I’m never in the mood for a boring salad. My salads have to be right.
When I tell people I’m a vegetarian, they automatically assume I’m talking about lettuce and tomatoes. I actually loathe lettuce. I can’t stomach the stuff. Its like eating crunchy water, not to mention it barely has nutritional benefits to speak of. So, why eat it?
My salads have to leave me wanting more… They have to leave me feeling like I just ate a slice of portabello mushroom pizza with Argentine chimichurri sauce and fresh crushed red pepper on top.
My salads have to leave me happy and ready for a nap. Well… it has to come as close as a salad can. And if the dressing ain’t poppin’, fuhgettaboutit. I’m not eating it!
That’s why this apple, pecan, pomegranate spinach salad will go down in the archives. Its just those four simple, fresh ingredients with a homemade gingery honey dijon dressing that work all the magic in under 15 minutes.
And the fact that this spinach salad takes less than 15 minutes to prepare makes it a winner in my book. That includes making the dressing, extracting the pomegranate arils and putting the whole salad together.
The sweet, tart apples and the juicy pomegranate seeds are the jam! Sweetness, juiciness and tartness mixed in with crunch from the pecans give it a variety of texture and tastiness. But it’s the gingery, honey dijon dressing that really brings it all together.
When I shared the salad with one of my girlfriends and her kids, she mentioned how, that as a kid, she always spit out the pomegranate seeds. This is so true. I remember those days!
My childhood neighbors had a pomegranate tree in their backyard (in the midst of all the concrete). Us kids would go crazy on the juicy pomegranate buds and… spit out the seeds like sunflower seed shells. Well, the seeds are where the fiber is. I like fiber nowadays because I like being nice and regular. So, today, I eat the entire aril.
I wonder if that’s an American thing to suck the juice and then spit out the white pomegranate seeds.
I don’t recall ever seeing people in other countries spitting out pomegranate seeds in restaurants or anywhere else. Anyway, I digress. The pomegranate arils and their seeds give this salad a sweet, juicy, nutritious life, is all I’m sayin’.
And of course, I tried to meal prep the salad and dressing for the weary days head. I soaked one batch of sliced apples in apple cider vinegar and another batch in lemon water to test which one would prevent the apples from turning brown the best. The apples in both batches turned brown… and I was saddened. Big bummer.
I ended up cutting a half apple in slices for each salad and squirting lemon on them each morning that I took the salad for lunch. This prevented the apples from turning a bit better. Only a bit.
The verdict is- this apple pecan pomegranate spinach salad is best eaten fresh (with white flesh apples!). Its under 300 calories, with 2 T of the dressing below, and will leave you wanting another plate (like a gourmet slice of pizza!).
Check the recipe below and let me know what you think.
Apple Pecan Pomegranate Spinach Salad Recipe
8 C spinach, cleaned and dried
2 Granny apples, thinly sliced
1 C pomegranate arils
8 T pecan pieces
Honey Dijon Dressing
2 T honey
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T dijon mustard
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 T ginger, minced
1 T garlic, minced
salt to taste (I used 1/2 t)
pepper to taste
1. Mix all salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
2. Put all dressing ingredients in a glass container, seal and shake vigorously. Then, add to salad and mix well.