Apple Walnut Salad

Apple Walnut Salad

I love everything about this salad.  From the combination of fruits to nut to the tangy dressing, the mixture of flavors and textures are simply mouth watering.  This salad is packed with lots of vitamin A and K, iron, omega 3, and other vitamins and minerals.  Dark leafy greens are important for skin, hair, and bone health.  Spinach has been known to improve blood glucose, lower blood pressure, lower risk of developing asthma and more.  This salad has definitely become one of my favorite “go to” dishes perhaps because its quick and simple to make and is flavorful.  It probably took me all of fifteen minutes to prepare this salad.  I know you will find it equally satisfying.

10 oz baby spinach
3 small gala apples or 2 medium, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup walnuts, toasted
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (don’t use the pre-crumbled stuff)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
12 oz bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
1/2 small red onion, sliced into thin strips (optional)
Maple-Cider Vinaigrette
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

If using red onion, place slices in a colander and run under warm water for about 10 seconds, tossing once, to remove harsh bite. Drain well.
In a large salad bowl toss together spinach, apples, walnuts, feta, cranberries and optional bacon and red onion. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to evenly coat. Serve immediately after adding dressing.

For the dressing:
Add all ingredients to a medium mason jar. Cover with lid and shake to blend well (or alternately just blend well in a bowl with a whisk).

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