Mandarin Orange and Goat Cheese Salad

I'm back peeps, I'm back! Yes, I've been on a brief hiatus due to all things life, but I have to say life has been pretty good! Here's a brief snapshot of what's new in the life of Hungry Ali: 

  • Cole and I are counting down the days (literally) until we move into a house (yes, house) in the heart of Fremont! The house comes complete with a backyard, washer/dryer (hallelujah), not one but two bedrooms, not one but two bathrooms and the ability for us to finally (wait for it) adopt our own pug…!!!! I know. I am quite literally dying from excitement. More to come on this exciting life update, including pics, in the next few weeks! 
  • Work and life are keeping me busy with lots of fun happenings like Mariners games, graduation parties, brewery outings and wine tastings. Nothing to complain about here!  
  • I just returned from a work trip from LA where my work wife and I spent three days soaking up lots of relevant info at a national event planning conference. When we weren't at the conference, we were immersing ourselves in the LA culture complete with copious amounts of delicious food, drink and cool scenery. Hashtag blessed. 

With all of these things going on and more, it's not hard to see why I've been slacking on my blogging/cooking game! But I'm happy to say that life will be settling down for a hot minute and I can finally return back to my happy place. 

These busy times have meant eating delicious food at every turn. Garlic fries, burrata with marinated apricots, squid ink fettucine with charred octupus, sea salt ice cream with caramel ribbons, squash blossom and burrata pizza, avocado toast and many other amazingly delicious foods have graced my palette over the last few weeks and I am one happy camper. But even in the most delicious of times, I do crave the times when I get to cook clean, simple meals at home for myself. 

But just because I want to be lighter for a few days to reset doesn't mean I don't want my food to taste delicious! See exhibit A: one of my favorite salads with mandarin oranges, goat cheese and almonds. It's a cinch to throw together and it tastes even better. Tangy goat cheese, bright mandarin oranges, creamy avocado, aromatic celery and green onions, and crunchy almonds all pair magically together tossed with a sweet and ever so slightly spicy vinaigrette that will make you say "hmm." With tons of texture, crunch and zip, it's the perfect salad to get yourself back to the basics post-busy season or not, and reawaken your tastebuds with clean, light and refreshing flavors.

Even better? It has summer party side dish written all over it so you can keep the good times rolling with this tasty, healthy salad. Enjoy and look forward to more (consistently posted) recipes to kick summer off! 

Mandarin Orange and Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups romaine
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 11 oz can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained 
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a large salad bowl, gently toss together arugula and romaine. Distribute celery, green onions, almonds, goat cheese, almonds and avocado evenly over lettuces. Add balsamic vinegar, honey, parsley, sriracha, olive oil, salt and pepper to a jar with a lid. Secure lid and shake until well combined. Dress the salad to your liking and toss. Enjoy! 

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