Last month I have been away from blogging as we have family visiting from India and trips every weekend :). Life is returning to normalcy now and I am back on track with my culinary ventures and of course my health mantra for this year. Today I bring to the table a very simple salad that I making more often at home these days – Spinach and mandarin orange salad – The combination of spinach and orange is to die for ! Traditionally mandarin oranges are used along with the baby spinach in this salad, but any kind of tasty orange works fine. Spinach – a super food, orange– an excellent choice of vitamin E and walnuts – a heart friendly nut- this is a very good nutrition packed wholesome salad. Superfood is a term sometimes used to describe food with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits as a result. For example, blueberries are often considered a superfood (or superfruit) because they contain significant amounts of antioxidants, anthocyanins, vitamin C, manganese, and dietary fiber. You can find more details on superfoods online if you google it.
This salad leaves you feeling full and satisfied. Try it and see!
Baby spinach – 2 cups packed.
Orange – 2 medium – peeled and deseeded (if the oranges are large, cut each pod into half)
Onion – handful of thinly sliced rings or half rings.
Walnuts – a handful (we like it lightly toasted, you can just add untoasted too)
Artichoke hearts – 3 or 4 chopped roughly (OPTIONAL)
Cranberries – handful (I add dried cranberries for a slight sour tast, raisins work fine too – optional)
Sunflower seeds – a handful (optional).
Orange juice- 2 tbsp (you can just squeeze out a little juice from the oranges that you will add to the salad.)
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Extra virgin olive oil – about 2 tbsp
Salt – as per taste
Pepper – as per taste
Prepare the dressing using all the ingredients mentioned in the above dressing section and refrigerate it, about 1 or 2 hours before serving.
Chop and toss all the ingredients for the salad in a bowl except for the oranges and refrigerate the salad. Add the oranges in the end before serving, else the spinach and other ingredients will turn soggy.
Just 2 minutes before serving, add the dressing to the salad, toss and serve.
Spinach and the mandarin orange salad with the orange-olive oil dressing is a classic and a sure hit on the salad bar:) You can add any other ingredients to the salad according to you taste like pecans, slivered almonds etc. Use your imagination and toss it up!