Meat Free Monday: Spinach Apple Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette

by Angela on December 21, 2011

I’ve never been a salad eater. It wasn’t a meal staple in my house growing up, and the few times I remember having it at dinner, I hated it. So it’s no surprise that when I became a wife and mom I didn’t make salad regularly for dinner. I remember a few years back my husband and I did the South Beach diet for a couple weeks. It was our attempt at a form of detox. For those of you who know anything about it, you know that you need to REALLY like salads to enjoy the South Beach meal plan. 🙂 It was not enjoyable for me at all. I never felt full and satisfied. But one thing I did discover is my absolute favorite salad dressing. By the way, this is a sidebar and not the featured recipe in the article title. This dressing is actually from Pampered Chef and is featured on the side of one of their products, the Measure, Mix & Pour. With this salad dressing, I actually find salads to be good and enjoyable! Yay for me!

Pampered Chef Asian Salad Dressing

⅓ C rice vinegar

3 Tbs soy sauce

2 tsp sugar

1 pressed garlic clove

¼ tsp ground ginger

¾ C vegetable oil

This dressing actually pushed me on my way to making salad a regular side dish to our evening dinners. I’ve experimented with various premixed packs as well as chopping up my own veggies to create a salad and for the most part have always used this Asian salad dressing. It is even my husband’s favorite as well.

But I have more! I have also discovered another salad I like, which is the feature of this article…so you’re getting a two-for. 🙂 This recipe tastes just like something I’d order in a restaurant. I hope you like it!

Spinach Apple Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette

Click here for printable version

Sugar Curried Pecans

1 (6 oz) package pecan halves

2 Tbsp. butter melted

3 Tbsp. sugar

¼ tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. curry powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground red pepper

Maple Cider Vinaigrette

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

¼ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

2/3 cup of olive oil

Salad

1 (10 oz.) package of fresh baby spinach thoroughly washed

1 Gala apple thinly sliced

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 (4 oz.) package crumbled goat cheese

PREPARE PECANS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toss pecans in melted butter. Stir together sugar and next 4 ingredients in a bowl; add pecans, tossing to coat. Spread in a single layer in a nonstick aluminum foil-lined pan. Bake 10-13 minutes or until lightly browned and toasted. Cool in pan on a wire rack 20 minutes; separate pecans with a fork.

PREPARE VINAIGRETTE: Whisk together cider vinegar and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk in oil until well blended.

PREPARE SALAD: Combine spinach and next 3 ingredients in a bowl. Drizzle with desired amount of Maple Cider Vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with pecans. Serve salad with any remaining vinaigrette.

Note: Pecans may be made up to 1 week ahead. Store in an airtight container. Vinaigrette may be made up to 3 days ahead. Cover and chill until ready to serve!

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Kelly March 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Yum! These both look delish!

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