I am the first to admit that side dishes are often lacking in creativity at my house. We have side dishes with most of our meals, but I tend to make the same ones over and over again. And I am guessing I am not the only that has this problem.
Often we focus so much on the main part of the meal that we just quickly throw something together in hurry for a side dish. But side dishes are an important part of the meal because they are often vegetables, which makes them the healthiest part of the meal.
I have really been trying to focus more on healthy side dishes for our meals recently. And it is a great time to do this because it really is easier during the summer when so many fruits and vegetables are available.
When I recently saw a recipe for a spinach salad in the Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast cookbook, I knew it would be a great recipe to feature for my Cooking Through My Collection series. And not only that it would be a new quick and easy side dish to add to my meals.
One of the things that I love about this salad is that it can be made anytime of year. Spinach is readily available in stores all year long and dried cherries are easy to keep on hand. If you don’t have dried cherries, dried cranberries would work as well.
This salad reminded me of the strawberry spinach salad that my family loves. The dressing on this one is a little different, but it is still delicious. This salad will definitely be one we make over and over again.
This salad recipe comes from the cookbook Great Food Fast. I love this cookbook. I bought it shortly after it was released in 2007 and I have used it many times. It contains a lot of great recipes for basic everyday food using real ingredients. In other words most of the recipes are healthy and use more whole foods type ingredients, but they are quick and easy to make.
One of the things I really like about this cookbook is how it is set up by seasons. It makes it easy to find recipes using ingredients available right now at the store or farmers market.
Does anyone else have this cookbook? I would love to hear your thoughts?
I did change a couple of things on this recipe. The original recipe called for red onions. No one in my family is a fan of red onions or raw onions for that matter, so we left them out. Feel free to add them if you like them. The original recipe also called for pumpkin seeds. I did not have any, but I did have sunflower seeds. I used those and they worked great as well, so I wrote both in the ingredients. I would just use what you have on hand.
Spinach Salad with Dried Cherries
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
- 4 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces baby spinach
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl whisk the vinegar, mustard, and oil until combined and thickened. Add salt and pepper.
- Add spinach and toss to coat spinach well.
- Add seeds and dried cherries. Combine well.