Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super (spinach salad in a) Bowl

When you're done eating wings, nachos, and other delicious things no one invited me to bring to their Super Bowl party today, you might want something a little lighter, but still delicious, to eat this coming week.

Here's a simple recipe for a spinach salad. The instructions below are for four side servings or two entree servings. At the end I've included some suggestions of add-ins, especially to bulk it up or change it up, as this salad and dressing is a great starting point for whatever your heart desires.

Basic Spinach Salad
4 c spinach
4 strips turkey bacon
1/2 medium red onion

Honey Dijon Dressing (makes enough for another salad)
1tbsp dijon mustard
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c olive oil
1/2 tbsp honey
a few turns of fresh ground pepper

Fry bacon according to package, until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and let cool. Crumble or chop into small pieces when cool enough to touch.

Slice onions thinly. In the same pan as the bacon, using the bacon drippings (if it isn't sufficient, add up to 1 tsp of olive oil), cook onions over low heat until deep in color and caramelized, about 20 minutes (if you're short on time, sprinkle a pinch of sugar over it and watch carefully, but that will cheat the right color a bit, though it won't have the same flavor). Once caramelized, remove from heat.

To make honey dijon dressing, add all ingredients to a small jar or lidded container, and shake vigorously, until combined.

Toss 4 cups of spinach with half of dressing (more or less to taste) and all of onions and bacon, just before serving.

Some superfood additions:
-sliced strawberries or blueberries
-toasted walnuts, sliced almonds, or unsalted sunflower kernels
-orange or grapefruit segments
-artichoke hearts or hearts of palm
-halved grapes or grape tomatoes (you don't really need to half them, but I like it more that way)
-roasted beets
-shelled edamame or roasted corn
-grilled, roasted, or poached salmon or chicken

Some superdelicious additions:
-candied or spiced walnuts or pecans
-dried cranberries or raisins
-sliced hard boiled egg
-fresh chèvre (soft goat cheese) or chèvre croutons (chèvre sliced, breaded, fried, and served warm)
-shaved parmesan cheese
-chunks of bleu cheese
-sliced medium-rare steak
-my Macaroni and Easy Cheesy (on the side though!)

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