Tuesday we had an office thanksgiving potluck. I can't remember the last time I went to a potluck without being constrained to only bring something that would both 1. fit in my backpack and 2. not spill while I biked the five miles in. So what did I do? I brought something that would both 1. fit in my backpack and 2. not spill while I rode the train the three or four miles in. Yes.
Spinach salad with walnuts and dried cranberries
Wash and dry a lot of spinach, trim out any massive stems, and cut the leaves into realistic salad-sized pieces. Stick them in a salad bowl.
Chop some walnuts, maybe 1/3 cup, into rough chunks. Stick them in a frying pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until they're toasted. This should take about five minutes. Then take them out of the pan and let them cool.
Mix the cooled walnuts and another 1/3 cup of dried cranberries with the spinach. You could use other dried fruit, like cherries or chopped apricots, in place of the cranberries. Or you could use fresh apple or pear pieces. It's all good.
Dress sparingly with a mild vinaigrette, which you can bring to the office in its own little container. When someone at your office asks why you're using your hands to mix your salad, you can say, "actually, it's best to toss salad with your hands so as not to bruise the leaves." Then, when they're laughing, you can add, "and the olive oil is really good for your skin!"
Then you can eat it with a huge spread of office potluck, including grocery store rotisserie chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, and extremely damp, dense brownies.