Friday, March 6, 2015

Warm Spinach Salad

Salads can be a quick and easy way to get some good nutrition (as long as it's not just iceberg lettuce and dressing!), but they don't often make for good leftovers. Limp raw lettuce? No thanks. Something I can reheat, however, might be doable. I've had some really good warm spinach salad at restaurants before, so I thought I'd try it out myself. Turns out it's pretty easy to make, and prepping the ingredients takes up most of the time. The nice thing about warm spinach salad is that you can personalize it any way you wish!

10 oz. fresh spinach
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small sweet onion (or half a red onion, if you prefer the flavor; I have tried both)
1-1½ sweet bell pepper (I used one half of each red, orange, and yellow)
~1-2 TBSP apple cider vinegar (or balsamic for a more tangy flavor)
~4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Canola oil for cooking
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Dried fruit (I used cranberries) and/or nuts (I used sliced almonds) for garnish

Roughly chop the bell pepper and onion into strips about 2 inches long. In a little bit of oil, sauté pepper and onions for maybe 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and season with fresh ground pepper. Pour in vinegar and let simmer for a minute or two. Remove pan from heat, and add the feta cheese directly to the pan and mix. The cheese will melt a little bit, but mostly still maintain its crumbled form.

Put the fresh spinach in a large bowl. Add the contents of the pan to the spinach and mix well. The spinach leaves will "cook" a little bit from the heat of the veggie mixture and wilt a little, but won't go limp. Add in the cranberries and almonds, or garnish each individual bowl when serving.

You can refrigerate the leftovers and reheat portions for about 30 seconds whenever you want more!

NOTE: If not a fan of bell pepper, cherry tomatoes also add some nice color and flavor. You can also use sun-dried tomatoes or raisins or other dried fruits in place of cranberries. And other goat cheese instead of feta. The possibilities are endless!

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