Black Bean and Mango Salad

Good morning everyone! Happy Ice Storm Day from here in the Midwest! We need a little hint of summer and this is the perfect! You can make this SUPER easy salad in winter with canned black beans and frozen mango. You can find frozen mango in the frozen fruit section of the grocery store – sometimes you will see it next to smoothie fruit packs as well.

Why make this dish?

  1. It is a quick lunch – you have protein and vitamins in one bowl with no heating required!
  2. It is delicious!
  3. You can serve it as a side dish with tacos, enchiladas, nachos, etc.
  4. You could put it on tortilla chips for a quick salsa!

 

Black Bean and Mango Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 and 1/2 cups frozen or fresh mango, diced
  • 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes (optional and tasty when in season!)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the beans, mango, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, spices, salt and optional chopped tomatoes.
  2. Squeeze half a lime into the bowl. Gently toss. The salad is ready to eat! Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  3. For dietary reasons, if you need to add fat, you can stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2019/02/10/black-bean-and-mango-salad/

Smoked Pork Salad & Book Review

smoked pulled pork salad

I hope your summer has been awesome!!  Here in Missouri we are at 100 degrees or more every day and 101 on Saturday without the heat index!  So instead of swimming in the bathwater temperature pool, we had a family reunion on Sunday.  For the main meat, I purchased 10 pounds of pork shoulder to smoke.  I love this electric smoker!  It makes everything taste good.  Alton Brown had one in his episodes and I have been hooked ever since.  Thanksgiving will never be the same Рwe liked the smoked turkey better than the roasted.

Book Review:

Book review time!

I have been reading “Positive Discipline: Tools for Teachers” although many of the skills would work for parents as well. ¬†Each section is very thoughtfully laid out and peppered with many real-life examples. ¬†The chapters begin with the discipline tool such as “Greetings,” describes the tool, highlights several examples of using the tool in real classrooms, gives 3-5 tips on using the tool and finally – my favorite part – explains the research behind the tool. ¬†The tools in the book remind me of “Teaching with Love and Logic” and “Discipline with Dignity” if you are familiar with those books and programs. ¬†There are 281 pages of tools and examples in the book, so there is something in it for every teacher. ¬†I would highly recommend this book for any brand new teachers and teachers that would like more discipline tools to use and try in the classroom. ¬†In my experience, every tool does not work on every student. ¬†Each child is different and some respond differently than others due to family history or simply personality. ¬†One chapter in particular explains Curiosity Questions. ¬†Instead of barking at the student to finish the worksheet, it begins with a conversational question. ¬†This question starts a discussion and I know many of us have had those “Aha!” moments when they had a short discussion with the student: I can’t focus, my mom is in the hospital, my little brother cried all night, etc. ¬†Of course, learning objectives do need to be met, but a little grace goes a long way when trying to start a conversation and make a plan on how to overcome those obstacles.

In short, there is something for every teacher in this book. ¬†The cartoons and quotations peppered throughout the book break up the text well. The author’s tone is conversational and easy to read and understand. ¬†I received this book from the¬†Blogging for Books¬†program in exchange for this review.

 

Recipe:

Leftovers to the rescue!  I have made this with leftover restaurant smoked pork and homemade.  Both are equally delicious!  Scale this up or down for a huge BBQ or a small family dinner or a healthy and tasty lunch!!

This is my all time FAVORITE BBQ SAUCE recipe. ¬†I whip it up in a jar, shake and good to go! ¬†No high fructose corn syrup and preservatives necessary. ¬†There is enough vinegar in my sauce to keep it in the fridge for quite a while. ¬† I don’t use liquid smoke too often, but the price is cheap and it lasts a long time in the pantry.

The corn bread muffins were from my favorite corn bread recipe, too.  Feel free to use store bought.  Or make these and freeze the leftovers for another day.

