Welcome the summer with all kinds of sweet berry goodness in this fresh and tangy Gluten Free Goat Cheese Berry Spinach Salad. Dress it up with Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette for a real treat.
Guess what I get to do???! You’re going to be so jealous, you won’t even be able to stand it. Okay, here it is:
I get to lay on the ground 4 times a day for 5-10 minutes for 7 days straight putting ear drops in my ear because I’m a grown adult woman with a freaking ear infection!!!
Told you that you would be jealous.
But seriously???! What is the deal?! I thought you weren’t supposed to get ear infections past…I don’t know…at least puberty. Am I right?
And even as a kid, I don’t remember dealing with frequent ear infections. In fact, I can only really remember one terrible ear infection when my eardrum burst. And let me tell you, that was PAINFUL! It probably didn’t help the situation that at the time I was being tumbled around by my friends in a big old cardboard box. I went from uncontrollable laughter to immediate groans.
So, I’ve had this cold thing going for the last few days. Initially I thought it was from lap swimming. I tend to feel a slight sore throat/cold the day after I swim, but then it’s gone by the next day. I think maybe I’m slightly allergic to the chlorine or chemicals in the pool. Yeah, you’re probably thinking, “Smart girl that keeps on swimming…” But it’s just such a great exercise and I feel amazing after…except for the permanent raccoon eyes and the allergic reaction. Haha!
Anyway, this icky feeling did NOT go away the following day and has progressively turned into an “I want to rip my ears out, raspy voice, won’t stop coughing, and why in the heck can’t I fall asleep” kind of sickness. Basically, I feel great.
I finally caved and went to the doctor today after a torturous sleepless night, Googling at 2 am how to relieve an ear infection. By the way, a cotton ball soaked with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water in your ear most definitely does NOT relieve an ear infection. Neither does a scalding hot washcloth. It just leaves you with a bright red burnt ear to add to the existing pain that you already had.
I was about to try some garlic in my ear when I decided it was a better idea to pop triple the amount of the recommended dosage of Ibuprofen and go back to bed. I got roughly 3 hours of sleep, so I would call that a minor success.
After being sure I had an inner ear infection, the doctor told me I actually had an outer ear infection in my ear canal with a bunch of fluid in my inner ear. Apparently it’s a result of allergies. So after some prescription ear drops, behind the counter psuedoephedrine, and your basic Claritin (and still some major Tylenol and Ibuprofen), I think I’m finally on the mend. We’ll see if I get some zzz’s tonight.
That’s the only thing that stinks about the seasons changing. Spring may be known for all the new life and beauty it creates, but it also brings along some major allergies my way. No beauty in that. At this moment I’m about ready to skip right past the rest of spring and dive into summer where the heat kills all things bright and blooming. How’s that for cheerful?
But really, summer is just the best! Besides it basically being the definition of fun and exciting, you finally get to enjoy BERRIES!!! Vibrant, juicy, plump berries.
I’m one that either hates berries or loves berries. They have to be perfectly sweet and juicy for me to enjoy them. Otherwise I’ll pass on them any day. But you guys, the berries have begun! I’ve already bought a few delicious batches and they’re only going to get better over the next few months.
Ahhhh, my mood is beginning to lighten just dreaming of these berries. You know what else I’m dreaming of??? This most amazing and gorgeous Gluten Free Goat Cheese Berry Spinach Salad.
I mean, how beautiful is that???! And it tastes just as good as it looks.
Here’s the rundown:
- A mixture of crisp romaine lettuce and tender baby spinach leaves.
- Chopped pears and avocados drizzled with lemon juice.
- Sensationally sweet strawberries and blackberries.
- Toasted sliced almonds.
- Creamy, tangy goat cheese crumbles.
- Tart chewy Craisins.
- The most delicious dressing of Brianna’s Blush Wine Vinaigrette.
Have you ever tried Brianna’s brand salad dressings? I absolutely love this Blush Wine Vinaigrette as well as their Rich Poppy Seed flavors. I use these two dressings a lot when I want a convenient pre-made salad dressing with a homemade feel. Plus, they are dedicated to providing their customers with the best gluten free products. 12 out of their 15 dressings are gluten free and they even offer a gluten free tab on their website. How cool is that?!
And no, this is not endorsed by any means. I just love their dressings!
That being said, this salad was a stunning showcase. It won over the potluck crowd at our most recent beach party. Yes, these are the kinds of things I bring to potlucks. Hahaha! When all is said and done, this salad isn’t all that difficult to make. Toss a few ingredients together and you’re done.
Also, as long as it’s not tossed in the dressing yet, but instead just layered with the ingredients, it can stay fresh for a few hours in the fridge before you’re ready to serve. Who doesn’t love being able to make things ahead of time???! So much less stress in my life!
So if you haven’t experienced Brianna’s, give it a try. Let me know if you branch out to other flavors as well. I tend to stick to what I love.
What are your favorite salad dressings?
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves
- 2 cups chopped romaine
- ⅔ cup sliced fresh strawberries
- ⅔ cup halved blackberries
- ½ pear, chopped
- ½ large avocado chopped
- ¼ cup toasted sliced almonds*
- ¼ cup craisins
- 3 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- juice of ½ a lemon
- ½-2/3 cup Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toss together washed and dried spinach and romaine leaves. Top with chopped pears and avocados. Squeeze lemon juice over to keep from browning. Add sliced strawberries, blackberries, and craisins. Add toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese.
- Toss with dressing, and salt and pepper to taste, just before serving.