I love salads. I found a lemon vinaigrette online about a year ago and I have been tweaking it ever since. I can now say, that after months and months of variations, this vinagrette is absolutely perfect and delicious. So tasty in fact, that I just can't keep it to myself. We eat this several times a week in our house (no joke).
Am I skinny yet? Well, no. But hopefully after a couple more months of downing this salad and its variations I will look at hot as Olivia Ward from the Biggest Loser.
Sydney's Spectacular Summer Strawberry Spinach Salad
(I love alliteration... obviously)
1 very large bag baby spinach or mixed spring greens (NO ROMAINE! It has basically no nutritional value except for its fun crispy texture)
1-2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup diced cucumber
1 cup candied pecans or other desired nut. (Recipe below)
Enough feta cheese to sprinkle on top. (or heap on top depending on your relationship with salty cheeses)
Preheat oven to 325. In an electric mixer, beat one egg white until fluffy and stiff. Add 1/4 c-1/2 c brown sugar depending on how sugary you want the nuts to be. Gently fold brown sugar and 3/4 of a costco sized pecan bag into the mixing bowl with a spatula or wooden spoon. (That's a little less than a pound of pecans. Add more pecans if you like them less sugary) Spread in a thin layer on a baking sheet covered with a silpat or greased with cooking spray. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let them cool COMPLETELY before you put them on your salad or it will wilt your spinach.
Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
3 T extra virgin olive oil
3 T sugar or splenda
Zest from 1 large lemon
1/3 c fresh squeezed lemon juice (About 1 1/2-2 large lemons)
Dash of pepper
Dash of salt
*NOTE* This makes a ton of dressing. I never put all of it on the salad or its too wet. Just stick in it the fridge and save it for later in the week.
Okay, here is the fun part. There are about a THOUSAND variations of this salad. Here are some ideas that I have come up with that are (if I say so myself) divine.
Any citrus fruit works great with this vinaigrette. For instance:
Orange Vinaigrette Dressing
Instead of lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, substitute orange zest and orange juice.
Then top your salad with fresh raspberries or apples and blue cheese.
Lime Vinaigrette Dressing
Substitute limes instead of lemons or oranges.
Then top with pomegranates or blackberries.
Other ideas: Pears, goat cheese, blueberries, grapes, etc. seriously any fruit is amazing on this salad.
That's it. Happy salad eating!