Recipes

Spinach Berry Salad

I know what most of you are thinking, GROSS! Fruit, in salad, with spinach. You must be the type of person who puts pineapple on their pizza! Well that is true, I will put pineapple on pizza. Truth is, my eating habits are not all that far from a goats. I will pretty much try anything.  So as long as it’s rich in flavor I will probably eat it. Yes fruit mixed with vegetables is a little weird but that doesn’t mean it can’t taste good if done correctly. The thing I love about this salad is the fact that you get your veggies, fruit, dairy and grains but all the sweetness from the fruit will satisfy that sweet tooth you get right after dinner. Not only that, but spinach isn’t really a full flavored vegetable. It’s kind of like a filler. So mixing spinach with fruit doesn’t taste gross because after all the fruit and the delicious home made vinaigrette, you can’t really taste the spinach. It gives a nice texture to the salad but nothing more. When I originally came up with this salad it had home made candied pecans. Then I saw that they had  200 calories per ounce. So unless you’re an athlete who needs 2,000 calories per day or more, I wouldn’t use pecans. After realizing how many calories were in them; I set out to find a nut with less calories. After looking at the nutrition facts for each type of nut, I discovered that you could eat twice as many almonds for 30 less calories. I chose to use dry roasted almonds to add a salty smoky flavor to all that sweetness. So to make this deliciousness in a bowl this is what you will need:

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Ingredients:

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 c. Blackberries
  • 1/4 c.olive oil
  • 1/2 c. Raspberry Apple Cider
  • 1/4 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 c. water

For the Salad:

  • 1 c. Spinach
  • 1/8 c. Dry Roasted Almonds (slivered)
  • 1/8 c. fresh Blackberries (optional)
  • 1/8 c. Blueberries
  • 1/4 of a Pear (sliced)
  • 1 Strawberry (sliced)
  • 1/4 of an Avocado (sliced)
  • 1/4 c. cooked Quinoa
  • 1/8 c. Crumbled Feta or Goat Cheese

According to Lose It! These are the approximated nutrition facts for this meal. Keep in mind it’s also based off of you consuming 1/8 of all the vinaigrette you just made. Mostly because that was the lowest it would allow me to go. Depending on how much salad dressing you use it’s probably closer to 20 calories.

nutrition-facts

Assuming you don’t have any cooked Quinoa in the fridge, you’re going to want to start with that first. I use Tricolor Quinoa. If you can, I do recommend doing this at least an hour in advance. Hot quinoa doesn’t taste very good on a cold salad.

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Next, follow the cooking instructions on the back. Luckily this one only takes ten to fifteen minutes to cook at most.

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Before I move on, let me explain why I chose quinoa for this recipe. Since it is a salad mostly made up of fruit I wanted something that wasn’t going to take away from all of the other flavors but would still allow you to get the amount of grain you need. The other reason I chose it was because I didn’t add meat to the salad. Quinoa has 6g of protein per serving, that coupled with the almonds is the perfect amount of protein for this meal without having to add meat.

While your Quinoa is cooking it’s time to start on your delicious homemade vinaigrette.

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This dressing is super easy to make. All you do is take all of your ingredients and blend them in a blender or food processor. Blend until you get the consistency you desire.

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Once your vinaigrette is done, measure out your almonds and slice.

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After this you only have 3 more things to slice. Slice up your pair, avocado and strawberry in sizes that appeal to you.

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Okay, ready for the hardest part? Literally all you have to do is toss all your salad ingredients together. I told you this part was very difficult! Teehee!

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Now you’re ready to drizzle that yummy vinaigrette onto your salad! Okay… that might be a little excessive. So my last tip for this recipe: pour your salad dressing into a container where you can actually drizzle it onto your salad instead of pouring it onto your salad.

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Viola! You now have a delicious salad packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. I also noticed that all the sweet from the salad made my regular after dinner sweet tooth go away. Let me know what you think of this recipe and it helped your sweet tooth at all in the comments section. Thanks for reading! Stay tuned to see what this Thursday Tips are!

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