Despite the “Operation: bikini” we do in summer, the holidays can take their toll and we may end up with a few extra kilos to lose. Therefore, for back to school I recommend this delicious spinach salad; an excellent natural source of vitamins A & C, fiber and minerals, and very low in calories. Spinach is also rich in phytonutrients, especially beta-carotene and lutein, which give it antioxidant properties that protect us from cell damage.
Spinach, whose scientific name is Spinacia oleracea belongs to the family of Amaranthaceae, which is the same as quinoa, beetroot (beets), and silverbeet (swiss chard). Since it grows well in temperate climates, it is available year round.
Slice the apple into wedges. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and the feta into small cubes. Next prepare the vinaigrette (dressing) by mixing all dressing ingredients well. To serve, place the spinach over the plate, then artfully arrange the apple wedges. Scatter the cherry tomato halves, feta, and mixed nuts, then add the dressing to taste. Enjoy!!
Tips from the author
If you prefer a warm salad, try this with sautéed spinach. If you don’t have (or don’t like) spinach, use mixed greens instead.
Embrace nutritional goodness bursting from spinach leaves
A winter super food! Popeye certainly knew it and now we’re all embracing the nutritional goodness bursting from the leaves of spinach.
Also known as “the Persian Green” given its native origin to Persia (modern day Iran), this leafy salad ingredient is low in calories and a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and minerals, especially iron. On our farm in northern NSW, the spinach is growing out of control in our veggie patch. No matter how many bunches I harvest a day, it just keeps on growing!
There’s nothing better than eating fresh spinach. Make sure you eat it as soon as you pick it though, as it will lose nutritional properties with each passing day. I’ve been told that drinking spinach juice is actually the healthiest way to consume it, so why not make a salad smoothie? I’ve just finished a three-day juice detox that entailed a menu packed with kale, spinach and lettuce green smoothies (see photo). I promise that they tasted far more delicious than they sound! The health of my skin improved dramatically thanks to the bounty of vitamins and minerals; bringing quick relief from dry, itchy skin. So keep spinach in mind for that radiant complexion.
Spinach is also very good for digestion and can act as a mild diuretic and laxative; helping to flush toxins from the colon. Given the range of spinach salad recipes on the Love My Salad website including the baby kale, rocket, spinach and parmesan salad. It looks as if Popeye isn’t the only one who’s a big fan.
Whether you’re a crinkly and curly or flat and smooth spinach lover, all are bursting with ample nourishment. And if you’ve eaten enough spinach and not sure what to do with the avalanche of leaves sprouting from your plants, extract the green pigment and use it as ink or paint just like the medieval artists used to do.
Enjoy your salads! Louise.
Join Louise on a journey through the seasons with salad ingredients, old traditions and popular, exotic or unusual vegetables. From Paddock to Plate founder, author, food writer, radio journalist & yoga teacher.