Eat, Drink & Enjoy Your Life

by Holly on January 22, 2012

in dinner,gluten-free,life,recipes,seriousness

It’s a been a week…a really long week.

In the past seven days, I’ve managed to workout regularly, host a brunch for friends, complete a big freelance writing project, start graphic design school, get in a fight with Mama E (<- this never happens), survive a chaotic week at work, get fitted for a retainer, spend the weekend at three different grocery stores offering free samples of Salad Girl organic salad dressings, go on a date with a boy and prepare for another TV spot*.

So…maybe I don’t usually eat bacon or want to solve my problems by drinking glass after glass of prickly pear margaritas or neglect my email inboxes or wait five days between posting on my blog, but when its that kind of a week, you kind of just have to.

Eat the bacon!

Drink the prickly pear margaritas!

Ignore your email!

Don’t blog!

Eat nothing but white carbs for every meal!

Don’t shower if you’d rather sleep those extra 15 minutes!

Wear swimsuit bottoms as underwear if you need to!

Because that’s life!

I used to complain a lot about being so busy (you know, like here or here or here or here). Lately, I’ve been reminding myself that being busy probably means I’m just living life to the extreme…surfing along on its crazy tidal wave dodging unwelcome mouthfuls of salty water, prickly coral reefs and shark attacks. It’s not sustainable for forever, but for now, I’ll survive.

In fact, after graphic design class on Thursday, I went over to my friend Katie’s house to watch Project Runway: All-Stars (Team Mondo and Rami) and made her this sweet potato salad sans bacon and pecans. And because I decided to spend time with my friend even though I was tired, I was gifted the suggestion of adding bacon and pecans to this salad to make it even better.

And it sooooooo was.

Please take this as a reminder to always accept recipe suggestions from those who eat your food and enjoy your own crazy, busy hectic life.

Every single bacon or non-bacon-filled bite.

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
Prep time: 30 minutes

4 small- to medium-sized sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 (5-oz) bag baby spinach
5 slices bacon*
1/2 cup chopped roasted, salted pecans
salt + pepper

Maple-Mustard Vinaigrette
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T Dijon or stoneground mustard
1/2 T maple syrup
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 t white wine vinegar
salt + pepper, to taste
Chopped parsley + pecans, for garnish

*to make recipe vegetarian/vegan, simply omit bacon

Preheat oven to 45o degrees.

On a baking sheet, toss sweet potato cubes, 1 T olive oil and salt + pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat, saute onions in 1 T olive oil. Toss occasionally, letting onion become golden and caramelized. Toss in spinach to wilt. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. In the same saucepan, fry bacon until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes per side. Drain excess fat on a paper towel. Once cooled, break each slice into 3 to 4 pieces.

To make vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients.

To finish, toss roasted sweet potatoes, onion + spinach mixture, bacon pieces, chopped pecans and maple-mustard vinaigrette in a large bowl. Garnish with parsley and pecans.

Makes 4 servings

*Attention Madison readers! I’ll be on the CBS News 3 Morning Show tomorrow morning at 6:45am teaching the greater Madison area how to “Build A Better Bowl of Oatmeal.” Stay tuned!


Megan (The Runner's Kitchen) January 22, 2012 at 8:58 pm

I love all of the things in this recipe, most specifically bacon, maple syrup, sweet potatoes, and you. OH WAIT, you’re not in the recipe. But I still <3 you. And hooray for dates! I like this. Hope it went well :)

Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas January 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Holly, I looooooove what you’re doing with your blog lately. It’s become so darned cohesive (not that it wasn’t before, but it’s just totally gelling.) love, love, love.

mindy @ clueless nut January 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm

So YUM! I will bookmark this recipe and hopefully try it out very soon.

Kailey January 22, 2012 at 9:04 pm

Mmmmmm that looks incredible! I have a feeling I’m about to have INSANELY busy weeks ahead of me, and will probably result in few to zero posts. Whateva. We livin’. LOVE YOU!

Amber January 22, 2012 at 9:29 pm

That looks very good. Good luck on your spot on the news!

Maureen January 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Oh my freak, this looks amazing! Good luck on your news segment!

Katharina January 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm

I want to live in Madison just to see that ;)

Oh man, so now I’m back to reading blogs and what a good post to come back to! I hear you about being crazy busy. Uhhh since I’ve moved to New York I’ve been on a ride. But now I’m starting to settle and really focus on things again. Anyway, this recipe sounds delicious.. I don’t eat bacon BUT still sounds good ;p hehehe.

So much love to you, lady!!

Ann January 22, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Woohoo for dates with boys!

I’m so team Michael, so I’m looking for a final 3 showdown. (Not that I dislike Rami or Mondo, but Michael always got a bum rap, is super talented, and seems super sweet.)

