Heirloom Berry Quinoa Salad

 

The perfect way to enjoy your summer without gobs of calories, heirloom tomatoes, marinated mozzarella and plump strawberries tossed in quinoa #vegetarian #recipe ohsweetbasil.com heirloom berry quinoa salad

 

How Do You Stay Balanced With Your Life, Spouse and Children?

 

It’s too hot out. I know, Arizona, Texas, Mississippi (yes I spelled that in my head like we did in elementary school) etc all have it worse, but I’m serious, it’s too dang hot. I just want light foods that are full of flavor and aren’t going to heat up my house. This berry quinoa salad recipe is perfection. It’s easy, lasts for days so you can continue to enjoy it for lunch and it wont heat up your whole house. Plus, the berries are what really sell me. I love berry salads like, strawberry cucumber salad, teriyaki chicken salad with raspberries, and strawberry kiwi salad, but this one is more filling which sometimes you just need. (See the bottom of the post to find my ultimate favorite lemon berry salad. We are obsessed.) But that’s not all we are going to talk about today. I recently had an experience that blows my mind…

 

The perfect way to enjoy your summer without gobs of calories, heirloom tomatoes, marinated mozzarella and plump strawberries tossed in quinoa #vegetarian #recipe ohsweetbasil.com heirloom berry quinoa salad

 

Blogging is crazy busy and can definitely put our lives out of balance. It’s actually quite hard to keep up this life. The internet doesn’t ever sleep and things, seo, social media, FDA guidlines, etc, etc, etc, are constantly moving and changing. That means that bloggers don’t really sleep either. We are constantly thinking up new recipes, creating, testing, photographing, editing, writing posts, searching for what keywords are being used so that we can link correctly, plugging everything through a dozen social media channels, writing and answering emails and comments, pitching brands, using social media to tout our posts etc. It’s hard. It’s more work than I can ever describe. And on top of it, we are just like all of you.  Which means that this applies to all of us. But to keep my story clear of why I’m ranting about this I’ll tell it from a blogger perspective.

 

The perfect way to enjoy your summer without gobs of calories, heirloom tomatoes, marinated mozzarella and plump strawberries tossed in quinoa #vegetarian #recipe ohsweetbasil.com heirloom berry quinoa salad

 

We have significant others, children, errands, workouts, heartaches, financial worries, you name it. I sincerely believe that life is difficult no matter what your career is, and it’s more so when one person in the home is having to give all of their time and energy to something that ultimately does not care for the family. I actually mentioned that to a BlogHer staff at a conference, that we need to talk about how to balance more because it becomes so easy to forget to build a blanket fort with the kids and take your hubs out on a special date where you love and support one another, and do you know what? They didn’t agree. They didn’t think food bloggers needed to talk about how to stay balanced, have a happy marriage, and still be present with their families. In fact, they specifically said, “Food bloggers need to know about seo, how to take good photos, and how to build an audience. They aren’t interested finding balance with their work and home life, and being in a happier marriage and being better/happier/more present parent.” I disagree. Family is number 1 to me, and I still struggle to care for them as if they were priceless and not get sucked into the computer, phone etc.

 

The perfect way to enjoy your summer without gobs of calories, heirloom tomatoes, marinated mozzarella and plump strawberries tossed in quinoa #vegetarian #recipe ohsweetbasil.com heirloom berry quinoa salad

 

So, this is going to be a series. We are going to talk about it. Starting now we are going to go through each little element of a happy marriage/family and if you have a perfect marriage, great, read on anyway because a great marriage is one that endures and that you’re always working on,  and a strong family where kids feel loved, cherished and important only happens when we take the time to be aware of them, us and what our real role is adults. It’s not about the money and the status, sorry BlogHer but it’s about finding real happiness and balance that can only come when we take the TIME to care.

 

Am I really the only person out there looking to find true balance in a hectic life? Am I the only mom that wants to be the parent laying under the stars with her kids treasuring them instead of hurrying them off to bed so I can finish my work?

 

What Is Quinoa?

Quinoa is a flowering plant which is cultivated for its edible starchy seeds.

Quinoa is not a grass like wheat or rice, but rather a broadleaf plant, more closely related to spinach.

