A tangy, sweet dressing is on it’s way (scroll down) – it’s one you’ll surely enjoy. And the complete salad is quite healthy, too! It’s rich in Vitamin A and a good source of Vitamin C. And you’ll get plenty of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense greens. I really enjoyed it and my MIL (mother in law) couldn’t stop commenting on how delicious the salad was.
What makes this salad so special. Well, there are three ingredients that already taste wonderfully on their own. But as a combo, and with this delightful dressing recipe, they make quite a splash!!
Avocados – add a creamy-licious mouthfeel
Spinach – Adds a great base and has just the right strength of flavor/texture to go with a “zingy” cranberry-mustard dressing
And finally - the
Cranberries, the highlight of this salad. These antioxidant-rich rubies of the plant world, dried and lightly sweetened, add a tangy-sweet essence to the dish. And BTW, did you know Cranberries can help control blood sugar? Recent research suggests that the antioxidant tannins – proanthocyanidins (PACS) — found in cranberries may be more effective at blunting blood sugar responses than the tannins isolated from other fruits. Because the tannins in cranberries are larger and more complex than those found in other fruits such as grapes, they appear to more effectively inhibit the enzymes that aid in carbohydrate digestion – effectively slowing them down to control blood sugars.
Okay, enough about chemistry and the body. And how good cranberries are for you. Well, trust me, they are. : )
Want the recipe? Of course you do.
Cranberry Spinach Salad with Avocados
Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee — Makes 4 Servings
- 4 Tbsp cranberry juice
- 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 6 Tbsp canola oil (I used Grapeseed oil b/c that’s what I have in my pantry)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 3 1/3 cups fresh spinach leaves (I used baby spinach)
- 1 small head of frisee´lettuce
- 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- 1 small read onion, thinly sliced
Place cranbverry juice and dried cranberries in a small pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in vinegar and Dijon mustard. Gradually whisk in oil so the mixture emulsifies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Rinse spinach and lettuce, spin dry. Note: If you use baby spinach you won’t need to worry about removing the thick stems or cutting the leaves into bite size pieces. Add chopped avocado and onion.
Tip: To prepare in advance, sprinkle avocados with lemon juice to prevent discoloration which occurs from exposure to oxygen (oxidation). Add salad dressing when ready to serve. Or if you are preparing a “Mason Jar Salad” keep the wet ingredients on the bottom (dressing, onions) and the dry ingredients (i.e.: lettuce, spinach) on top so they don’t absorb the liquid and become wilted. Here’s how I prepared my portion of the salad so I could enjoy it for a quick, healthy “toss-n-serve” lunch the next day. I took a portion of each ingredient and assembled into my mason jar.
Nutrition Info. per serving (excludes salt and pepper): Cal 320, Cal from Fat 250, Sat Fat 2.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 29g, Chol 0mg, Sodium 125mg, Total Carb 18g, Sugars 6g, Dietary Fiber 9g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 70%, Vitamin C 35%, Calcium 10%, Iron 10%