I'm sure there are a hundred different permutations of the strawberry-spinach salad, but I'll add this one to the list. We've been trying to eat more healthily throughout the month of February (all the regular advisements: eat more fruits and veggies! drink more water! get enough protein!).
I recently made this salad as a (substantial) side dish for some salmon we had for dinner. Typically, I put some sort of cheese (feta or blue) in a strawberry-spinach salad, but since we've temporarily cut out dairy, I substituted avocados to try to keep the creamy texture that cheese usually brings to the salad. Don't skip the spiced nuts; they are the best thing about this recipe (in fact, they're a great snack all by themselves). Enjoy!
For each individual salad, toss together:
A couple handfuls of baby spinach
2-3 strawberries (sliced)
1/3 - 1/2 avocado (cubed)
2 Tbsp. vanilla-spiced nuts (see recipe below)
Balsamic dressing (homemade or store bought*), to taste
* We really like this Bolthouse Farms balsamic vinaigrette
(found in the refrigerated produce case at Target).
Vanilla Spiced Nuts
Recipe from Cooking Light
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg white
3 c. nuts (use any combination you like of the following: almonds, pecans, or macadamias; I really like pecan halves)
1/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Whisk together egg white and vanilla in a large bowl until foamy. Add nuts and spices and stir mixture until nuts are well coated. Spread out on parchment paper on a baking sheet or jellyroll pan and bake 15 minutes at 325 degrees. Pull out of oven and break apart any large clumps of nuts. Turn off oven and return pan to oven for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely; nuts will get crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container.