Ahhh, spring has sprung! The grass is green, the lilacs and tulips are blooming and all is well with the world! With all this sunshine and warm weather, I am in the mood to prepare and enjoy more salads. It’s no secret that I love spinach and strawberries so I thought that I would like to use them in this salad creation. I decided to throw in some other tasty and wholesome ingredients such as water chestnuts, raisins, mandarin oranges, walnuts and chicken breast to make the perfect salad. I didn’t want to spoil all this goodness with bottled dressing so I made up an easy, yet healthy from scratch dressing with three basic ingredients, honey, water and apple cider vinegar. This salad can be served with a meal or as a light lunch. Pair this salad with a glass of sparkling white grape juice or a sweet, fruity white wine such as Moscato.
This easy to prepare salad is an excellent source of vitamin C due to the strawberries and mandarin oranges. It provides 78% of the RDI for vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for wound healing and aids our immune system as well. The spinach in our salad is an excellent source of Vitamin A and iron. One serving of the salad provides 45% of the RDI for Vitamin A and 8% of the RDI for iron. The raisins and spinach are both good sources of dietary iron. Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin and is important for good vision, immune function, reproduction and cellular communication. Iron is a mineral found in every cell of the body It assists our red blood cells in carrying oxygen to all of our organs. An iron deficiency causes anemia to develop. Pregnant women, and women of child bearing ages who are still menstrating require more iron in their diet than men and post menopausal women. Infants andchildren are also in need of an iron rich diet. This salad is an excellent source of potassium as well A potassium rich diet is important for blood pressure control and as part of a heart healthy diet. Walnuts in the salad provide additional protein, fiber and Vitamin E and give our salad a crunchy taste. Walnuts also taste great and are a rich source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats and an excellent source of heart beneficial omega 3 fatty acids.The salad is also an excellent source of protein and fiber, both of which will keep you feeling full much longer after you eat. The Bountiful Berry spinach Salad also provides 10% of the RDI for magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral which protects our nerves and causes our muscles to properly contract and relax, including the muscles in our heart and cardiovascular system. The mineral is also important in the building process of protein and in the production and transport of energy in our bodies.
Spring is also the time of the year that my husband and I begin planning our garden. We will be planting some spinach and strawberries in our garden again this year. We also planted raspberries in our yard two years ago so I am hoping to harvest some this year since I love eating them fresh from the garden or as an addition to yogurt, salads, desserts and muffins. Happy spring to all and Bon Appetit!
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup water chestnuts
- 3 TB chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1½ cup fresh sliced strawberries or raspberries
- 6 TB mandarin oranges, drained
- 6 oz cooked sliced chicken breast
- Combine all ingredients in a salad bowl and toss together lightly. Divide mixture and place in four salad bowls or on a salad plate. Rather than mixing ingredients together in a bowl, you may also assemble each salad individually on the salad plates or bowls.
- SALAD DRESSING RECIPE; Combine ¾ cup each honey, apple cider vinegar and water in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add dressing to salad and serve immediately. Makes 2½ cups dressing. Serving Size: 2 TB = 42 Calories, 0 grams Fat, 1 mg Sodium, 12 grams carbohydrate
- To make a carbohydrate and sugar free dressing, substitute 16 packets Stevia in place of the honey. Add seasonings as desired to the dressing.
Information in this food and nutrition blog is not intended for medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for individual medical advice.