Am the only one who gets excited to go to Whole Foods? Intense colors displayed in hypnotic patterns that trigger visions of what I might create and could become. I daydeamed by thegargantuan wheel of asiago cheese on which bosc pears were displayed imagining thatthese would be perfect for my fall color outing with Ina and Michael at my cottage in Westport, Connecticut. “Lady, you’ll have to move so I can unload these apples,” Chuck on his name badge interrupted. Shouldn’t Chuck work in meat?

I have to watch myself or I will overbuy at my green grocer because I get wild intentions that I too will make my own green juice from kale and then watch that kale fade away day after day in my refrigerator until I cannot bear its suffering any longer and admit that it must put it down. My friend Ron told me to expect to lose 10% of your garden and 10% of your produce.

I passed the fennel display for maybe the thousandth time only subconsciously registering that’s fennel and I’m smart. Still in my fall color mood, despite record heat temps in LA, I grabbed a stalk with wild intentions knowing this will shake up my salads and with new flavors and new healthy stuff. This time, imagined intentions turned into real lunch.

I’m not sure I should mention the staggering amount of nutrients in this salad for fear it will scare off some people who will think it will most certainly taste like tree bark and moss. But, this salad is loaded with tastebud happiness starting with the fennel and its fresh licorice flavor, the sweet tartness of Granny Smiths and the bitter spinach that all combine in perfect balance with the salty depth of pecorino cheese. Need I speak of this salad’s low calorie count or will that become another reason not to make this at home?

shaved fennel and spinach salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

1/2 c shaved fennel slices – mandaline works best for a hint of flavor, but I sliced with the knife.

1 1/2 c loose spinach leaves (from a package)

1/3 c granny smith apples, thinly sliced

1/2 oz or 1 T pecorino cheese, grated or shaved

1 t lemon

1/2 t olive oil

s&p to taste

Assemble in layers or toss together and plate. Taste a spinach leaf to be sure your dressing flavors are to your liking – and adjust.

Cook’s Options: Use any type of lettuce. Use feta or goat cheeses – anything strong and salty.

Cook’s Tips: Keep a bag of nutrient-crazy spinach leaves on hand for omelettes, pastas and to toss a handful in every salad.

recipe provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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