Recipe looks yummy. But bacon pic :(. My personal experience with Applegate is that it is subpar. Especially their chicken apple sausage. Never do that to yourself. Kayem foods has them beat cold. On the bacon note, bacon is fabulous. I made some bacon toffee this weekend as a birthday goodies surprise for my little brother. So ridiculously good and not at all healthy. What’s worse, bacon drippings or butter?

You rock. Keep on keepin’ on. :)

Laura January 22, 2012 at 11:58 pm

That salad looks and sounds amazing!

Masha January 23, 2012 at 1:10 am

I hope the date went well :)

Erica January 23, 2012 at 3:40 am

Hope everything is ok with mama e and hope the date went well!! Sweet potato dishes are always so yummy. I bet this has great sweetness from the potatoes & onions

kelly January 23, 2012 at 7:03 am

Bacon makes everything better!

Sometimes life is out of control but that’s usually always the parts you remember….nobody looks back and thinks “that part of my life that was really boring – man good times!”

Lauren January 23, 2012 at 7:08 am

Wow you’ve done all that last week and still manage to create this beautiful looking salad….you’re something else. :)

Hillary January 23, 2012 at 7:10 am

If taking five days off from posting = more recipes like this, then take all the breaks you need, friend.

Good luck on TV this morning! (Even though it already happened, like, over an hour ago. I bet you were great!)

Sarah@The Flying ONION January 23, 2012 at 7:26 am

Everything about this salad sounds wonderful!

I hope you can enjoy a breather these next couple days! You’ve accomplished more in one week than most people accomplish in a month (a year?!?)

sarah @ sarah learns January 23, 2012 at 7:40 am

umm….everything is better with bacon. everything. this salad looks like it would be awesome without it, but yeah. i’m glad you added the bacon! :)

i’m so bummed, i meant to dvr you this morning & completely forgot. i guess i’ll have to wait for the clip to be posted online…

Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland January 23, 2012 at 9:37 am

Well hello my famous friend! Super awesome that you are on the news again. I will have to look for the clip online. I’m sure you rocked it! That salad looks delicious. If I am ever home for more than 10 minutes, I’m going to make it for dinner!! :)

Erin January 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

omg i’m making this tonight!

Erica D January 23, 2012 at 10:34 am

Looks delicious! And I concur. Being busy means you have a purpose in life, no matter how long that purpose lasts. It’s the first day of my final college semester, so I’m trying to stay positive about my busy schedule for now!

Katie January 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

This recipe is too good to be true. Caramelized onions AND bacon??! I love you so.

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I love crazy busy weeks – it makes me feel super productive, even if that means I’mc razy tired at the end of it all!

Jordan @ food, sweat, and beers January 23, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Salivation. No breathing.

(but not really. that looks delicious.)

Lindsay @ Lindsay's List January 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I SO wished we lived closer to one another. I’d invite myself over for dinner and gab fest on a weekly basis!

Megan (Braise the Roof) January 23, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Was this date a result of online dating? I need details. :) This salad looks fantastic, I’m putting it on the list. Your friend is very wise for suggesting the bacon- bacon is always a good idea.

emily (a nutritionist eats) January 23, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Ok, you are turning famous and I LOVE it!
This salad sounds absolutely amazing Holly! Oh, and love Salad Girl Dressings! :)

Callie January 23, 2012 at 3:52 pm

Hey Holly,
you most likely don’t remember me because we met so briefly, but I ran into you near Anthropologie in Milwaukee this past summer-it was such a treat for me! I continue to read your blog and am always more cheerful when I do. This recipe looks incredible, I cannot wait to try it!

Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes January 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Oh my goodness, this salad looks amazing!! And congrats on the t.v. appearance!! That is way exciting!

dana @ my little celebration January 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

You are so rad, rocking it with the tv appearances. Give ’em your best, girl! It’ll pay off! Plus, I love watching you. You’re so entertaining and fun!!

TeriLyn [a foodie stays fit] January 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm


Speaking of inboxes getting ignored…your email is in that pile! Stay tuned. I just might have a NYC roomie for you. It’s not me *YET* but it’s my bestie, so that’s second best, right?

This recipe looks amazing. You are amazing on TV. You are amazing. <– (period)

Lauren @ The Climbing Chef January 25, 2012 at 10:15 am

That is awesome! My life just got 100x crazier now that school started…. Taking Trig and Chemistry when I haven’t had a math/science class in over 4 years, was probably not the best idea. If I get to blog on my blog tonight, it’ll be a miracle :) Oh yea, did I mention that I have to work at 13hr day at work on Friday? C’est le vie :)

Stacy @ Say It With Sprinkles January 29, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Bacon & pecans have the potential to make anything better!

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