Cranberry Mandarin Spinach Salad
I think I am lying again. I said I wouldn’t post another cranberry recipe back when I posted the Crock-pot Cranberry Spiced Cider during Christmastime. I said I’d wait until the next holiday season. Like a year later. But then I came into a few packages of organic cranberries from a friend back in January, and I had to make a few of these Cranberry Ginger Detox Smoothies (the cinnamon makes this smoothie sing, by the way, just in case you want to hear a smoothie sing:).
And now that’s it’s spring, I thought I really wanted to share this SUPER SIMPLE Cranberry Mandarin Spinach Salad with you. This, okay…and the Strawberry Spinach Salad, have been my go-to spinach salads for years. I realized last week that I’ve never shared the cranberry mandarin version. AND I thought it would be a great salad to serve for Easter. Plus, you know those cranberries are just a garnish, right? So it almost doesn’t count as a cranberry recipe. You believe me, yes?!? Those cranberries there just give the recipe a nice little bite.
Enough about cranberries. Onto to the recipe. I’m sure most of you have had some kind of version of this salad some time in your life. This recipe is so easy, you really almost don’t need a recipe, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded about something. I like friendly reminders, don’t you? And the recipes that really don’t need a recipe are my favorite recipes translating to EASE! Anyone else with me?
This recipe is so flexible that all you have to do is change the dressing, and instantly you have a salad with an Asian flare using a dressing like the Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger Dressing. We used to use this dressing all of the time, but we have reduced our intake of canola and soybean oil. I would totally use this dressing in a pinch, though. Now that I make my own salad dressings, the Sesame Ginger Dressing is definitely on my to-do list to recreate. Right now for this recipe we are using an easy olive oil and vinegar combo as a wonderful complement to the salad.
If I have fresh mandarins, I definitely use those, but for those times I need the mandarins quickly and they aren’t in season, I’ll use a can. When I don’t have any type of mandarin in our house, I’ll use fresh oranges because we love all things citrus!
Mandarins + cranberries + red onions + spinach + vinegar dressing + almonds = beauty, sweet, sour, bite, healthy, crunchy, nutritious, colorful, tasty, love. We are lovin’ this fresh spinach salad.
Cranberry Mandarin Spinach Salad
- 10 ounces organic spinach
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
- 1 can of mandarins or 2 fresh mandarins peeled and separated
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
- 1/4 cup almonds, slivered or chopped (walnuts, or pecans would also work well)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 TBS rice vinegar or your favorite vinegar such as balsamic, red wine, or apple cider (they all have their own unique tastes)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Toss with most of the red onions, mandarins, cranberries, and almonds, reserving some of each to garnish at the end.
- Mix oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a separate small bowl.
- Dress salad, and toss.
- Garnish with remaining red onions, mandarins, cranberries, almonds, and enjoy!
Have you ever had a Strawberry Spinach Salad?