe last time)
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mix all ingredients in a sealed jar or Tupperware. Shake thoroughly until blended. (Giada does this in a blender, I was feeling lazy and decided the jar method works just as effectively. Just make sure to shake like a lunatic)