Strawberries and spinach are both good for you and a perfect combination for a salad for Valentine’s Day, which falls on Feb. 14, right in the middle of February’s American Heart Month. This recipe for strawberry and spinach salad is not only low in fat and calories, but low in sodium and is carbohydrate controlled. Pair this strawberry spinach salad with a delicious homemade tomato soup for a heart-healthy Valentine's Day lunch.
The original recipe calls for 1/4 cup granulated white sugar, which is far too much for anyone watching the carbohydrates or their sugar intake. In addition, processed granulated sugar is not good for you. Instead substitute 1 Tablespoon of cane sugar or if you have it, 1 Tablespoon of agave nectar. Ideally you could leave out any sweetener at all and use 6 to 8 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, which has a bit of sweetness to it, unlike red wine vinegar. You may find that you will need to add a teaspoon or two or cane sugar or agave nectar anyway.
For those that suffer from diverticulitis, the condition may be aggravated by using strawberries, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. If this is the case, replace the strawberries with blueberries, and omit the sesame and poppy seeds. If your almonds do not cause your diverticulitis to flare up, substitute slivered, toasted almonds for the sesame seeds.
If you want to make the strawberry spinach salad a meal, add 6 to 8 ounces of grilled or broiled, sliced or cubed chicken breast to the salad before tossing with the dressing.
This strawberry spinach salad recipe makes two servings, approximately 2 cups per serving. Adding 6 to 8 ounces of chicken provides 3 to 6 ounces of protein per serving.
Spinach and strawberry salad for a healthy heart
Ingredients for strawberry and spinach salad:
- 1 pound fresh baby spinach, rinsed and torn into bite size pieces
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, drained, hulled and cut into quarters or eighths
Ingredients for strawberry spinach salad dressing:
- ¼ cup olive or canola oil
- 6 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon cane sugar or agave nectar
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 1 to 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
How to make dressing for strawberry spinach salad and dressing:
- In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.
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