 

Is Quinoa Better For You Than Rice?

One cup of cooked quinoa has about 40 fewer calories than the same amount of white rice.

White rice has almost 15 times more grams of carbohydrates, and quinoa provides 5 more grams of fiber and double the protein.

 

Heirloom Berry Quinoa Salad

Yield: 1 recipe

Heirloom Berry Quinoa Salad

Heirloom Berry Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 Cup Quinoa
  • 1 1/2 Cup Strawberries, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Cup Heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/4 Cup Marinated Mozzarella (we buy the tub from Costco)
  • Salt to taste

Dressing

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (We use the olive oil with the mozzarella)
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to instructions.

Notes

The key to this salad is salt. The dressing is super easy and has a light, summery flavor, the mozzarella is already marinated and the rest adds great flavor and variety, but an under seasoned quinoa is bland, really bland. I'd say that many of the quinoa salads I've tried are under seasoned unless it's at a restaurant. Which I get, it's scary to add salt because you don't want to over do it, but just add a little at a time until it's flavorful.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1567 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 110.6mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 169.6g Fiber: 22.2g Sugar: 21.7g Protein: 64.6g

 

Our favorite #salad #recipe ever! It seems so simple but then when you get that perfect bite with spinach, berry, and brown sugar almonds with a light lemon dressing, good mercy! ohsweetbasil.com_

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Carrian Cheney

Lover of all things beautiful, good and delicious. Wife, mother, friend, foodie.

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73 comments on “Heirloom Berry Quinoa Salad”

  1. I am making this salad in bulk for our family reunion this 4th of July weekend. I found a tricolor quinoa from Trader Joe’s and a mix of multi-colored carrot shreds from HyVee to add.
    A little tip on making flavorful quinoa, or pasta, or rice, is to cook it with broth instead of water. You can even use a low sodium broth without sacrificing too much flavor.
    I also know, especially if you have picky eaters, even if they aren’t kids, is to tell them the ingredients AFTER they try it. I love that this recipe has a good mix of easily identifiable ingredients (strawberries) and ‘weird’ ingredients (quinoa).
    I am actually hoping there will be some leftovers so I can try it too.

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  5. I must have missed this post during the summer, but my friend Yvonne (from TriedandTasty.com) referenced me to it because I am feeling so overwhelmed right now trying to balance everything. I can’t believe that BlogHer staff member said those things to you & I am glad to hear I am not the only one struggling with this balance between family & blogging. Anyway, thanks for sharing your perspective! And the recipe looks fab too 🙂

  6. I feel the exact same way and thats how i raised my kids,they’re all well grounded adults and my marriage gets better each day.definitely not claiming to be perfect,but everything you said is true! That song “cat’s in the cradle” comes to mind.

  7. I feel the exact same way and thats how i raised my kids,they’re all well grounded adults and my marriage gets better each day.definitely not claiming to be perfect,but everything you said is true! That song “cat’s in the cradle com

  8. Love the salad and I’m so glad were starting to talk more about balance!! It truly is so important

  9. Carrian, I am so very very VERY glad that you will be starting a series on this. When I started my blog a little over a year ago, I was so absorbed with pumping out posts on a regular schedule, spending time on social media and reading/replying/commenting/etc. on everything. When I went back to school to further my career, last fall, I found it extremely hard to juggle everything. Full-time work, full-time school, taking care of my boyfriend and his son, and finding the time to nourish my friendships and having me time. It’s hard and I honestly don’t know how any blogger, whether they are well established like you or just starting out, manage their time and lives outside of blogging. I can’t believe BlogHer didn’t feel that this was an important topic to touch upon or speak about! I, amongst others, are definitely looking forward to your posts on this topic/series!

  10. Oh goodness, this is such a gorgeous salad! I swear I can already taste the delicious flavors 🙂

  11. I wish I could give a huge hug right now! I am right there with you. I feel like the past year I have been so focused on growing my blog…and for what? Time away from my family? I am trying really hard to just let go of the numbers things and if I don’t get a post done…no biggie. It’s my schedule so I can post whenever! I can’t believe the reaction you got from BlogHer. That is just crazy! I am so excited to follow along with your series…I need it so much!!