 

Smoked Pork Salad & Book Review
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 corn muffins
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups smoked pulled pork
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice the corn muffin into small cubes. Spray with olive oil cooking spray. Place on a cookie sheet and toast for 6 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Divide the lettuce into 4 bowls.
  3. Add about 1/2 cup pork to each bowl. Add tomatoes, some sliced onion and corn bread croutons on top. Now drizzle BBQ sauce or combine ranch and BBQ sauce together if that floats your boat.
  4. Enjoy!

 

 

Let’s Party! — Salad in a Jar Party That Is

Salad in a Jar-6337 on Whisk Together copy

Want a healthy side dish or lunch in the fridge for every single day of the week?  This is a great solution.  And no there is nothing to buy or sell.

My friend Alison hosted this super-fun and uber-productive party and I had to share it with you! ¬†She posted the event on Facebook and each of us responded whether we were going to attend or not. ¬†Those attending were asked to bring two salad toppings (and the jars to put the salads in of course…. you could use ziplock storage, pyrex, tupperware, etc.). ¬†The host provided the lettuce and baby spinach.

Salad in a Jar-6369 copy

On the day of the party, we had a ton of fun chatting and making our salads. ¬†Look at them all! ¬†Everyone’s toppings were laid out and we dished what ingredients we wanted into our salad jars. ¬†I brought my stuff in a cooler and then simply put the jars back into the empty cooler to keep them cold.

I think this would be fun with smoothies too. ¬†We really like green smoothies here ūüôā

Salad in a Jar-6359 copy

The document below is my compilation of all the Panera Salads that I have tried. ¬†This is my favorite go-to salad place. ¬†I have others… but Panera is everywhere. ¬†So, I listed all of the salads, their ingredients and ingredient shopping lists to take with you! ¬†These can be used for inspiration or to hand out. ¬†It is a LOT of ingredients of course. ¬†But, I figured you can also cross it out if you don’t like the ingredient or don’t need to make that many salads.

Salad in a Jar-6353 copy

I just eyeball the amounts. ¬†If I like it, I add more. ¬†If I don’t like it, I omit or add less.

 

Here are the Panera salads on the list:

Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Power Kale Caesar Salad

Cobb Salad

Thai Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

Asian Sesame Salad

Here is the FREE DOCUMENT for printing and making your own Panera Salads at home ready to go!  Or just make your own to your tastes.  I include some tips on how to layer the salad in the jar in the document as well.  Remember you can add chicken or hard-boiled eggs to any salad to make it a protein/main meal!

Panera- Lovers

{Copycat} Salad Menu & Grocery List

Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Power Kale Caesar Salad

Cobb Salad

Thai Salad

BBQ Chicken Salad

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

Asian Sesame Salad

What is included?

  1.  Recipes
  2.  Grocery List broken down by Category
  3.  Grocery Master List

How Do I Use This?

  1.  You can simple use the recipes as they are.
  2.  You could team up with a few friends.  Everyone bring a salad ingredient and make Quart Jar salads.  Everyone takes home 7  salads!
  3.  Divide among friends or yourself a few favorites and trade.  

Strawberry Poppyseed Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Strawberries

Blueberries

Pineapple tidbits

Poppyseed

Chicken

Pecans

Power Kale Caesar Salad

Kale

Romaine Lettuce

Caesar Dressing

Chicken

Fat: Parmesan Cheese

Cobb Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Grape Tomatoes

Bacon

Protein: Chicken and Hard-boiled Egg

Dressing: Herb Vinaigrette

Fat: Avocado

Thai Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Cilantro

Shredded carrots

Red Pepper, small dice

Edamame

Chicken

Thai Chili Vinaigrette

Cashews

BBQ Chicken Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Fire Roasted Corn

Black Beans

BBQ Sauce

Chicken

BBQ Dressing

Fried Onions or Tortilla Chip Strips

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Field Greens

Red onion

Grape Tomatoes

Dried Apples

White Balsamic Apple Vinagrette

Chicken

Pecans

Asian Sesame Salad

Romaine Lettuce

Cilantro

Almonds, sliced

Sesame seeds

Asian Sesame Vinaigrette

Chicken

Wonton Strips

For Quart Jar Salads layer the ingredients as follows (from bottom to top):  

