Strawberry Spinach Salad

There’s just something about restaurant salads! They are so fresh, have the perfect pairing of flavors and textures, and have a delicious dressing to top it off. Surprisingly though, they can often be one of the highest calorie options on the menu.

This salad has the best of both worlds…the deliciousness of a restaurant salad but still very healthy. The combination of flavorful strawberries, spinach, and a bit of crunch from the pecans makes this salad irresistible. The vinaigrette is simple to make and you can keep some in the fridge for all week for other salads. This salad is perfect for serving a crowd at dinner or just serving yourself for lunch!

STRAWBERRY SPINACH SALAD

INGREDIENTS

Carmelized Pecans

  • 2 cups chopped or whole pecans or any nut you prefer
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter

Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • 1-2 bags of baby spinach
  • 1 cup almonds caramelized
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 8 oz of cooked bow tie pasta optional

Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ Cup olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Caramelized Pecans

  • In a large pan, add butter and melt over low heat. Add brown sugar and stir into butter. Increase heat to medium-low and add nuts.
  • Lets nuts caramelize in the butter/sugar mixture for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until the mixture thickens into a sticky syrup and coats the nuts.
  • Pour nuts into a single layer on a baking sheet to cool. Once nuts are cool enough to handle (about 10 min), break them up into desired-sized pieces.
  • Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.

Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • Combine all of your salad dressing ingredients together in a bowl and place in refrigerator to blend.
  • Right before your are ready to serve the salad, combine all of the salad ingredients together other than the goat cheese.
  • Toss salad with dressing.
  • Top with goat cheese just before serving.
  • Serve chilled.

Enjoy!

Mandi

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