Sunday, March 25, 2012

Spinach Salad: 2 Ways

I have been getting a lot of easy, lunch requests. One of my favorites lunches is a spinach salad. If you don't already do so, I implore you to keep spinach around. It's super easy to throw together in a salad (not to mention, the combinations are endless), it can be featured in a vast array of dishes, and the health benefits are outstanding. To make a quick lunch the night before, just put the salad in a large tupperware container, the dressing in a small tupperware container, and it's ready to go (you can also make a couple salads at a time, as long as you keep the wet ingredients separate). These salads are also fabulous for a late-night dinner when you don't have much time to cook, and you want something that won't weigh you down right before bedtime.

Here are TWO of my favorite spinach salads...


With Candied Slivered Almonds & Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Here is a beautiful salad that looks, smells, and taste like spring! It features strawberries, which start peaking in the spring (and are on sale if you haven't noticed!), tangy goat cheese, nuts, and a sharp, acidic salad dressing. Great for lunch or dinner -- I provided options in the recipe so you can adapt it to your taste, amount of time, and ingredients you have available.

Salad Ingredients
Single serving: 
* 1 cup packed spinach leaves, washed & dried
* 1/4 cup of your favorite nuts (recommended: slivered almonds, pecans, or walnuts)
* Handful of sliced strawberries
* Sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese 
** Dress it up with candied nuts; see my How To
** Bulk it up with slices of grilled or sauteed chicken breast

Salad Dressing: 2 Options
Simple Balsamic Vinaigrette (12 servings)
* 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
** Optional add-in: 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
** Sweet twist: 2 tablespoons honey


Poppy Seed Dressing (12 servings)
* 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1/3 cup white sugar
* 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
* 3/4 tablespoon poppy seeds

* To combine dressing ingredients, whisk together in a bowl, or shake together in a salad dressing shaker.
* Pour it over your salad, and enjoy...

And another...


Meet my favorite lunch. This salad is my ultimate go-to for two main reasons.

First off, it features fresh ingredients I buy weekly, no matter the season. The ingredients in this salad are gloriously healthy, and are some that I hope you incorporate into your diet on a daily basis. Garbanzo beans are also a great pantry item because they can be featured in a variety of salads, and are a great protein go-to in a hurry.

Second, this salad has the most fantastic texture. Within one bite, you get the sweet crunch from the red bell pepper, creamy avocado, crispy-crunch from the chow mein noodles, and it finishes with a smooth and flavorful dressing. It is such an easy salad to throw together, and it is one that you will find yourself making over and over and over again. Enjoy!

Single serving:
* 1 cup packed spinach leaves, washed & dried
* 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed & drained
* 1/4 cup red pepper,  sliced (about 1/2 red pepper)
* 1/2 avocado, cut in bite-sized pieces
* Sprinkle of Chow Mein noodles (located find in the Asian foods aisle of the grocery store)
** Other great additions: sliced mushrooms, slices of hard-boiled egg

* Sisters' Sesame Garlic Sass
* I know this isn't technically "fresh," however, because this dressing is so delicious and is made with natural ingredients/no artificial preservatives, I have never felt the need to tried to replicate it myself. I've always been able to find it at HEB in the refrigerated section near the vegetables. 

* Combine ingredients, top with dressing, and chow down...

No comments:

Post a Comment