Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spinach Salad with Chickpeas, Pineapple, Almonds & Green Onions

I hope that many of you are enjoying your Memorial Day weekend at the beach or with family. Personally I'm stuck in the city for another week before I head home to Cape Cod (YAY) for a visit, and it is very much school finals week for those of us on the inexplicable quarter system, so quick & fresh warm-weather dinners are the name of the game lately.

And of course, when it comes to quick and warm-weather-friendly, salads are the way to go.

Baby spinach - I used about 2/3 of a bag
Pineapple chunks, canned in juice. You could also use canned mandarin oranges.
Slivered or sliced almonds
about 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas. If using canned, rinse thoroughly in a strainer.
1 green onion, sliced
Asian or Italian vinaigrette salad dressing

1. In a large bowl, combine spinach, chickpeas, green onion, and pineapple
2. Gradually drizzle with dressing and mix (with your hands, if you're willing), until everything is just coated.
3. Plate salad, sprinkle with almonds, and serve.

The contrast of the bright, tart green onion with the sweet, mellow pineapple is super tasty. You could use sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts instead of the almonds, if you want. I did plan this salad, so it's not exactly an "Odds and Ends" salad, but you can definitely experiment with different fruit and nut combos to find one you love. Of course, feel free to use fresh pineapple, if you're up for the challenge of hacking into one. I'm especially fond of spinach as a salad base because it's one of the most nutritionally-dense greens out there.

For lunch on this warm, lazy Sunday, Brady and I shared a Jewish Hoagie from possibly the best deli in all of Philadelphia, Koch's at 43rd and Locust. They use absolutely the best meats and cheeses and boy, do they know how to use them. I was planning on making this salad tonight anyway, but after having even half of one of their specialty subs for lunch, a lighter dinner was very necessary. Try it!

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