  1.  Salad Dressing
  2.  Hard Vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, peppers, etc.
  3.  Grains, beans or pasta.
  4.  Cheese/protein
  5.  Nuts and seeds
  6.  Lettuce

Master List

Romaine Lettuce

Field Greens

Kale

Strawberries

Blueberries

Pineapple tidbits

Grape Tomatoes

Bacon

Cilantro

Shredded carrots

Red Pepper, small dice

Edamame

Fire Roasted Corn

Black Beans

BBQ Sauce

Red onion

Dried Apples

Cilantro

Almonds, sliced

Sesame seeds

Chicken

Hard Boiled Egg

Pecans

Parmesan Cheese

Avocado

Cashews

Fried Onions

Pecans

Wonton Strips

Dressing: Poppyseed, Caesar, Herb Vinaigrette, Thai Chili Vinaigrette, White Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette, Asian Sesame Vinaigrette

Grocery List by Category

Produce:

Romaine Lettuce x7

Kale x1

Field Greens x1

Strawberries

Blueberries

Grape Tomatoes x2

Shredded Carrots

Red Bell Pepper

Cilantro

Red onion

Dried Apples

Avocado

Nuts/Seeds:

Pecans

Cashews

Sliced almonds

Sesame Seeds

Dairy:

Eggs

Parmesan Cheese

Meat:

Chicken

Grocery:

Black Beans

Pineapple tidbits *

Fried Onions * or Tortilla Chip Strips

BBQ Sauce

Wonton Strips *

Frozen:

Fire Roasted Corn *

Edamame *

Dressing: Poppyseed, Caesar, Herb Vinaigrette, Thai Chili Vinaigrette, White Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette, Asian Sesame Vinaigrette

Butternut Squash Salad

Butternut Squash Salad on Whisk Together-5528

If you followed the last post regarding roasting your Fall vegetables, then this salad will be easy!  It is the quintessential salad for Thanksgiving:  lots of bright greens, deep orange squash and radiant red fruit.  Simple to put together and it can be prepared the day before or even several days before you need the salad.  Just keep the vegetables in separate containers until it is ready to put together.

Here is a photo looking out from my kitchen in the morning!

House on Whisk Together-5352

I like to have a salad like this sitting in a large bowl in the fridge.  It lasts the week and we take out what we need with tongs throughout the week.  I prep them on Sunday after church along with the other meal prep for the week like hard boiled eggs, celery sticks, etc.  Hopefully, I will have my meal prep post ready soon!

Butternut Squash Salad on Whisk Together-5529

Speaking of meal prep.  Remember freezer cooking is a life saver around the holidays.  Prep and freeze baked mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, homemade rolls, gravy,  pumpkin pie, Dutch apple pie, and cherry pie.

To make my gravy ahead of time, I use my recipe for the slow cooker turkey breast. ¬†I simply make the gravy in a saucepan separately. ¬†This time of year, Trader Joe’s carries turkey stock or you can make your own. ¬†Follow the recipe for the gravy and put it on the stovetop. ¬†Most importantly, you do not need so much liquid. ¬†Start with half the amount and add more later if necessary. ¬†Cool and freeze. ¬†Thaw and then pop it back onto the stovetop to heat through or in the microwave for a gravy that doesn’t have 50 chemical ingredients in it (yes, you know who you are you 99 cents jars of gravy this time of year). ¬†Okay, not 50. Only 30 ingredients.

