How many spinach salad recipes will show up on your search engine? Countless, right? I like to use baby spinach in salad recipes. It is so versatile, and its subtle and distinctive taste adds more interesting flavor to the salad than green leaf lettuce does. With loads of nutrients, no wonder Popeye loves it.
Spinach has almost twice the protein and 40% more fiber than leaf lettuce (not iceberg). It also has significantly more vitamins and minerals and 10 times more of some important antioxidants. See article here.
I was watching a Popeye cartoon with my son the other day, hoping it would encourage him to eat more leafy greens like spinach. I was surprised with how much violence there was. What if, instead of gagging down a can of overcooked spinach, he sat down to a bowl of my fresh spinach salad. Villain Brutus probably would have suddenly lost interest in Olive and asked Popeye if he could have some too.
Although leafy greens are the major part of a salad dish, I bet you probably won’t be fond of eating a bowl of leafy greens by itself. When making a quick salad, I always add a few extra simple ingredients to make the salad not only taste awesome, but also appealing. Here is my list of choices:
Fruits: grapefruit, clementine, navel oranges, peaches, pears, strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, etc.
Nuts and Seeds: roasted almonds, walnuts, pecan, pumpkin seeds
Cheese (optional): dairy cheese or vegan
Since grapefruits are at their peak during winter, you practically can find them in almost all of my salads these days. The red color adds beautiful color contrast to the baby spinach. The sweet but slightly tangy taste adds delightful flavors to the salad. Because it is so juicy, you just need a small amount of dressing to enhance the flavor of the whole salad dish. Sometimes I sprinkle some nuts or seeds just to add a different crunchy texture to the salad. It’s healthy and fun.
I like to use button mushrooms because their taste is very natural and mild. It also adds good color contrast to the leafy greens, so does the shredded red cabbage in this recipe. If you have red onion, it is also a fantastic choice. It gives a touch of pungent flavor to the salad.
From the list I showed you, the fruit and nuts are almost a must-have in all my salad recipes, especially when my refrigerator is empty and out of the other ingredients. Salad is really simple, easy, and fun to make. It’s also a very easy and healthy way to provide you the daily dietary fibers that you need. I hope you’ll enjoy this winter spinach salad with grapefruit. More yet, be creative!
- 6 cups baby spinach
- 1 large grapefruit, peeled and white membrane removed
- ¼ cup shredded red cabbage
- 3 oz sliced white button mushrooms
- (optional) ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 small avocado, sliced
- (optional) 1 tablespoon roasted almonds
- In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, except avocado and almonds if used. Toss gently.
- Divide the salad among 3 plates. Arrange avocado slices and sprinkle roasted almonds on top. Serve with balsamic vinaigrette.