  12. I never post or comment on anything but I just have to say that I feel like you read my mind! I am always trying to balance work, my children, activities and make time for my husband. I always thought I would be the mom doing crafty things all day long while cookies are baking in the oven but I find myself at days end hardly doing anything meaningful with my kids. I am really trying to live “in the moment” and appreciate all the little times with my kids- reading stories, singing in the car, playing with our new puppy.
    Also want to comment on how much I love all the recipes, tips and ideas I read about from you! Thanks so much for sharing the “good” stuff!

    • Jean! I’m so glad you did comment. You should more often!! It’s my favorite part about writing this site, hearing from all of you! I totally was/am the same. I thought I was going to be such a fun mom, but instead I find myself buried in chores, errands, nagging etc. Last week I let the girls play with shaving cream and it felt awesome to see them so shocked that I let them go to town on the table. Best moment of the week.

  13. I agree family must come first and it is a huge struggle to find the right balance. This salad is beyond gorgeous, thanks for linking up with What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  14. Don’t sell yourself short. You are a wonderful mom. And by running a blog as well as you do, you are teaching your girls valuable lessons of working hard and balance. I think success and working out and whatever you want to call it with a blog is so subjective. I think my blog is a success because I make it what I want it to be and its a reflection of who I am and what I want to teach my girls. I may not have 900k monthly views like some bloggers, or making $10 a month with ads – but so what. And the end of my life what do I want to look back on most and be happiest about? How successful others thought my blog was or how successful I thought my life was? I think you are awesome and I am now glad I chose another network to go with over blogher.

  15. I seriously loved your message in this post. I am not even at the level that you are in the blogging world but find myself becoming overwhelmed easily with just the idea of posting, photos, editing, sharing, etc.

  16. I know I’ve said this to you before, but I don’t know how you (or the other blogger mom & wives) do it ALL! I’m not married and I don’t have kids, but between blogging, my job, and my boyfriend I feel like I could pull my hair out I’m so stressed sometimes. I try and balance it by keeping a strict yoga schedule so I get ME time, and making dinner time media/blog free so my guy and I really spend that time.

    P.S. I love this salad!

  17. Lovely salad! But more importantly, lovely sentiments… balance is difficult to achieve these days no matter who you are or what you do. And we all want to be the best wives, mothers, bloggers we can be! So it’s very disappointing to hear that industry professionals think this isn’t a topic we should be discussing. I would want to ask them if they feel completely balanced in their lives?? Either way, I seriously applaud you for picking up the ball that BlogHer dropped. Let’s talk about balance!

  18. It is really sad that sometimes I can’t wait to say goodnight to my family so I can go work. But it’s just how it is sometimes. Fitting in work with family can definitely be a challenge. I think setting up rules for yourself helps. Like no phone when the kids get home from school. I don’t know. I know that I’m not balanced at all!

  19. You said it, girl! I’m shocked at BlogHer’s response to you!!

    Everything that Kristen (Dine&Dish) said perfectly resonates with me, as well. I’ve given up on chasing brands, trying to grow my social media numbers, being able to read all my favorite blogs, etc. I’ve made it a point to try and dedicate blog time to only nap time and not try to work on it when my kids are awake. (Not perfect at this, but pretty good!) I’m happier blogging now than I’ve ever been! And it’s because I put my family first.

    I have never tried to establish good SEO (don’t even know how to do all that). It just sounds like it would take up way too much time and energy! haha! I feel like my blog is doing just fine without any of that extra work. 🙂

    Looking forward to your series… Although, I might miss some posts as I keep putting my family first before reading blogs. lol! 😉

  20. I am still trying to learn to like quinoa. Maybe someday…

  21. I love this post, Carrian. It’s tough to balance it all. I almost quit blogging a couple years ago because it wasn’t my top priority, my family was and my blog sat on the back burner and I was ok with it. When I decided to re-brand last year and be more “serious” about it I noticed how much food blogging had changed. Some for the better, some not so much. And I have noticed lately a lot of bloggers mentioning burnout. It’s hard to keep up with it all. Especially with all the social media. I found if I made myself a blogging schedule and I wasn’t able to stick to it I would get frustrated. The amount of blog posts sitting in draft mode, and photos waiting to be edited that I have right now is quite a lot. And I realized I’m ok with that. No one is waiting for me to hit publish in case it may be the cure for cancer. Because my recipes aren’t the cure. They’re just food. They’re important to me because I love my blog but my kids waiting for me to stop working on a post so I can color with them is more important. I’m really looking forward to this series. And your saad you made looks wonderful!!!

