This is my very favorite salad of all-time. Last spring, before the ridiculous heat and drought, when my spinach was growing a crazy rate--I ate this salad everyday. It is light, fruity and just a tiny bit sweet. The chewy cranberries pair well with the crunchy spinach and almonds. I love the easy citrus vinaigrette and the slightly salty feta cheese. YUM! The vitamin C in the citrus helps your body absorb the iron in the spinach better. In my opinion there is a perfect balance of protein, healthy fat, fiber and carbs.
This recipe makes one large, lunch-sized serving. Feel free to double or triple it for smaller pot luck servings or as a side dish for a family meal. The dressing recipe is a 1:1:1 ratio, meaning you can use 1 Tbs. of each ingredient or 1 cup of each. It stores for about 2-3 days in the refrigerator if you want to keep it on hand, although it is simple enough to whip up one serving at a time.
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
2 c. organic baby spinach
3-4 strawberries, sliced
1 mandarin or clementine orange, peeled and segmented
1/4 c. dried cranberries
2 T. slivered almonds
2 T. Feta cheese
1 T. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 T. warm water
1 T. olive oil
dash of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice (optional)
1. Layer the spinach leaves with the fruit, nuts and cheese on a large plate.
2. Add frozen orange juice concentrate to a small bowl and stir in warm water. Squeeze in a dash of lemon or lime juice (optional). Whisk in olive oil until emulsified.
3. Drizzle dressing over salad and grab a fork!
Note: If you are making this salad to take to a picnic or even just to work for lunch, take the dressing separately and pour over the salad just before serving. If you add the dressing ahead of time, the spinach leaves will wilt.