This delicious aubergine, goats cheese, spinach and walnut salad is a perfect light and healthy choice for lunch or dinner that you can put together in 30 minutes.
Fresh food and healthy food, my cravings in America
As I am writing this recipe I am sitting on the balcony of my hotel room in San Diego. I came here because my boyfriend is attending the Society for Neuroscience conference, and since we’ve had no holiday so far this year, we decided to turn this into one. Thinking about this salad that I made about a month ago (or maybe even more) somehow creates a lot of feelings inside of me.
On the one hand I would simply love to heat a healthy, light and preferably homemade meal. Being in the States made me realise that whatever you see in documentaries such as Fed Up or Food Inc is absolutely true! Since we are traveling on a budget, we decided to have breakfast and lunch at home (well, more like, in our hotel room and at the Convention Center where the conference is taking place). I don’t want to spoil too much, as I wish to dedicate an entire article to my foodie (or rather foodieless) experience in the US, but fresh fruit and vegetables are expensive! Basically, you have the choice between two bell peppers or a bucket full of fried chicken, enough to feed two to three persons. A bell pepper is $1.5, a bucket of fried chicken only $3.
On the other hand, this is a cold season salad. Which, as you can imagine, is slightly disturbing at the moment, since I came back from the pool not long ago, am slightly sunburnt and am currently wearing a t-shirt and shorts. Of course, being next to the ocean makes me crave seafood, but I’ll go for dinner soon.
Yesterday I had a ready-made supermarket salad. The sun dried tomatoes tasted and looked like plastic, the iceberg lettuce (my least favourite type of green) reminded me of McDonald’s burger – crispy without making any sense or giving any flavour and, to top it all up, an amazing (yes, totally sarcastic) dressing made with mayo and chipotles in adobo sauce. So hell yeah, I would love some of my easy to make, yet healthy and gourmet aubergine with goats cheese, spinach and walnut salad that would cost me about £2 a portion!
And, as a matter of fact, this salad is also low FODMAP, perfect for those of you who have a slightly more irritable stomach, suffer from IBS or heartburn.
- 1/4 cup of buckwheat
- 200g spinach
- 2 large aubergines, sliced (about 1cm thick)
- 400g goats cheese (chèvre blanc), crumbled
- 4 tsp freshly ground walnuts
- 8-9 sweet baby plum tomatoes, cubed
- 1 handful of chives, chopped
- 4 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
- First of all prepare the buckwheat by simmering it in half a cup of water for about 20 minutes. Don't forget to add a bit of salt to the water.
- Add a bit of oil to a grill pan and grill the aubergines until done (a couple of minutes on each side). Set aside.
- I would personally recommend building each plate at a time, rather than mixing everything in a large bowl. To each plate add the spinach, buckwheat, tomatoes and aubergine slices. Sprinkle with goats cheese, chives and the freshly (!) ground walnuts, then season with balsamic vinegar and garlic infused olive oil.
- You can also use olive oil instead of the garlic infused one. I personally prefer the flavours of the latter in this salad.