One way to get dinner on the table quickly and keep things simple and healthy, is to add an uncomplicated salad to your main dish. With your choice of salad greens, your favorite fruit or vegetable, and a quick vinaigrette, you can have a tasty salad ready to be devoured in less than 10 minutes!
We keep our Apple Spinach Salad recipe on hand at all times, because the ingredients are readily available, and the flavor combination is delicious. Fresh, crisp spinach and crunchy, sweet, diced apples pair well with a balsamic vinaigrette that is lightly sweetened with maple syrup.
For a variety, we came up with a Cooking Formula for a Simple Vinaigrette, which allows you to make your own vinaigrette by using a simple ratio. By changing up the vinaigrette flavor, your salads will always taste different.
Having a side salad with your meal allows you to have your serving of leafy green vegetables, which are high in fiber and low in carbs. Salads make you fuller and will give you more energy, which is much-needed after a long day at work, school, or even just running errands all day.
Salads are a great way to cut down a carb-heavy meal, like our Roasted Butternut Squash Parpadelle, which goes well with this Apple Spinach Salad.
You can make the vinaigrette the day before, but it’s also very quick to put together right before dinner.
Using a whisk helps combine the oil and vinegar efficiently.
Dry your salad greens quickly with a salad spinner. Greens that are still wet will not hold dressing as well.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’
For More Smarts:
Nescett, one of our Cook Smarts members, buys mixed salad greens in bulk and makes a jam jar of vinaigrette each week, so that she can start each meal with a salad. Thanks for the smart tip, Nescett! By having salad greens and vinaigrette on hand, you can always whip up a quick and healthy salad in no time.
- Apples – 1, sliced thinly (my fave are honey crisp or pink ladies)
- Maple syrup – 2 tsp.
- Balsamic vinegar – 1½ tbs.
- Olive oil – 3 tbs.
- Baby spinach – 4 oz.
- Walnuts – ¼ cup, crushed
- Apples – Prep as directed.
- Whisk together maple syrup (use less for a less sweet dressing), vinegar, and olive oil if not already done from yesterday.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss with apples, spinach, and walnuts.