Baby Spinach Salad With Colorful Berries, Mandarin Oranges, And Honey Dijon Dressing

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There is a special joy in having a colorful  ”summer like” salad in the middle of winter.  Our color adding idea today features fresh baby spinach with strawberries, blueberries and Mandarin Oranges, with a simple homemade honey Dijon dressing.  As an alternative, you can use a commercially available honey Dijon dressing, preferably a light version having less than 80 calories per serving.  With fresh produce now available from our warmer areas and from global supply chains, these types of dishes can now be a reality even during our colder months.  What a terrific way to add a full cup of green vegetables and one half cup of red, blue/purple, and orange fruits, all in one salad.

Spinach Profile 

History:  The use of spinach can be traced back to ancient Persia, to China in the 7th century, and to Spain in the 11th century.  The term ” Spinach Florentine” is believed to have originated in the 16th century when it was first introduced into Italy.  Spinach is now enjoyed worldwide with the United States being a major grower and user.

Uses: Spinach enjoys the distinction of being one of our most versatile vegetables.  In addition to salads, spinach is used extensively as a delicious side dish; in omelets and other egg dishes; in sandwiches and wraps; in soups; and in pasta dishes like lasagna

Purchase & Preparation: Spinach for salads can be purchased in fresh bunches and in shelf life extended bags where the spinach has been washed and trimmed.  All spinach should be a deep green color with no signs of yellowing.  Fresh bunches of spinach should be trimmed and  washed thoroughly to remove any dirt that still may be on the leaves.  Many experts also suggest washing the bagged spinach as well.  You can use paper towels,  a salad spinner, or a colander to dry the leaves thoroughly before using.

Nutrition: Spinach is considered to be among the world’s healthiest vegetables with powerful antioxidant,  anti-inflamatory, and anti-cancer benefits.  Spinach is rich in Vitamin C for immunity assistance along with lutein and zeaxanthin renown for vision health benefits.

Recipe: Baby Spinach Salad With Colorful Berries,  Mandarin Oranges, And  Honey Dijon Dressing

Ingredients:  (Serves 4)

  • 8 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup of sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 Mandarin Orange
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard

Directions:   Preparation Time:  20 minutes       Total Time:    20 minutes

  • Wash the spinach as described above as well as the berries using a colander or other similar kitchen tool.  Dry thoroughly using a salad spinner for the spinach and a paper towel for the berries
  • De-stem and slice the strawberries
  • Combine baby spinach leaves with fruit in a medium size salad bowl
  • Toss to combine the colorful fruit and vegetable ingredients
  • Using a small mixing bowl, combine and mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon Mustard to prepare the Honey Dijon dressing
  • Drizzle the dressing mixture over the salad ingredients
  • Toss well and serve

Nutrition Profile:

  • Calories:  110
  • Total Fat:  3.5 grams
  • Saturated Fat: .5 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg.
  • Sodium:  125 mg.
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 grams
  • Sugars:  11 grams
  • Protein:  2 grams
  • Vitamin A & Vitamin C: 35% and 60% of Daily Values based upon a 2,000 calorie diet

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