Spinach Salad


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I made this spinach salad the other night to pair with my dinner. I wanted to make a light but delicious salad that was full of flavor and crunchy goodness.

When I was adding the final touches to my spinach salad I decided something was missing, I had a box of Olivia’s Croutons® and I immediately realized they were the perfect topping for my masterpiece

I used the Olivia’s Croutons® garlic flavor, it made my salad crunchy and added the flair I was looking for. It was my fist time trying Olivia’s gluten free croutons and I wasn’t disappointed, it actually made my salad incredible and we all enjoyed my yummy salad.

Ingredients

  • 8 Cups fresh baby spinach (1 bag)
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • 1 Cup Olivia’s Croutons® ( Garlic Flavor)
  • 1/4 Cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 Cup crumbled goat or feta cheese
  • 1/2 Cup roasted cashews (or your favorite nuts)
  • 1/4 Cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes

For the Dressing

  • 2 Teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 Cup Italian extra-virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, stems removed, washed and spun dry, torn into pieces
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 Cup red wine vinegar

Tomato and Spinach Salad Recipe

This spinach and tomato salad has been life changing for at least one woman. It’s SO simple, baby spinach, boiled eggs, tomatoes, with a flavor reminiscent of Caprese Salad. But a couple special touches push it over the edge from simple to phenomenal!

Do you see those tiny reddish orange dots on the tomato spinach salad? That’s one of my favorite secret weapons in the kitchen. It’s called Alaea Sea Salt and is a Hawaiian sea salt that gets its coloring for the red clay dirt that is all over quite a bit of the islands. I use it in everything from making kalua pig to crispy kale chips, but one of my favorite ways to use alaea salt is sprinkling it on salads.

Alaea Sea Salt is a traditional Hawaiian table salt that’s been used for years to season and preserve. A natural mineral called “Alae” (volcanic baked red clay) is added to enrich the salt with iron oxide. The clay imparts a subtle flavor that I find mellower and more earthy than regular sea salt. I love using it in salads because not only does it add an earthy saltiness to the flavor of the salad, but it gives it a delightfully crunchy texture as well.

The first class of the Autumn series of the Healthy Cooking on a Tight Budget Program was called “Lettuce Free Salads” and the last salad we made was this simple spinach tomato salad. All the class participants (20 women and 4 men) were excited about the new ingredients they learned about through out the class, including fennel and purslane. But the Alaea salt definitely got the biggest reaction.

One woman came up to me after tasting it and was literally jumping up and down! “My momma has been trying to get me to eat spinach since I was born, but you’re the first person to get me to like it. I’m gonna go home and make this for my family, they gonna fall outta their chairs!” Her enthusiasm was contagious and soon we were all grinning at her new found love of spinach.

A couple tips on possible adaptations of the salad. You could soft boil the eggs, but I usually hard boil them. Feel free to check out my tutorial on how to boil eggs. You can also add chopped chives or green onions to the salad as in the photos. I like to do that when I have some in my windowsill garden, but it’s still amazing without them. For the vinaigrette dressing below, you can really give your tastebuds a punch of happy if you use a flavored olive oil. I had some rosemary garlic oil left over from making white bean salad for the Latino Health Fair. The depth it added to the bright vinaigrette was like a small breeze on an autumn day, barely discernible but more than welcome.

This spinach tomato salad recipe is perfect for a lunch or light dinner. It also makes a great side salad for a simple steak, or lamb chop recipe. Oh and, if you’re wondering about the gorgeous green drink in the top photo, it’s my now famous lavender lemonade!


My Favorite Apple Spinach Salad

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Last Monday night, I decided it was time to buy Barclay a “sharp” little present.

I had taken off work a few hours early that day to head over to his place and cook up a big “family dinner” for all seven of his bandmates (and their significant others) to share together after rehearsal. And I was totally looking forward to the dinner! But I was a little apprehensive about the idea of cooking for a dozen+ people in his kitchen. Because the process of actually cooking in there can sometimes be…well, how might we say…its own kind of improvisation.

