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Spinach Salad with Apples and Sweet Spicy Nuts


Spinach Salad with Apples and Sweet Spicy Nuts
  • Quick & Easy!
  • Gluten Free!
Serves: 6Ready In: 20 minutes

Why We Like It


We love to occasionally splurge on small amounts of bacon, but we would still love this salad without the bacon.  We frequently hear people say they don't like fruits in salads, and we think...they must not be eating the right salads!  This version would definitely change their minds -- it's an outstanding salad and would be great anytime, with any meal!

Cook the Bacon (OPTIONAL):

  • 6 slices bacon

Place bacon on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until browned.  Remove from the oven and immediately transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the grease.  Set aside, and when cool, break into bite size pieces.

Make the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced, or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or date sugar, or brown sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Add to a small bowl or mason jar and stir or shake to combine.  Set aside.  (This dressing can be made in advance and it will make more than you need for this salad.  Simply store it in the refrigerator and enjoy this dressing on another salad — or make this one again!)

(Either preheat the oven to 350 degrees, or reduce the heat if roasting optional bacon topping.)

Roast the Nuts:

  • 3/4 cup walnuts (or pecans, chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Add to a medium size bowl and stir to combine.  Spread onto a greased baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, but watch them carefully, they will brown quickly.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Put it All Together:

  • 16 oz baby spinach leaves (about 6 cups)
  • 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced, see quick tip)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (or cheese of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 small apples (cored and thinly sliced)

Add to a large bowl along with the nuts and bacon if desired.  Pour some of the dressing over everything and toss to combine.

Serve and Enjoy!

Quick Tips


If you like red onions, but sometimes don’t like how potent they can be, try this tip:  after you slice the onion, place them in a bowl of cold water (you can also add 1/2 tsp of baking soda) for about 15 minutes.  Then rinse and drain well.

To keep your apple slices from turning brown, once they are sliced, place them in a bowl of cool water with 1 Tbsp of lemon juice for about 2 minutes.

Nutrition Information for one serving


  • Calories: 325
  • Fat: 26 g
  • Saturated Fat: 4.3 g
  • Total Carbohydrate: 18 g
  • Cholesterol: 13 mg
  • Fiber: 4.5 g
  • Sugars: 10 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Sodium: 515 mg
(Recipe adapted from melskitchencafe.com)
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