Gluten Free Living – 2014
Spinach, Apple and Bacon Salad with Sugar-Glazed Walnuts is one fantastic salad. I love salads. I even have one of my Pinterest boards named as such! I should love them because I eat a LOT of them. Sometimes as much as one or two large plates a day! No kidding. This Spinach, Apple and Bacon Salad with Sugar-Glazed Walnuts is one of the best I’ve ever tried. It’s filled with spinach, craisins, feta cheese, red onion, sliced Gala apples (my personal favorite), bacon and homemade sugar-glazed walnuts. It’s topped with a tasty Dijon Vinaigrette for a little bit of sweet and sour effect.
We had a large fall BBQ at our church on Sunday and I like to bring healthier salads to those potlucks, rather than all the high calorie salads like Potato Salad and Cole Slaw (even though I really enjoy those salads), because there’s usually lots of those kinds of salads. I like to bring salads and side dishes that are not so popular that there are already 20 or 30 of them brought by other attendees! So I made up a batch of Winter Fruit Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing because it’s one of my favorites and everyone always loves it. I also made up this tasty salad.
I actually made it up on Saturday and then mixed the dressing with the salad yesterday at the church-wide barbecue. It was wonderful. I had several people tell me they loved it. The dressing is not overly sweet, and it doesn’t need to be, because the craisins, nuts and apples in this salad add plenty of sweetness to this recipe. Bacon, Feta cheese and red onion provide savory flavors, and the cayenne pepper added to the nuts when they’re glazed adds just a hint of spiciness. The whole overall effect is fabulous.
If you want to cut down on calories and sugar, you can add toasted walnuts without the glaze and substitute honey for the teaspoon of sugar in the dressing. Spinach, Apple and Bacon Salad with Sugar-Glazed Walnuts can be served as a main dish or as a side salad with your favorite soup or sandwich. It’s also gluten free (providing your purchase gluten free bacon) for those of you with gluten intolerance.
If you’re looking for a scrumptious and appetizing salad nice enough to serve company, and certainly an excellent option for family dinners or lunches, then give Spinach, Apple and Bacon Salad with Sugar-Glazed Walnuts a try. You may even find yourself enjoying two bowls of this lovely salad.
Spinach, Apple and Bacon Salad with Sugar-Glazed Walnuts is a tasty salad that’s both sweet and savory with a hint of spicy.
If you’re looking for a great salad to serve at potlucks, backyard barbecues or anytime you want to enjoy a lovely salad, Spinach, Apple and Bacon Salad with Sugar-Glazed Walnuts is sure to please.
I loved the Sugar-Glazed Walnuts. The hint of cayenne pepper adds just a little bit of spice to this delightful recipe.
Here’s what I did.
I used these ingredients for the salad.
Place spinach in a large salad bowl. Add red onions cut in strips.
Add craisins and crumbled feta cheese.
Place lemon juice in a small bowl. Add apple slices and immerse into the lemon juice and soak for about 5-10 seconds. Remove apple slices to paper towels and pat dry lightly.
Add apple slices to salad and refrigerate.
I used these ingredients to glaze the nuts.
Place sugar, salt and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan. Melt sugar over low to medium heat until completely dissolved. This will take between 5-10 minutes.
Stir continuously until sugar melts.
Remove from heat and add nuts. Stir well and quickly to combine.
Place waxed paper on counter. Spoon nuts onto waxed paper. (They will probably come out in large clumps). Break apart nuts as soon as possible and spread over waxed paper to cool completely. Cool nuts completely before adding to salad. Refrigerate.
I used these ingredients to make the Dijon Vinaigrette.
Mix ingredients in a blender until pureed – about 10-15 seconds.
Here’s the salad before the dressing has been added. Doesn’t it look beautiful?
Here’s a plate of this tasty salad. Top with Dijon Vinaigrette and you’re good to go!
Here’s the recipe.
SPINACH, APPLE AND BACON SALAD WITH SUGAR-GLAZED WALNUTS
(Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)
- 10-oz. baby spinach
- ¼ to 1/3 cup red onion, cut in strips
- 6 slices Applewood smoked bacon, cooked, and broken into small pieces
- 1 Gala Apple, unpeeled, cored and sliced thinly
- 1 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup craisins
- lemon juice[br]
- [b]SUGAR-GLAZED WALNUTS:[/b][br]
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
- pinch of salt[br]
- [b]DIJON VINAIGRETTE:[/b][br]
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ½ tsp. finely minced garlic
- 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- black pepper, to taste
- Layer spinach, red onion and craisins in a large salad bowl.
- Sprinkle with Feta cheese and bacon pieces.
- Soak apple slices in lemon juice and toss on top of salad.
- Add cooled, sugar-glazed walnuts.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Toss salad.
- Fill individual salad bowls with salad and drizzle vinaigrette over top. [br]
- Place sugar, cayenne pepper and salt in a small saucepan over low to medium heat.
- Dissolve sugar completely.
- Be careful not to heat at too high of a temperature of mixture will scorch.
- Remove from heat.
- Add walnuts and stir quickly to cover them with the glaze.
- Place a large sheet of waxed paper on your counter.
- Spoon nut mixture out onto waxed paper.
- Break into pieces as soon as possible and allow to cool completely.
- Toss walnuts on top of salad.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve.[br]
- Mix ingredients in a blender or food processor until well immersed – about 10-15 seconds.
- Refrigerate dressing until ready to serve salad.
- Pour dressing over individual salads when ready to serve.
Craisins, apples and Sugar-Glazed Walnuts add nice, sweet flavor to this tossed salad.
Spinach, Apple and Bacon Salad with Sugar-Glazed Walnuts is a heavenly salad your family is sure to enjoy.
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