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I don't know about you but as soon as the weather starts to warm up I just want to eat fresh, healthy, colourful food all the time! I have been known to do a little happy dance in the produce section once the beautiful, plump berries start to appear (and at much lower prices than they've been all winter!) and lately I've been filling up my shopping cart with so many fresh fruits and vegetables that I don't have room for much else in the cart! I know, first world problems, right?
Eating a healthy diet full of variety can sometimes be a challenge, especially for busy parents and especially at lunch time. As a work-at-home mom I often find myself spending time preparing a healthy meal for my kids and then just grabbing whatever happens to be lying around to eat for lunch, not really putting too much thought into actually preparing anything for myself. And while leftovers from the night before do make a great lunch most of the time, there are other times when I'm craving something fresh and delicious and I like to take the little bit of time it takes to throw together something healthy and homemade. Lately, this salad has been hitting the spot in a big way!
Truthfully, I made this salad for myself recently on one of those days where I just needed a healthy lunch after a busy morning, and I hadn't even planned on sharing it with you. Of course, after one bite I knew it was more than share-worthy and so I quickly grabbed my camera to capture all this deliciousness!
Like the look of this recipe? You're going to love my Greek Yogurt Caesar Salad or this delicious Pomegranate and Lemon Couscous Salad with Fresh Mint!
And aside from the gorgeous fresh produce, it's the dressing that really makes this salad something special. This Maple Vinaigrette dressing is SO tasty and it couldn't be easier to make! It's dressings like this that make me wonder why anyone ever buys conventional bottled salad dressings from the grocery store! I know you're going to love this fruity salad as much as I do!
Berry Walnut Spinach Salad with Maple Vinaigrette (serves 4-6 as a side dish, or 2 as a light lunch)
For the salad:
6 cups fresh spinach, washed and dried
1/3 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh blackberries, washed and dried
1 cup fresh strawberries, washed, dried and sliced
1/3 cup raw walnuts, chopped
For the dressing:
3 tbsp real maple syrup
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
a pinch of sea salt
Add the spinach to a large bowl and top with the sliced red onion, blackberries, sliced strawberries, and walnuts.
Make the dressing by adding the maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt to a mason jar. Make sure the lid is on tightly and shake well to combine.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine.
Serve immediately, or prepare in advance and refrigerate the salad and the dressing separately and toss right before serving!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what's your favourite fresh healthy lunch idea for summer?
Like this recipe? You'll LOVE my Grapefruit Arugula Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette or this Quick and Easy Greek Salad!