Healthy Mandarin Almond Salad

Several of you have been expressing interest in healthier food options. So I set out to find something that would fit for those of you looking for healthy menu items, but something that would interest all of our readers. This salad has great taste, while providing lots of vitamins, protein from the nuts and a sweet salty combination. It does contain both salt and sugar, perhaps those of you who substitute honey or agave could offer some suggestions to alter this recipe.

I did change the original recipe and replaced the romaine lettuce with spinach. I love the health benefits that spinach gives, and it doesn’t taste bad either. I typically select baby spinach because I just need to rinse it and spin it, no chopping required. I also substituted the candied almonds originally called for, for toasted almonds, to save a little calorically. The salad was sweet enough without the candied almonds.

This dressing is insane, so so good. It could be used on many different types of salads. If you prefer to not make this dressing , a raspberry vinaigrette would also work, or a poppy seed based dressing could work as well.

Prep Time: 1 hour


3 cups spinach
3 green onions, chopped
1 small can mandarin orange segment, drained and chilled
1 large avocado, cut into pieces
1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar


Dissolve brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, and salt in a small container and refrigerate for 1 hr.
Rinse spinach and place in a large bowl. Add green onion, mandarin oranges, avocado pieces, almonds, and Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with dressing just before serving and toss everything together.

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    Sharon Ng
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2012
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