For the juiciest turkey ever, follow this recipe. ¬†I have been using it several times a year for 7¬†years and without fail makes the best turkey ever. ¬†Over the years, I did learn one trick. ¬†It is hard to brine the turkey in the fridge and sometimes the garage isn’t cold enough. ¬†Two ways have worked for me. ¬†One, putting the turkey and brine in an oven bag. ¬†Place this in the roasting pan in case of drips (My new preferred method). ¬†Or two, put the turkey into a stockpot with the brine. ¬†The entire amount of brine won’t fit and that is probably why I gave up on this method. ¬†But, it does work as long as you use the 12-14 lb. turkey size in the recipe.

Butternut Squash Salad on Whisk Together-5531

 

Butternut Squash Salad
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tb. brown sugar
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries (like Craisins) or pomegranate arils
  • Dressing: balsamic vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. To prep the butternut squash: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim the ends of the butternut squash. Slice off the skin. Cut the flesh into 1/2″ cubes. Toss the cubed squash in olive oil. Sprinkle the cinnamon and brown sugar on top. Lay on a rimmed cookie sheet and roast in the oven for about 18-20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. To prep the salad: Pour spinach into a large salad bowl. Top with prepped butternut squash, sliced red onion, and dried cranberries or pomegranate arils. Drizzle with dressing. Eat immediately or store items separately and store in the fridge until ready to eat.

 

Do It Yourself Apple Chips

Apple Chips on Whisk Together

 

Exercise:¬† This 35 minute HIIT challenge will challenge you. Everything you may hate in a workout all in one! ūüôā ¬†Jumping lunges, burpees AND star jumps. ¬†One of those workouts that “hurts so good.”

Book:¬† “Death by Food Pyramid” by Denise Minger is my new book for the week. ¬†It has a lot of great information in it and more important, she goes through parts of scientific studies step by step. ¬†What is an abstract? ¬†Results? ¬†What does p= and why? ¬†She briefly goes into these terms so others that didn’t have to write a Master’s Thesis on “The Effects of Drama Education on the Social Skills of High School Students” can understand what is going on in the original studies and make his or her OWN conclusions.

Recipe:¬†¬†I love the Fuji Apple Salad at Panera and started making my own copycat salads from one of my favorite restaurants. ¬†For the apples, I needed to run to the store to buy apple chips or just sit at home and let my oven do the work while the kids play outside. ¬†So, at home it is! ¬†And lots cheaper too….

These made a nice snack (no mess!) and are really good on salads.

Apple Chips on Whisk Together-2957

Do It Yourself Apple Chips
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 2 apples (Granny Smith, Fuji, or Gala. I like the tart Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with silicone or parchment. You may need two sheets for large apples.
  3. Slice the apples paper thin using a sharp knife or mandolin. In a large bowl or plastic bag, toss the apples with cinnamon and sugar.
  4. Lay the apples in a single layer on the cookie sheet.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes. Flip them over. Bake another 45 minutes. Cool and eat!
  6. Store in an air tight container.
  7. The baking time will be determined by how thin the slices and may need adjusted.
  8. You can also simply turn the oven off and let the apples cool in the oven if they need a little more drying time.

 

Greek Yogurt Egg Salad

Egg Salad-2184 on Whisk Together

 

Book Update: ¬†Currently, I’m reading “The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute.” ¬†Really interesting book on how an “investment” (collecting stuffed animals) became a vehicle for money. ¬†Ty Warner apparently was crazy. ¬†He started the company and created beanie babies. ¬†But, he also created a company that lied to customers, lied to retailers, cut supply to increase demand, and led a secondary market that created more crazy people. ¬†One employee left the company because he didn’t want to keep lying to customers. ¬†They were instructed to tell them that shipments would take 5 days when in reality they would take 1 and 1/2 months.

Due to Consumer Regulations, one of the beanie babies posed a choking hazard. ¬†So, Ty and Patricia Roche had to dismantle a whole carton – about 15,000 beanie babies and send photos to the government as proof. ¬†Some beanie babies would be “retired”, but they were still shipping to England. ¬†Patricia would have to dismantle those beanie babies as well when they arrived and sell the inside pellets back to the Asian markets.

