Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Recipe for Asian Spinach Salad Many Ways

I might be in a rut with my salad recipes, since I manage to use red peppers nearly every salad I make lately. I love red, yellow and orange peppers, but this salad recipe also has one of the Superfoods, spinach, something I really love in salad. In fact, nearly every ingredient in this salad, spinach, grapes, peppers, snow peas, cashews, and soy sauce, is listed as being one of the world's healthiest foods. And it tasted great, so how can you beat that?

Asian Spinach Salad Many Ways
(Makes 4 generous servings)

Dressing Ingredients:
(more than is needed for 4 salads)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 T rice vinegar (don' t use seasoned vinegar which contains sugar)
3 T soy sauce
2 tsp. Splenda (or sugar)
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
1/2 tsp. ground ginger (not powdered, see about ingredients below for substitutions)

Salad Ingredients:
9 oz. bag baby spinach (I buy pre-washed spinach, but wash if needed and dry well)
1 cup diced red pepper (or more)
1 cup diagonal sliced snow peas (or more)
1 cup red grapes, cut in half (or more)
1/4 cup sliced green onions (optional)
1/4 cup cashews, coarsely chopped

Combine olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, Splenda, and ginger and whisk together well. (You can also put the ingredients in a small glass jar and shake it, then whatever dressing is left over can go right in the fridge for another use.)

Put spinach (and green onions if using) in bowl, add about 6 T dressing, then toss until spinach leaves are well coated with dressing. Divide spinach among four serving plates.

Arrange red peppers, snow peas, and grapes over spinach and drizzle a tiny bit more dressing on if desired. Sprinkle with cashews and serve.

This recipe makes more dressing than you will need for four salads, but it will be good for so many other uses. You could use the extra dressing on cooked greens, on arugula, to marinate chicken, to make a cold brown rice salad, or on whole wheat noodles.)

Many other ways to add interest to this salad:

  • Use peanuts or slivered almonds instead of cashews
  • Use diced apple or mandarin oranges instead of grapes
  • add diced cucumber or raw zucchini
  • add cooked leftover asparagus, broccoli, or cauliflower
  • use green peas instead of snow peas
  • add some shelled edamame
  • add chopped jicama or turnip
  • put some sesame seeds in the dressing, or sprinkle on
  • marinate cooked chicken or pork in a bit of the dressing, and add that

South Beach Suggestions:
Made with Splenda, this salad would be suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet due to the grapes. If you leave out grapes or other fruits, you could eat this for any phase of the diet.

About Ingredients:
Ground ginger is finely ground ginger root, sold in small jars, usually in Asian markets or the Asian foods section of the grocery store. If you can't find it, many grocery stores sell a product called ginger puree, which is similar, but not quite as finely ground. Fresh ginger root grated with a zester would also work for this recipe.counter customizable free hit
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More to Chew On:


  1. I need to eat more veg. Argh. Damn kitchen.

  2. I can't wait for the temperatures to rise - your spinach salad sounds mighty good!

  3. thanks for the dressing recipe--i need to get out of my balsamic rut, and this will help.

  4. It looks delicious--how can you go wrong with cashews!

  5. Oh Kalyn - sounds like such a yummy salad! Love the idea of cashews in it.

  6. Sounds SO GOOD! I love everything in this salad except the grapes... would it be cheating if I left them out? ;)

  7. Thats a lovely dish...colors & textures.

  8. Michele, leave out or add anything you want. Actually this would be lower in carbs without the grapes, for those who care about that.

  9. Like Michele, I am by the grapes. Do you think they really added something to the salad?

  10. I think the grapes are totally optional. I had some, and they were an ARF, plus I need to find ways to eat fruit, so I put some in. But if I hadn't had them around I wouldn't have bothered.


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