Who says salads have to be boring? This spinach salad with pears, pecans and goat cheese is one of my favourites!
Lately I've been feeling like I should apologize for neglecting my blog for the past year... because I really have neglected it. It's not that I wanted to, but, well, life happened. If you've been following my blog for a while, you might know that I had to leave my job at the daycare a couple of summers ago. It took me about 8 months to find decent freelance writing gig, and aside from that my only income was from this blog.
I was desperate to increase my income from my blog. If you've ever done freelance work you'll know that it can be fun and rewarding, but your income is really inconsistent. I needed to make at least a part-time income from my blog! So I signed up for every e-course, webinar, e-book and online course that I could find.
Some were free and had useful information, others were expensive and a total waste of money. But I felt like I was investing my time and money into building a business for myself, so it was ok if I was spending a lot of time absorbing all that content.
Here's the thing though. Reading and learning is important, yes. But learning the theory of things isn't the same as doing them.
I was suckered in by the promises of "double your email list with this webinar" and "learn how I made six figures from one blog post", because I thought there had to be at least a nugget of useful information in there that I could apply to my blog. But I was missing the point. The purpose of a blog is to share content, and I wasn't sharing a damned thing.
Somehow over the course of a year I convinced myself that I couldn't create content for myself because I wasn't blogging "the right way". Articles, courses, and even my well-meaning blogging friends convinced me that I was doing it all wrong because I didn't have a distinct niche, I didn't have a target audience, etc. etc. etc.
I continued doing sponsored posts (they pay the bills folks), and creating content for clients in my freelance work, but I had lost the will to blog for myself.
I finally had someone tell me that it's my blog, and I should just do what I want with it. Which sounds so simple, but I really had lost sight of why I started this website in the first place. It was just what I needed to hear to joggle my brain, and release me from the funk I was stuck in.
I'm in a position now where I'm working two (new!) part-time jobs on top of freelancing and blogging, so I don't have to rely on my blog for income. Not that it wouldn't be great to have extra income... I'm not exactly rolling in dough right now (and I'm probably going to be living with my parents forever), but it takes some of the pressure off.
So despite the fact that I'm busier now than I think I've ever been (maybe excluding the time I was working in television), I'm going to try to resurrect my poor, neglected blog. I'm staring with something easy - a beautiful spinach salad recipe that I have been loving lately.
This spinach salad isn't exactly new or ground-breaking, but it's really delicious. I love the sweet mild flavour of baby spinach, and I'm kind of obsessed with adding pecans to my salads, so this was an easy sell for me. Actually, I had tried the flavour combination at a corporate event that I recently attended, and felt inspired to use those flavours in a salad. Inspiration can come from the strangest places...
I hope you try making this salad, and if you do let me know what you think of it in the comments below!
Spinach Salad with Pears, Pecans and Goat Cheese
For the Dressing:
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, , optional (helps to emulsify the dressing though)
- pinch of salt and pepper
For the Salad:
- 8 cups baby spinach, , washed and dried
- ½ cup pecans, , toasted and chopped
- 2 large ripe pears, , peeled and sliced into wedges
- ⅓ cup plain goat cheese, , crumbled
For the Dressing:
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined. Alternatively, you can add the ingredients to a mason jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shake to combine.
For the Salad:
- Place spinach and pecans in a large bowl. Add a few spoonfuls of dressing, then use your hands to toss the salad to combine the ingredients. Add the pear slices to the salad, and toss again, gently.
- Divide the salad among serving plates, and top with goat cheese and extra dressing as needed. Serve immediately.
Please read the blog post for detailed tips and explanations.
Nutrition Disclaimer: please note that the nutritional information for this recipe is only an estimate, and has been calculated using a plugin.