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Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Onion Balsamic Dressing

Posted Jan 27 2009 8:20pm

During clinicals on Wednesday, I found myself hiding clandestinely in the bathroom with my cell phone (an apparatus strictly forbidden on the hospital floors), calling Zach to see if any lab test results had returned. 10 minutes later, I was scurrying back to my duties, frantically trying to compose the joy and relief written across my face and threatening to spill over. Our worst fears have been alleviated, and I am still in shock over the incredible gift that has been handed to us. With my awareness of the life's fragility newly heightened, my thoughts now linger in sympathy and concern with every family, across the world, who are struggling with lab tests and doctors offices and prognoses. May health, strength, and comfort be returned to us all.

In the kitchen, our cooking has still not returned to "normal," and I seriously wonder if it ever will, at least for a long time. Our ingredients remain simpler, our taste buds heightened to subtleties, focusing on nourishing and soothing. The discovery that the simplest of ingredients can create the most elegant of meals has been one of the many lessons of this journey...

Rosemary Oven Fries and Wilted Spinach Salad with Warm Onion Balsamic Dressing

For the oven fries:

5 large baking potatoes, cut into 1/2" sticks
Cooking spray
1 tsp salt
1 tsp rosemary
~ Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
~ Coat the potatoes thoroughly with cooking spray, then toss them with the salt and rosemary.
~ Arrange the potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes - until golden brown, tossing and turning the potatoes once after 20 minutes. Serve warm, with ketchup, of course!

For the salad:

1 onion, chopped
4 T balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cup beef broth or vegetable broth
2 T spicy brown mustard
1 tsp rosemary
1 T light vegan margarine
Baby spinach
raw almonds
~ Coat a skillet with cooking spray, and saute the onion until wilted and golden.
~ Add the balsamic vinegar, and bring to a boil while scraping the pan to loosen any browned onions.
~ Add the broth, mustard, and rosemary, and boil until reduced to 1 cup or so.
~ Whisk in the vegan margarine.
~ In individual salad bowls, assemble the baby spinach, almonds, and raisins to your liking. Just before serving, spoon the warm dressing on top...

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