Basically, it’s a total bachelor’s kitchen. He and his roommate shop exclusively (I’m not kidding) at their neighborhood Costco. So the fridge is stocked with a half dozen cartons of almond milk, dozens of eggs, huge blocks of cheese, tubs of mixed greens, beer (of course)…and that’s about it. Their pantry has a collection of random spices, Barc’s beloved oatmeal squares in bulk, some Costco-sized jars of coconut oil and olive oil and balsamic…and that’s about it. Then they have a set of cookware, two small mixing bowls, and a handful of kitchen tools…but that’s about it. Oh, and the microwave is in the basement, and the oven doesn’t work. (<– A little ironic for dating the Gimme Some Oven girl.) )

Don’t get me wrong, ha, I totally love it. It’s a cute little kitchen, and extra-cute when he’s there. ) And for two bachelors who rarely cook — well, beyond making a bowl of “squares” for breakfast, or a big salad for lunch, or packing a big picnic (Barc’s specialty, which I love) for dinner — it totally works for them. But cooking anything beyond that generally requires grocery bags full of ingredients be hauled over to his place, and a fair share of “improvising” happen with the random ingredients or cookware that I inevitably always forget.

On Monday night, for example, I realized he didn’t have any large serving dishes, so I improvised and served salad for a dozen people in an enormous stockpot. I also forgot he didn’t own a ladle, so we served up the butternut squash soup with a measuring cup. Then in lieu of a full oven, I put his little toaster oven to work, roasting trays upon trays upon trays of veggies. But the one thing I’ve learned that I can’t “improvise” my way around in his kitchen is working with knives that are — shall we say — less than sharp. There just don’t seem to be many ways to get around that. And sure enough, as I was standing there in the kitchen on Monday night, listening to the band practice in the other room, working on making a triple batch of this salad, and trying to thinly-slice a half dozen apples with a dull knife, and then watching said knife instead slip right off that apple and slice right through my finger — yet again I decided it was time for a little gift-giving. )

I realize that it may now be the only thing in his kitchen now that’s not from Costco. (Amazon Prime for the win!) But I’m happy to say that Barclay’s kitchen is now the proud new owner of his first very sharp knife!

And I, for one, couldn’t be happier. )

So now the next time that we decide to make this apple spinach salad — one of my all-time favorite recipes that I make again and again this time of year — we can thinly slice those apples and onions (as Barc likes to say) “with peace in our hearts”. And a sharp knife in my band-aid-free hand. )

Which is great, because I’m already looking forward to this salad happening again.

It’s nothing particularly original. But it’s a salad I’ve been making since I first learned to cook, and as such, it has become total comfort food for me each year when the summer veggies start to fade away and crisp apples come back in season.

The core ingredients are always the same — tons of fresh baby spinach, lots of thinly-sliced crisp apples, soft cheese, nuts and a good tangy vinaigrette. But really, just about all of those ingredients can be improvised with whatever you have on hand. No baby spinach? Feel free to sub in any kale or other greens you have in the fridge. Don’t like goat cheese? Any soft cheese like feta, blue, or even brie would work. Don’t have any champagne vinegar on hand for the champagne vinaigrette? Feel free to sub in apple cider vinegar or even a balsamic. And if you’d like to add some protein, baked chicken tastes delicious with this salad. Ha, basically, you can make this one just about however you’d like. )

But for kicks, here’s my favorite way of making this salad. Simply add all of your prepped ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle them with the vinaigrette…

…and within about, oh, 15 minutes or so, this bright and fresh and wonderful salad will be yours to enjoy. Or, share with your boyfriend and a dozen or so other friends. )

Again, go with whatever ingredients work for you. And if you’re prepping things in advance, be sure to toss your apple slices in some lemon juice so that they don’t brown before your meal. And then otherwise — dive in and ENJOY!

Hope that you love this salad as much as I do, and I hope that your autumn is off to a delicious start. :)


Once tossed, it is best to enjoy salad the same day. Spinach wilts extremely fast.

You can make it ahead though: Refrigerate all salad ingredients in a bowl covered with plastic separately from the dressing for up to 2 days. Dressing lasts for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

What if dressing solidifies in the fridge? Olive oil hardens when refrigerated. Just place the jar with the dressing in a bowl with hot water for 10 minutes or so. Always shake dressing before adding to salad.

I absolutely love my salad spinner. But if you don’t have one here is how you can dry spinach without a salad spinner:
1. Wash spinach in a large bowl with cold water.
2. Drain and wash again.
3. Drain as much as you can. I usually hold it with my hand. No colander.
4. Spread on a linen towel and pat dry. You might have to switch a towel for dry one. Still more environmentally friendly choice than paper towels.