  22. Beautiful salad lady! I too find myself getting sucked into the whole SEO, pageviews, yada yada yada thing too. And then the comparing. Oh the comparing! Horrible. It was kind of making me second guess this whole blogging thing but then I think “you know what Des, you’re doing just fine. You get to do what you love. It brings in a little money to help out AND you get to stay at home with your baby, which is actually the coolest job ever.” No need to kill yourself focusing on SEO and all that jazz. Just have fun and take more pictures like this because I’m drooling over here. 🙂

  23. Ohhhh don’t even get me started on conversations with reps from BlogHer!! I wanted to talk about a certain opportunity that got me paid 1/10 of what some other’s got, and she asked about my stats – well, she said to me “You’re okay sized for a personal blog, but you’re way to small for a FOOD blog”… Clearly, they don’t understand the blood (from knife cuts), sweat (from rushed deadlines) and even tears (when recipes fail) that have gone into each and every one of our blogs. It is a shame when those efforts are not valued by others.
    I’m going through the same thing right now – and after everyone’s overwhelming support this morning on Facebook, I’m going to step back and really get back to the basics – prioritize MY life, and let the blog fill it in where it can. I love Ben and Huck more than anything and can’t sacrifice these times with them when Ben isn’t in school for a computer. With our 1st wedding anniversary coming up in a few weeks – there is no time better for us to readjust ourselves to focus on Eachother 🙂
    Thanks for your honesty here hun XOXO

  24. First of all, I am a complete DORK and noticed the rubber spatula because it’s the same one I got in Austin. And then I got this funny feeling like, we must be spatula soul sisters or something. I should not be allowed in public.

    But ANYWAAAAYS, this salad looks so rockin’! I love that you put berries in everything. It’s so cheery and bright and yummy, like you! Oh wait, that came out all wrong.

  25. WOW is all I can say to the BlogHer person’s response. I am actually trying to approach all of this in my current series (this IS my real job) and it’s so involved! I am really excited to read on with yours as well! Balance is hard no matter what, but I totally agree that when you work in the home for something that’s not FOR the home there’s a lot of diligence and balance that has to happen.

    Thank you so much for approaching this series with such conviction! I can’t wait to read on 😉

  26. Preach it! I’m not married nor have kids. I’m a single, independent woman with a full time job and a blog. And even I struggle with balance. And right now I’m struggling even more now that I am job hunting on top of that, which is a full time job in itself. Then my parents live 2.5 hours away, so you can imagine the time I spend traveling and being with them rather than on the computer editing this, posting that, scheduling this, commenting on that. Every single blogger, no matter what your lifestyle is, struggles with balance. And I’m sad that Blogher failed to acknowledge this. I hope you do the series! We could all use the tips 🙂

    • exactly, no matter who you are we all need to learn how to be successful in life in ways other than financial and professional. We are happier when we are at peace in our life

  27. Love you, girl. I’m so with you on allllll of this. xoxox

  28. I 100% agree!! I am have been struggling with this for a long time, and am really trying to get better. Having an 8 year old home over the summer has forced me to take a break and not put everything into it I did during the school year. But I want him to remember a fun summer, not mom working all the time. This week has been hard, because I have been working like crazy for going on vacation next week. I wanted to have everything done, so I could devote 100% of time to my family on vacation. Not sure I went about it the best way, but next week will be relaxing and lots of fun!

    • That’s exactly how I feel. I sincerely believe that this is why our world is so messed up in terms of anxiety etc. Too many people asying that making your business more successful is what you need when it truly doesn’t bring happiness.