Then, there were crazy customers. ¬†One accidentally hit her kid’s head on a door trying to get to a newly released beanie baby. ¬†One collector racked up four digit phone bills calling long distance to collect beanie babies she didn’t have yet.

Oh, here’s the new tile I made. ¬†Since Easter is over, I didn’t have any holidays to really use on a tile. ¬†So, I made this one up instead. ¬†It’ll help me remember my wedding anniversary date, too! ¬†Bonus! ¬†(Well, I get it confused because I graduated with my Master’s degree on August 3, 2002 and got married August 2, 2003.)

tile for Riley

Egg Salad-2188 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  As many that hosted Easter or had the kids dye eggs, you may have ended up with a LOT of hard boiled eggs leftover.  Sure, they are tasty and nutritious on their own.  But, throw them into a salad and they make a great sandwich for a snack or rounded out lunch.

This recipe substitutes a great source of protein and calcium – Greek Yogurt – for a calorie filled not much else concoction: mayonnaise. ¬†Although you could make mayonnaise from scratch…. But anyway – Greek Yogurt is faster! ¬†Feel free to add tomatoes, lettuce, or bacon to the sandwich with your favorite French, whole wheat or white bread. ¬†I used my usual whole wheat bread in the photo.

Egg Salad-2189 on Whisk Together

Greek Yogurt Egg Salad
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 8 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. mustard
Instructions
  1. Cut up the hardboiled eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the yogurt, dried dill, salt, pepper and mustard. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more yogurt. Stir until well combined and enjoy!

 

Harvest Salad

Harvest Salad on Whisk Together

Book Update: ¬†I started reading “Killing Jesus” by Bill O’Reilly (and some other guy). ¬†Though only several chapters in, I am enjoying the book. ¬†It is a lot of history that surrounds Jesus’ life that I wasn’t taught or simply forgotten about. ¬†The writing is fluid and information easy to process. ¬†When living in today’s modern society, it is easy to forget that indoor plumbing, hot water heaters, carpeted floors, nobody trying to kill your infant just for being born, etc. ¬†are very recent modern technologies. ¬†I tried to read “What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”, but after 3 pages I just couldn’t take it anymore. ¬†Eat breakfast, exercise and do what needs done first. ¬†Duh. ¬†Maybe lots of people need to learn that… but just seemed pretty common sense to me. ¬†Next, I tried to read Dr. Leman’s Building Kids Up Without Tearing Them Down. ¬†I didn’t care for this book either – I don’t agree with some of his points though his philosophy in the beginning of the book is sound.

Recipe Update:¬† ¬†Love a copycat recipe? ¬†This salad was GREAT. ¬†Just a few ingredients that I never would have thought of putting together myself. ¬†It is served in my favorite pizza place – Dewey’s Pizza. ¬†It isn’t the same old same old pizza places like Papa Johns, Pizza Hut, etc. ¬†They rotate a seasonal pizza and salad throughout the year and every pizza I have had from there is great. ¬†They have a Meatball pizza and a Southwest Amish BBQ Chicken Pizza. ¬†This is my favorite salad I have had there so far. ¬†If you sign up to be a groupie on their website, you will receive a 50% off coupon once in a while. ¬†I’ve only seen 2 for the year. ¬†But, I order my favorite pizzas and freeze them (except the yummy Caprice pizza because that won’t freeze well). ¬†Heat them up from frozen in the oven or convection oven and you have fresh tasting (half off) pizza in no time. ¬†Though a word of warning: after reheating pizza from the freezer for two weeks because it is just so easy and fast, you may just get tired of eating pizza!

If you love a good not too thin, not too thick, easy to work with pizza dough, then try my copycat pizza dough recipe here.

