Keep warm this winter with a salad. Yes, that’s right, a salad. The spinach and cranberry salad is a perennial favorite that will make you feel all toasty inside – provided that you’re willing to take a slight spin on the classic ingredients.
Not being satisfied with one recipe, I created my salad after perusing multiple recipes for inspiration. In addition to topping baby spinach leaves with dried cranberries, I suggest substituting almondsas the nut of choice in lieu of pecans or walnuts. Use pre-sliced almonds, which will make them easier for toasting. Melt about one to two teaspoons of butter in a medium saucepan and stir the almonds in the butter until lightly toasted. The toasted almonds complement the sweetness of the dried cranberries while their warm and crunchy texture adds excitement to your mouth.
Toss the salad with red onions and cherry tomatoes, then rub goat cheese onto the spinach leaves. The toasted almonds should be the grand finale. I think that balsamic vinaigrette pairs well with the flavors of this particular salad, but any light and sweet dressing will do just as well.
Since the dried cranberries reminded me of the holidays, I made this salad for my family on Thanksgiving. It served as a nice complement to the fattening (but oh so scrumptious) trio of turkey, gravy, and mashed potatoes. You can also make this salad for a healthy packable lunch, with a protein like grilled chicken or seared tuna. Bonus – the toasted almonds will satisfy your sweet tooth and no extra sugar will have been added to the salad in the process. Cheers to that!
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