Thursday, October 11, 2012

strawberry spinach salad and Sunday dinner

There is something so tasty about strawberries and spinach mixed together with a great dressing to add some zest.  And man alive, that kind of salad is so good for stuff like baby/wedding showers, book club, luncheons, Sunday dinners, normal dinners…you name it.  Plus, all that spinach has got to do a number to the amount of vitamins helping little (and big) bodies function properly. 

I’m all for that.

So I have these two dressings for strawberry spinach salad that are so good.

First, of course, you get the basic ingredients ready:

spinach, sliced strawberries, toasted almonds (I like to caramelize mine by adding a little sugar and sautéing them ‘til they brown up a little), and I’ve recently discovered that cucumbers are delicious in strawberry spinach salads (although I hadn’t discovered that when I made this one).

Oh, and red onions are so good in here, but I didn’t have any on hand this day.

Here are the basic ingredients ready to go:

2012-09-09 misc 60220

Beautiful, right?  But let’s all go ahead and admit it’s the dressing that makes the salad.  Sure, there are some great ones at the store, but wowzers, these ones will knock your socks off.

Salad Dressing #1

This first one is from my friend Kelee:

1/2 c. sugar

2 tbs. sesame seeds

1 tbs. poppy seeds

1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 c. oil

1/4 c. seasoned rice wine vinegar

Yes, you’re right, that’s a boatload of sesame seeds.  It will look like this when you’re done:2012-10-08 grace 61943

Kinda thick.  But oh so good. 

Chill in refrigerator before dressing salad.  Don’t mix in into the salad until right before you’re ready to serve it or it will get mushy.

Salad Dressing #2

Ok, the next dressing is from my sis-in-law who got it from “Kate @ Our Best Bites” (here).  It’s called “Lemon Poppy Seed Vinaigrette.” 

2-3 large lemons (squeeze for 1/3 c. juice and save rinds for 1 tsp. zest)

1/4 c. rice wine vinegar

1/4 c. canola oil

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 c. sugar

2 tsp. poppy seeds

1 tsp. grated onion

1 clove finely pressed garlic

Mix together and chill in the refrigerator before mixing into salad.

It will look like this:

2012-10-08 grace 61944

Then this:2012-09-09 misc 60223(Add some cool salad tongs from India if you so desire :)

In the original recipe for this last one they added sautéed chicken to make it a more hearty salad.  I’d like to try that some time because I think it would be really, really good.  But I have to wait for book club or a lady’s luncheon for that cause my family would turn their noses up if I tried to make that a meal. 

I made both those dressings the other night because I wanted to see what my family liked the best but it was a tie so that didn’t help one bit.  The second one is more tangy with the lemon, the first is a little more sweet.

** Important note: I only use a portion of these dressings to dress the salad.  I don’t like my salads swimming in dressing.  These keep in the fridge for a while so you can make another salad the next week if you want…and hey, why not make one for your neighbor too while you’re at it :).

We coupled this salad with this delish fish from Costco for Sunday dinner a while back:

2012-09-10 misc 60246Let’s keep in mind that these five children of mine do not like fish.

But they gobbled this up.2012-09-09 misc 60228

(Along with a wild rice blend from Trader Joes cooked in chicken broth for flavor….and these rolls.)2012-09-09 misc 60224



  1. I love Spinich salad! I love the way that you dress up your table every sunday ( do u really bring out nice glasses and chargers every Sunday)? I love that!!!

    Question: Do you have any rules about kids and eating as far as trying new things, or you eat what i make or starve.. or 3 bites etc? Dinner can be so boring around here, I have one daughter that refuses to eat cheese, no allergy, just refuses, ( unless it's on pizza), but no lasagna, cream sauces. then the others are jsut plain picky! HELP!

  2. Wow - the salad and the dressings look great!

    That fish looks really good too. I wonder - are they expensive at Costco? How many come in a pack? I'm asking because I'd like to try these type of pre-seasoned foods for my family - and usually they come with only one or two really small portions in a box - and it's $4 or $5 per box!! Even for my family of 3 I'd have to buy at least 3 boxes, and probably more since I'm feeding an 18 year old son!!

    Just curious - do you buy a bunch of these (and similar products) in bulk? Do you have a big freezer to stock up when things go on sale?

    Sorry for so many questions, but I am in awe of how you make such wonderful food for a large family -
    and not go broke!!!


  3. I look forward to your Thursday recipe posts all week! Thanks for taking the time to do it!

  4. oh i like taz lady questions too!!!
    How much do u have to spend on groceries each month... one month i added up and i was SHOCKED with how much we spend!

  5. Oh I love strawberry salad! You should try it with a few chunks of gorgonzola or feta depending on what you like! (We love gorgonzola on it)! The fish looks good, I will have to check it out at costco!

  6. We make a strawberry spinach salad too, with poppyseed dressing. The secret ingredient? Milk Chocolate Heath Chips, like found in the baking isle. Sounds crazy but its just crazy good seriously:)

  7. This looks awesome! Thank you. I have some green smoothie recipes for Have a great weekend!

  8. I make a salad almost just like that. I caramelize my almond slivers too, but I use a raspberry pecan dressing and diced avocado! Yum! I'll have to try those salad dressings, they look good.


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