Monday, March 4, 2013

Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges

My grandson Sal turned 8 yesterday and we went shopping and out to lunch.  He is a cheap date.  I asked him where he wanted to go and it was no surprise when he said McDonalds.  McNuggets and him are great friends.  After our shopping, we returned home to his family to have a pizza party.  I decided to bring something that was “Saylor friendly” which meant gluten free and diary free so I brought a spinach salad because that is what I had in the house.  The dressing was not a diet dressing, but it was a party after all. 

I’ll share what I had in my refrigerator and what went into the salad with you.  I always have Mandarin oranges in my pantry.  I love them and use them when ever I can.  They had been on sale when I bought them, so I stocked up.  The spinach had been on sale this week also, so that was the start of my salad.  I pulled some walnuts from the freezer and have some beautiful Balsamic vinegar I bought in Chicago that I save for very special occasions like this.  A cucumber and celery in the veggie drawer and I was ready to go. 

Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges

½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup sugar (you may cut this if you like)
1/3 cup good Balsamic vinegar
The juice from the Mandarin oranges can
1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup walnuts
4 tsp. sugar
1 bag of fresh spinach
1 ½ cups sliced celery
1 English cucumber
1 can drained mandarin oranges

In a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the dressing ingredients; shake well. Set aside and let everyone pour their own.  This is not a diet dressing, so they may want to go easy on it.  It needs to sit awhile for the sugar to incorporate.  Shake well just before serving. 

In a skillet, cook and stir the walnuts and sugar over medium heat until the sugar is melted and walnuts are coated. Spread on foil to cool completely.   This is what really took the salad over the edge.  Don’t skip this part unless your are dieting.

In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, celery and cucumbers. Add the drained oranges and sugared walnuts; toss gently. Shake dressing well and serve on the side.

Hoping you have a great week.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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