  29. Really beautiful salad, but maybe more importantly: you are not alone. Blogging has gotten overwhelming and it IS important to find balance. How sad that the folks at BlogHer do not agree ;(

  30. As a cookbook author, blogger, wife, mother, freelancer, etc…the word balance means extra coffee, all nighters, and working when everyone else is sleeping. It’s the reality of the way my life is right now. I do not love it but I am trying to strike while the iron is hot and while I can to build a future for myself and my family but it doesn’t come without major sacrifice in the moment. Bravo to you for this post and I’ve enjoyed reading the reactions from others! 🙂

    • That is a lot! Good for you for being able to balance it all. For me I know that this all is just for a moment and I want to make sure that my children are my success in life. That’s hard for me to remember sometimes. Hopefully I can stay balanced as I’m more aware of it.

  31. It’s funny – when I first commented earlier I was helping my son with something and didn’t have time to thoroughly comment. I agree with every word you’ve written and commend you for being so open and honest about a struggle we all deal with regularly!! Look forward to your series.

    • Good for you for being busy with him though. I’d rather it be that then too busy with blogging that he has to help himself. Ya know? Hopefully you all can keep chiming in and giving your advice.

  32. Oh, I am right with you Carrian! This life is so difficult, and balance is just so hard to find! I love every minute of blogging, but the pull to rush rush rush through things so I can get my work done is so hard. So is knowing that my work is right there in the next room! There should be more discussion of this!

  33. I think most working women (really most women/moms in general!) struggle with balance. I have friends with demanding jobs that keep them from being home as much as they want. Blogging gives me (us) opportunities to work from home, which is a blessing for sure. There are perks to it all – but being in constant connection with the online world that never sleeps is definitely a challenge!! I have definitely found that you need to set priorities for yourself, find a schedule that works for you, and not feel like you have to be socializing on social media all day! When I’m plugged in all day doing useless stuff I feel like a crappy mom & wife. When I work a few good productive hours I feel good – and then to shut it down and walk away feels even better!
    Like Kristen mentioned before – Rachel from Today’s Mama really touched on that with me. So yea, bloggers might need to learn seo, photography and all that, and thats fine – but a touch of realness from another colleague, blogger, mother, woman probably will definitely make an impact! We can all learn from each other in so many ways.

  34. I think it’s such an important topic. I wrote about balance earlier this year after having a bit of a breakdown, quite literally. Life had spun wildly out of control and both my body and mind crashed. I think it’s important for us bloggers to talk about our lives. If people just wanted recipes they would visit the food network site. They want to connect. And connecting means they want us to be human, and not perfect.

    I can totally relate to what you’re saying. I had my son here for a week recently and there were times I did not want to work. I am able to shut it down most days but I had something important happening I could not dial out of. So occasionally I had to slip away to make decisions about things. Then the guilt kicks in right. It’s a fine line we walk. Blogging becomes all consuming. All I know is my kids are older and I can say with absolute certainty I have never regretted spending oodles of time with them. Time is precious. Enjoy the little moments every chance you get.

    And I love your salad. It’s so pretty, your photos just make me want to dive head first into the bowl. xx

  35. Rachel from Today’s Mama really influenced me after hearing her speak the last time I was at evo about what you mentioned Kristen! Hence why I’m no longer on FB, and delete my social media apps on my phone when I get out of hand. I deleted them after she talked about it and it was a great thing! They are back on now, but lately I feel like I need to be back on “restriction” 🙂

  36. Amen! If if we weren’t food bloggers, it’s still hard to balance life!

  37. Amen, sistah! I think absolutely there is a need for life/work balance as a food blogger. I don’t even have kids yet but I struggle to not choose to work on my laptop instead of eating breakfast with my husband, etc. etc. I think it’s important we try to set aside times in our day for both work and family — though I know it’s SO hard to do, when your work is online and constantly going! I’m looking forward to this series hardcore. 🙂

  38. I agree totally. The first thing to suffer, for me, is my marriage. It is much easier to put the kids first. Hubby and I rarely take a date. Evenings are spent on the computer or watching mindless TV. I have actually been thinking a lot about this lately. Lives change so much and so many things get in the way that it is hard to remember what drew you to your spouse before kids, etc. Look forward to the series.

  39. THANK YOU for bringing up such an important topic. I think it is so easy to get caught up in the craziness of daily life and forget about the things that keep me grounded. As much as I try NOT to, I find myself comparing my blog with other blogs. This blog has more page views, or that blog has more Facebook fans. When I realize what I’m doing, I try to stop and remind myself to be proud of my own accomplishments and focus on what really matters in life. It’s hard though!