Harvest Salad
serves 2

6-9 ounces field greens/”spring mix”
4 pieces applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 tablespoons boursin cheese, cold and crumbled
6 dried figs
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (without the shell)
Apple cider honey vinaigrette (recipe below), or buy at the store

Dressing:
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 and 1/2 T dijon mustard
1/3 cup honey
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 and 1/3 cup oil (vegetable oil)

1.  Divide the ingredients for the salad between two large bowls.  Top with the toppings in no particular order.
2.  Process all of the ingredients for the dressing BUT the oil in the food processor or blender.  Drizzle in the oil while the machine is running.  Apply to salad Рof course this is much more than you need.  Store the rest in the fridge.

Recipe influenced by Dewey’s Pizza menu

Red Onion and Apple Salad

Apple Red Onion Salad_1 on Whisk Together

Book update: ¬† Hmmm… does anyone read this part? ¬† ūüėČ

Recipe Update:  I have an abundance of apples from my bushel purchases at my co-op.  Plus spinach is sooo good for you and so cheap at Aldi that I buy more than we can eat.  This recipe helped me solve both problems.  I have served it with almost every meal this week.

**Tip**  Red onion can have quite a bite to it.  To get the edge off, slice your red onion and soak for 15 minutes in a large bowl of cold water.

**Tip 2**  To keep the apples from browning, toss them in a little lemon juice or if that is too tart, what I do for my kids is take TruLemon Lemonade instead and toss them in that.  It is much more mild, but the main ingredient, citric acid, prevents browning.

Red Onion and Apple Salad
serves 6

10 ounces of baby spinach leaves
1 or 2 Golden Delicious apples, chopped (or other sweet apple like Gala or Fuji)
1/4 to1/2 red onion, sliced thin (depends on how much onion you like in your salad)
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Balsamic Vinagrette purchased from store (I like Trader Joe’s version) or recipe for this recipe below:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 and 1/2 Tb. apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grain mustard
1 Tablespoon honey

1.  Toss salad ingredients in large bowl.
2.  Whisk together or shake dressing ingredients if using.  Drizzle dressing and serve.

Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray

Antioxidant Spinach Salad

Antioxidant Salad on Whisk Together

This salad is topped with my favorite snack food from Trader Joe’s: ¬†Antioxidant fruit and nut mix. ¬†It is a mixture of almonds, walnuts, cashews, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, and dried raspberries. ¬† Here is a recipe for this salad and a few other salads that are my favorites. ¬†Costco sells a huge bag of baby spinach – 2.5 lbs of spinach for $5. ¬†So, I had a lot to experiment with! ¬†ūüôā ¬†These recipes are also great with seasoned warm grilled chicken on top!

Next week is “Oklahoma!” and I will be busy rehearsing every night that week.

Antioxidant Spinach Salad
serves 8

1 lb. baby spinach
1 and 1/2 cups antioxidant fruit and nut mix (dried cranberries, walnuts, almonds, cashews, dried raspberries, raisins, dried blueberries)
1 cup red grapes, halved

Dressing.
2 Tb. toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. minced onion
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1.  Tear the baby spinach if it is too big.  Split between 8 bowls.  Top with mix and grapes.
2.  Dressing:  combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously.  Add to salad just before serving.  Taste test first!  Some people might like it sweeter and increase the sugar.
*or use your favorite poppyseed or balsamic vinaigrette.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
serves 4

8-10 ounces baby spinach
1 quart strawberries, sliced
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup almonds or pecans or walnuts
1 and 1/2 Tb. sugar

Dressing:
2 Tb. toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup sugar (up to 1/2 cup per taste)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
1 Tb. minced onion
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1.  If using homemade dressing:  shake in a jar and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2.  Take almonds and 1 and 1/2 T. sugar and throw them into a nonstick skillet over medium heat to medium-high heat.    Toss and coat for about 3 minutes.  Spread out and cool.
3.  In a great big bowl:  Toss spinach, strawberries, oranges and cranberries.  Add almonds on top.
4.  Add dressing just before serving.

Dressing recipe adapted from allrecipes.com

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