Unfortunately not. Once you freeze fresh spinach it wilts. You can freeze spinach for a green smoothie recipe, lentil soup or spinach dip though. Works like a charm.

If you would like to “glorify” this simple salad with candied pecans, here is how to make them:
1. In a large skillet, add 1 cup pecans and toast them on medium heat for 5 minutes or until fragrant, stirring often.
2. Turn off heat and add 1 tbsp maple syrup.
3. Stir until nuts are all coated and caramelize.

Of course you can double proportions because these nuts make a delicious snack!


My Spinach Salad

Cook eggs: cover with water, bring to a boil, then turn off heat and allow to sit in water for 20 minutes. Drain off water and add ice on top of eggs.

Fry bacon until crispy/chewy. Remove to a paper towel.

Remove 3 tablespoons grease and set aside.

Add 2 add'l tablespoons of grease to a separate skillet over medium heat.

Slice red onions very thinly, then add to skillet. Cook slowly until onions are caramelized and reduced. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Slice mushrooms and add them to the same skillet. Cook slowly until caramelized and brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.

Make hot bacon dressing: Add 3 tablespoons bacon grease, vinegar, sugar, and Dijon to a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat. Whisk mixture together and heat thoroughly.

Add spinach to a large bowl. Arrange onions, mushrooms, and bacon on top. Pour hot dressing over the top toss to combine.
Arrange eggs over the top and serve.


This spinach salad is set apart from the typical spinach salad in two important ways: The red onions, which are usually sliced thin and added to the salad raw, are cooked until brown and tossed with the spinach. And the mushrooms, which are also usually sliced and added to the salad raw, are&hellipcooked until brown and tossed with the spinach. Crumbled bacon comes next, followed by a drizzle of hot bacon dressing. Then finally, the salad is topped with sliced hard boiled eggs. So you have the cold spinach tossed with warm onions, mushrooms, and bacon, tossed with hot bacon dressing, and topped with cold, sliced eggs.

It just doesn&rsquot get any better than that.

We go way back, this salad and me, and we&rsquove had a long, long time to get acquainted. And we know each other well.

We&rsquore going to need some hard boiled eggs&mdashthree of them. So put three eggs into a smallish saucepan&hellip

Cover the eggs with water.

Then turn off the heat and allow the eggs to sit in the water while you fix the other ingredients. Don&rsquot be disturbed by the floaties in the water&mdashthey&rsquore mineral deposits and egg residue, so there.

Next, fry seven slices of thick-cut bacon. I like to cut the pieces in half before frying&mdashthey cook more evenly that way.


12 Spinach Salads That Would Make Popeye Sing

Fish sauce, lime juice and lemongrass make such a delicious dressing that it's easy to forget how healthy this salad is.

This aromatic salad borrows flavors from Indian cuisine and is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, thanks to a combination of chickpeas, mango, baby spinach, and almonds.

Creamy and crunchy, hearty and light: This starter is a symphony of delectable contradictions with the pairing of green apples, spinach, and breakfast radishes.

Wilted spinach and peas is a classic side dish. This hearty version is substantial enough for a lunchtime main course.

Former Top Chef contestant, Sam Talbot, creates a summery seafood-spinach salad perfect for a warm weather patio party.

Roasted grapes might seem like an unusual addition to this hearty spinach and grain salad, but their sweet, herb-flecked flavor adds a gourmet touch to this simple dish.

It is easy to love this popular combination. Light, healthful, and delicious, it is best prepared when strawberries are at their early-summer peak. The dressing is slightly sweet, and the poppy seeds and chopped pecans add nice texture. Goat cheese, ricotta salata, or feta cheese would make a great addition.

The three components of this salad can be readied ahead of time and later mixed together for a healthful lunch. For the freshest tasting salad, open the can of tuna right before serving.

Cooked spinach can get soggy and lose flavor. Michael Mina opts to top raw spinach with a warm dressing, so the leaves lightly wilt croutons soak up any liquid.

Malabar spinach holds up to warm ingredients without losing its texture in this rich and hearty salad.

This dish is full of flavor (and heart-healthy fiber) thanks to the balanced combination of tart balsamic chicken and a lightly sweet and crunchy salad made with spinach, green apple, and lemon juice.

