Raspberry Walnut Salad

So last time that I posted, I mentioned that one of my favorite things about summer is the fresh fruit (namely blueberries). Well I'd like to add on to that list of favorite things, and no I'm not going to start singing about rain drops on roses and blue satin sashes (although I do love those things too ;o) ). No, I'm going to add fresh salads to my list of summer favorites. Now, if you are like Nicole (the other author of this blog) you eat and love salads year around, every day, 360 days a year! I'm not kidding folks, Nicole is one of the healthiest people you'll ever meet! She's actually been a huge influence on my loving salads! Mostly because like many of you, she's discovered that salads aren't just iceburg lettuce, a few tomatoes, and your choice of dressing. No, no, no. Salads can be anything that you love on a bed of your favorite greens. Did you know that there are at least a dozen different kinds of lettuce sold at each of your local grocery store (and don't even ask how many there are at your local farmers' market because let me just say, LOTS!). Anyway, after I had my baby almost a year ago I got addicted to one salad in particular--it's delightful and light (I was able to skim off a bunch of the extra baby pounds eating it for lunch every day) and there several different ways you can change it up to your liking. But the variation that I'm going to give you today is Raspberry Walnut salad over a bed of spinach. Also you can serve it up side some chicken or pork for dinner, or you can eat it alone for lunch because it really is quite filling. So here you are:

Raspberry Walnut Salad
(Serves 4-6 depending on the size of portions you give to each person)

4 cups Spinach leaves
1/2 cup Walnuts, roasted
1 small Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 small can Mandarin oranges
1/2 cup Feta Cheese (or your favorite goat cheese, crumbled)
Wishbone Light Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing--drizzle to taste
1. Clean and dry 4 cups of packed fresh spinach leaves (Do NOT use frozen spinach for this salad). I've also tried this salad with Romaine lettuce (which I actually used for the pictures) and it is still jam packed with delicious flavors. Put greens in a salad bowl.

2. Chop 1 cup of walnuts. In a skillet over low heat, pour about 1 tsp of olive oil and allow to heat up. Then pour walnuts into skillet and cook until they are warmed up. A good way to test when they are done is just when they are fragrant--be careful though b/c they can burn super fast so just keep a close eye on the nuts. Take off the heat and pour into the spinach.
3. Crumble your feta and pour into greens and nuts.
4. Drain mandarin oranges and pour into your feta, greens, and nuts.
5. Wash, peel, and thinly slice 1 small red onion. Put into oranges, feta, greens, and nuts. (Is any particular nursery rhyme coming to anyone's mind yet? I'm sorry, I can't help myself ;o) )
6. Toss ingredients and drizzle the vinagairette over the top. If you are wondering why I didn't put an amount it's because you just drizzle to taste. If you like your salad saturated, pour it on heavy. If you like the dressing to be more of a background taste, then go light on the drizzle.


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