Sunday, August 12, 2012

Strawberry Spinach Salad

You know those super-hot August days where you feel like there was no point in showering after you step outside? Where a walk to and from the mailbox leaves you drenched in sweat? And when lunchtime comes around, you're so sick to your stomach from heat that anything at room temperature or higher is enough to make you queasy?
Introducing my favorite light and fresh summer treat - Strawberry Spinach Salad. Packed with delicious fruit, protein-filled nuts and nutritious spinach, this dish will get you through the heat, and you'll feel good about eating it. I like to make a huge bowl of this stuff on Sundays, then spoon a little into a dish for a super-quick lunch every day during the week.

To make this delectable and light salad, grab these ingredients:

8 cups of baby spinach
7 ounces shelled (but not chopped) walnuts
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blueberries

For the dressing:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 teaspoons brown sugar

Start by layering your ingredients in a bowl: Spinach first, then walnuts, strawberries, and blueberries. Fairly simple, eh? Not too much chopping, and the mixture of fruits and veggies gives the salad great color.

Let me also add again how incredibly nutritious spinach is, particularly when eaten raw (cooking/boiling spinach can almost cut its nutrient level in half). Most of us don't get enough folate in our diet, which spinach is packed to the brim with. Folate is the natural form of folic acid, which is good for cell growth and emotional health.

To make your dressing, violently whisk the oil, vinegar, and brown sugar together until well combined.

Since the vinegar and sugars start to combine, I recommend either pouring all of your dressing on the salad and serving immediately, or storing it into an airtight container and refrigerating until use. This dressing is a bit on the sour side to combat the sweetness of the berries, so I usually like to have my guests add their own dressing to taste. That way, everyone's happy.

Enjoy the rest of your summer with a meal you won't regret. Filling, nutritious, and delicious - what could be better?

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