I was never a big salad eater when I was a kid. I didn't discover the joy of a fresh, heart healthy salad until well into adulthood. Now? I can't imagine my life without some of my favorite ingredients tossed in a bowl for a refreshing meal on a warm day! Max and I headed to our neighborhood Lucky Supermarket to pick up some Organic Girl greens, a container of gorgeous raspberries, and some other goodies to brighten up our salad. Check out our shopping trip album for all the details.
Max can be really hit or miss with his veggies; one day he's excited to eat brussel sprouts and beets, and the next, he thinks croutons should count because they're on his salad. The one thing he can never resist? A salad that's loaded with veggies AND fruit! Because we want him to grow up with good habits, to keep his heart and his whole body healthy, we try to expose him to a variety of salads and preparations of different veggies. Lots of options means we can find things that he likes, which will put him on the road to a lifetime of good eating.
Spinach is one of my favorite salad bases; it has tons more nutrition than romaine or iceberg lettuce, but is still really versatile to go with anything I want to throw in there!
Heart Healthy Spinach and Raspberry Salad
Adapted from Epicurious.
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 t real maple syrup*
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Fresh Basil, Parsley and Tarragon to taste preference
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 cups baby spinach
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 can mandarin oranges, drained
- 1 red bell pepper, large dice
- 1 apple, large dice (We love Gala)
*I actually use a very scientific measurement system called a “glug” of syrup. Your glug size may vary.
In blender, mix together vinegar, maple syrup, herbs, garlic, and olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a bowl, toss spinach with 2 tbsp vinaigrette.
Season with salt and pepper.
Toss with sunflower seeds and remaining ingredients and serve.
It's a good sign when your 5 year old is so excited to eat his salad, that he won't leave it alone long enough to take a photo, right? 🙂