My Love Affair... with Spinach
Friends, I have to tell you something. I am a picky eater. Now that I have that off my chest I feel so much better. My food palette used to be quite simple and with little variety or vegetables for that matter.
That is until a few years ago when I fell in love with Spinach. Yes, Spinach.
Over the holidays, feeling bogged down with all the treats and wine, salads were all I wanted. This is when I ventured to my Pinterest board for a few new recipes, right back to my health eating board and this was one of the first to catch my eyes.
Spinach Salad with Sweet-Spicy Nuts, Apples. Feta and Bacon* was the original inspiration for my salad creation!
When I tell you it was even more delicious than it looks, it really was. I ate this salad for days and actually craved it while at the office, was almost tempted to drive home to eat it!
First of all, it has bacon on it and everything is better with BACON! Second of all sweet and spicy walnuts. A little cheese, dried cranberries, honey crisp apples and a light dressing... perfection.
Here's what you need:
- 16oz of spinach
- 6 slices of applewood smoked bacon (cooked and crumbled)
- 1 cup of Feta or Gorgonzola (my fave)
- 1 cup of dried cranberries or try fresh blueberries
- 1-2 honey crisp apples
- 1 cup of chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
- pinch of cayenne
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup EVOO
- 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 garlic (mined or pressed)
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Lightly toast the nuts in an oven set at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, constantly checking to make sure they don't burn! While they're toasting up, cook the sugar, cayenne and salt over medium heat keeping a close eye to assure it doesn't bubble! Toss in the nuts to coat completely, lay on parchment paper and separate with a fork if necessary. Wait until nuts cool before assembling the salad.
Mix together red wine vinegar, EVOO, dijon mustard, garlic, sugar and salt! Pour over your assembled salad and ENJOY! We added grilled chicken or swapped out dried cranberries for fresh berries.
Hands down, an easy salad coming from a picky eater. Know exactly what I'll be making for next week's lunches at work --- Spinach Salad for days!