Quick Recipes and Easy

Spinach Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Candied Walnuts

This salad starts with a bag of spinach and a can of Mandarin oranges. Sounds simple, but once you’ve combined the ingredients they add up to a complex mixture of tastes. This recipe has many variations. Substitute strawberries, raspberries, pears, and apples for the oranges. Add strips of grilled chicken or turkey for a main course salad.

You can make the salad dressing a day or even several days ahead. But, the candied walnuts taste best if you make them an hour before you need them. Hide the walnuts the minute they come out of the oven. I’m serious! Otherwise, you or your family members will eat the nuts before you even open the spinach. The preparation time for this salad is 8-10 minutes.


1 10-ounce bag of fresh spinach

1 6.1-ounce can of Mandarin oranges, drained

2 thin slices of red onion, separated into rings

raspberry salad dressing (recipe below)

candied walnuts (recipe below)


6 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar-free raspberry jam (with seeds or without)

1/4 teaspoon salt (may be omitted)

1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper

1 cup extra light olive oil

Place all ingredients, except the olive oil, in a small bowl. Combine ingredients with a small whisk. Using the same whisk and stirring constantly, slowly add olive oil. Pour into cruet or jelly jar with a lid.
Shake well prior to using.


1/2 cup walnut pieces (or whole nuts)

1 teaspoon extra light olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

Place walnuts in a measuring cup. Add the olive oil, honey, and stir well. Line a pie pan or toaster oven pan with non-stick aluminum foil. Pour nuts into pan and spread them out. Toast in a 325 degree oven for about 8 minutes. As soon as the honey starts to bubble watch the nuts carefully or they will burn. Remove from oven and cool.


Pour the spinach leaves into a large salad bowl. Discard any brown leaves and remove any long stems. Scatter the Mandarin oranges over the spinach. Scatter the onion rings over the oranges. Pour salad dressing (you won’t need it all) over the salad and toss. Garnish with candied walnuts. Makes 6-8 servings.

Copyright 2006 by Harriet Hodgson

harriethodgson.com harriethodgson.com
healthwriter.blogspot.com healthwriter.blogspot.com

Harriet Hodgson has been a nonfiction writer for 27 years and is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Association for Death Education and Counseling. Before she became a health writer she was a food writer for the former “Rochester Magazine” in her hometown of Rochester, MN. Her 24th book, “Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief,” written with Lois Krahn, MD is available from amazon.com amazon.com A five-star review of the book is posted in Amazon. Another review is posted on the American Hospice Foundation website under the “School Corner” heading.

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