Even meat and potato types will fall for this hefty salad, which piles smoked turkey chunks, big wedges of juicy apples, Cheddar cheese, red onion, and homemade croutons on a bed of crisp spinach.


Substitutions

  • What is a good substitute for spinach? Arugula has a mustard-like yet soft flavor and is a great substitute for spinach.
  • What can you replace pine nuts with? If you don’t want to use pine nuts, use toasted slivered almonds or sliced almonds. You can also use toasted pumpkin seeds.
  • What cheese can you use instead of Parmesan? You can replace Parmesan with Pecorino Romano or Asiago cheese. You can also use goat cheese or feta cheese.
  • Salad dressing. Use a simple dressing made with olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Or, use any store-bought salad dressing of your choice.

Preparation

Step 1

Combine shallot, vinegar, chile flakes, ½ tsp. sugar, and ½ tsp. salt in a small nonreactive bowl let sit at room temperature until ready to use.

Step 2

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fat has rendered and bacon is browned and crisp, 8–10 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towels. Pour off 1 Tbsp. fat set aside for dressing.

Step 3

Return skillet to medium heat and add mushrooms and garlic to remaining bacon fat season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown, 6–8 minutes.

Step 4

Whisk buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and reserved bacon fat in a medium bowl until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in herbs cover and chill until cold, at least 30 minutes.

Step 5

Transfer shallot to a large bowl discard vinegar mixture. Add spinach, dressing, bacon, and mushrooms and toss to coat. Divide salad among plates.

Step 6

Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

How would you rate Classic Spinach Salad?

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Notes about Spinach Salad with Bacon:

You can modify this recipe for one person or for as many as you need to feed. Just decrease or increase the amounts of spinach, hard boiled eggs and bacon.

The vinaigrette can be doubled or tripled. If you have more than you need, store the remaining sealed up tight in the refrigerator. You will need to give it a good shake before using the second time. The olive oil may even solidify in the refrigerator. Let it sit out at room temperature to loosen it up.

Not a big fan of spinach, feel free to substitute a different lettuce such as romaine instead.

You could easily add more salad toppings if desired. Tomatoes or croutons would be yummy.


Healthy benefits of our Mediterranean Spinach Salad Recipe

Tomatoes- Antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.

Peppers- Red, Orange, and Yellow Bell Peppers are full of great health benefits—they’re packed with vitamins and low in calories! They are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Bell Peppers also contain a healthy dose of fiber, folate, and iron.

Cucumbers- G ood sources of fiber, particularly in the skin. They also provide potassium and magnesium. The AHA also recommend reducing sodium and increasing potassium intake to help prevent high blood pressure. The cucurbitacins in cucumber may also help prevent atheroslcerosis.

Spinach- An excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate as well as being a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health and it is difficult to find vegetables richer in vitamin K than spinach.

Kalamata Olives- Good source of fiber, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K. They also provide some magnesium, phosphorous and potassium per serving as well as B vitamins.

Greek Feta Cheese- Feta is a brined, white cheese with a soft and creamy texture. Compared to other cheeses, it’s low in calories and fat. It also contains a high amount of B vitamins, phosphorus and calcium, which can benefit bone health. Additionally, feta contains beneficial bacteria and fatty acids.

Oregano- Leaves of the oregano plant have antispasmodic, antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, increase bile secretion, expectorant and stimulant. Oregano has been found to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic activities.

Olive Oil- Is widely recognized as one of the world’s healthiest oils. In fact, people tend to live longer and healthier lives in regions where olive oil is a staple part. It is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, contains large amounts of antioxidants, strong anti-inflammatory properties, may help prevent strokes, protective against heart disease.


  • 1 large Chioggia beet (about 1 pound)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped green garlic, white part mostly
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallion
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound mature spinach, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground Aleppo or Maras pepper

Place beet in a large saucepan with water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until tender all the way to the center, 35 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool.

Meanwhile, combine green garlic and 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan cook over medium-low heat until the garlic is tender but not brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, yogurt, fresh mint, scallion, salt and pepper.

Peel and julienne the beet. Add to the bowl along with spinach and toss with the dressing until well coated. Mound on a serving platter. Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with dried mint, oregano and Aleppo (or Maras) pepper.



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