    I’m looking forward to reading more of what you have to say on this topic! 🙂

    PS: Absolutely beautiful photography!

  40. I was snuggling with my son on the couch when I read this post. He was watching TV and I was on my tablet. I wanted to post a response and started to unwind my arms from my son’s snuggles when I realized that was exactly the balance I needed to find. Instead of shoving him away, I let the snuggles continue and came back to this post. As much as I might want to be the next Ree Drummond, ultimately I want to be a stay at home mom more. That is the whole point of my blog I suppose. I live a normal life, but dream of adventures that will probably never happen for me. I’m okay with that. I choose my little kids over a fabulously adventurous life. A trip to Italy may never happen, but I can make authentic Italian at home. I may never ride on an elephant in India, but I can savor their cuisine in my kitchen. I may never have a show on the food network, but I can have my own show on YouTube that a handful of friends watch. And know what? It is okay. I still get to snuggle on the couch with my kids in the morning. After all is said and done, motherhood is more of a journey than I ever imagined.

  41. 100% behind you!!! Let’s do this! Can’t wait for your series, and I find it so refreshing!

  42. I love that you combined tomatoes, mozzarella and berries in this beautiful and wholesome salad, Carrian! Looks stunning and scrumptious!

  43. What BlogHer is failing to realize is that, it takes a village to make a food blog run all four cylinders. My husband edits and hand models. My friends make my recipes and help with social media. So, yes, I think we should talk about balance because that is life.

    And this salad, GORGEOUS!!! Summer perfection.

  44. oh my god i freaking love this salad.

    Also, if you find out how to do that, can you let me know? I’m in need of some serious balance.

  45. Amen! Family and God are the most important things to me. We definitely need to learn to balance. Yes, blog information helps us all but we all didn’t create our blogs thinking we would make hundreds or even thousands right away. We did it because we loved it and we could do it with our family in mind. So disappointed with BlogHer sometimes.

  46. yes! Rachel with Today’s Mama wrote a post about deleting apps from her phone, like email, so she could be more present with her family. That hit home, big time for me!

  47. Say what? BlogHer really said that? Why would food bloggers be ANY different? That is ridiculous!

    I’ve been blogging for almost 7 years and have 4 children. Up until 2 years ago I was working from home full time as a recruiting manager for a firm out of Austin. Balance was not a part of my life.

    What gave was blogging and it’s been the best “give” ever. I don’t really care about SEO, stats, being on top, #1, etc anymore. I let all that slide knowing that my blog, although not as big as it used to be, would be there when my kids were out of the house and I had more time to devote to it. We can kill ourselves trying to keep up… it’s totally not worth it.

    I still blog and do the social media thing, but I have a much more balanced life since I’ve given up trying to keep up with others and be on top. And I am much happier because of it!

    • I’m the same Kristen. I step away from everything, don’t look at stats unless I need to etc, and I’m so much happier, but I still even get sucked in when there’s a deadline or I’m being lazy. I love the deleting apps idea!

  48. I couldn’t agree more. Balance is what we all strive for and it’s something I focus on each and every day. I’ve found that I have to schedule in time to take a break just like I do work time and working out. I feel like things have gotten better for me. I took facebook and twitter off my phone and only check in on the computer during my designated “work” hours. It’s made a world of difference for me and I’m not wasting time “checking in.” Looking forward to the rest of the series!

  49. This recipe looks amazing! As a newish blogger I find it stressful trying to balance everything, I’m learning so many things related to blogging every minute of the day and get sucked into the computer easily for hours at a time. I do make sure I spend a lot of time with my family but am constantly worried about my stats and losing my readers because I’m on vacation….remodeling a kitchen….hugging my son. I think this will be a very well received series because blogging is a job just like any other.

  50. It is sooo hard to find a balance of work and family, especially with my kids home all day in the summer. It’s a battle I have every day. You are not alone! I love the salad by the way, too! It looks fabulous!

  51. Such a gorgeous salad! I love every last ingredient!

  52. I love the colors of this salad and the addition of the berries!

  53. Such stunning photos and a gorgeous recipe!!