Mandarin Spinach Salad

August 27, 2012Teresa

Mandarin Spinach Salad¬†is an absolutely delightful spinach salad recipe. It’s made with mandarin orange segments, apples, red bell peppers, celery, homemade cinnamon-sugar almonds, and a zippy dressing that makes the whole thing work. It really doesn’t take much effort to make the salad. Even making the cinnamon-sugar almonds can be done in the toaster oven so that’s relatively painless.

I got the recipe from Colleen Parks, a member of our Sunday school class, who was a vegetarian with many creative ways to fix food. We were at a potluck for our class one Sunday and I think this salad was the only thing healthy enough to eat! It is so delicious. One bite and I was hooked. Plus, Colleen made this salad several times so we got to experience it with a few different variations.

As you can see from her note at the bottom, you can put pretty much what you want in the salad, but it’s the salad dressing that is special and makes whatever combination you end up with so flavorful. The key ingredient is the hot sauce! I put several drops in it when I made it. You will love this salad. You will love the salad dressing even more! This recipe is gluten free and can easily be made vegan by replacing one teaspoon butter with avocado oil when making up the homemade cinnamon-sugar almonds.

I first published this recipe in August 2012. I have since updated the pictures (December 2013) so you can get a better idea of what this salad is supposed to look like!

We had several ice storms hit the metroplex in December 2013. We had friends who lost power for days. We had power but our septic system was on the blink. We had friends over for a hot meal but really couldn’t offer them bedrooms since the showers weren’t working all that great. ūüôĀ When I served it for them that week we actually added sliced kiwis to the salad and that was absolutely wonderful. You can also add sliced strawberries, if you desire. No matter how you many different ways you make this salad it turns out fantastic every time!

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Mandarin Spinach Salad is absolutely mouthwatering. I use a red Gala apple which certainly makes this salad more eye appealing.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

This is also great with sliced strawberries and kiwi. 

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Mandarin Spinach Salad is a wonderful salad to serve as a meatless main dish or side salad. 

 

 

Here’s what I did.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Mix iceberg or romaine lettuce with spinach leaves in a bowl. Layer diced celery, diced green onions, and diced red bell pepper on top.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Spread sliced almonds on a microwave-safe plate. Add cinnamon-sugar and butter (or use avocado oil if you want to keep the recipe vegan). Microwave until almonds are slightly toasted.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Here, the almonds are slightly toasted. Toss them on top of the salad.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Add a 14-oz. can drained mandarin orange segments, and one large Gala apple, chopped. You can also add strawberries and kiwi.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Mandarin Spinach Salad is perfect for company or holiday dinners like Easter, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Here you can see I’ve drizzled some of the dressing over top of the salad.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

The dressing has a few drops of hot sauce in it which really adds a nice zip to the salad.

 

Here’s the recipe.

MANDARIN SPINACH SALAD

(Recipe adapted from Colleen Parks, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX)

Print Recipe
Mandarin Spinach Salad BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list Yum
This spinach salad is colorful and festive as well as delectable. The almonds are toasted with cinnamon-sugar. This one has mandarin oranges and apples. You can also add strawberries or kiwis. The salad dressing is the key to this recipe. The hot sauce makes this recipe sensational. Gluten free and vegan.
Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
SALAD:
SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING:
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
SALAD:
SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING:
Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree
Instructions
SALAD:
  1. Combine nuts, cinnamon sugar, butter in microwaveable pie plate sprayed with cooking spray; spread evenly onto the bottom of the pie plate. (Substitute avocado oil for the butter if trying to keep the recipe vegan.)
  2. Microwave on HIGH 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring every 30 seconds.
  3. Mix lettuce and spinach and spread into a large serving bowl.
  4. Layer diced celery, green onions, and red bell pepper on top.
  5. Add toasted almonds.
  6. Drain mandarin orange segments and add to salad.
  7. Top with chopped Gala apples and, if desired, sliced kiwis or strawberries.
SWEET AND SOUR DRESSING:
  1. Mix avocado oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, parsley, pepper and red pepper sauce in a jar with a tight lid.
  2. Shake mixture vigorously and refrigerate.
  3. Add to salad when ready to serve.
Recipe Notes

NOTE: The key here is the dressing! Put whatever veggies you want in the salad. I found green and red peppers makes it really "pretty" to the eye - and tastes wonderful! The salad is also really good with strawberries and kiwis.

NOTE: You can also mix the dressing ingredients in a blender to get better emulsion.

NOTE: To keep the recipe vegan, use avocado oil instead of butter when microwaving the cinnamon-sugar almond mixture.

© Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

 

[b]Mandarin Spinach Salad[/b]
Recipe Type: Salads and Salad Dressings
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from Colleen Parks when we attended Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
This spinach salad is colorful and festive as well as delectable. The almonds are toasted with cinnamon-sugar. This one has mandarin oranges and apples. You can also add strawberries or kiwis. The salad dressing is the key to this recipe. The hot sauce makes this recipe sensational.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds or pecan pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/4 head lettuce, torn
  • 1/4 bunch spinach or romaine, torn
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (14-oz.) can mandarin oranges, drained (add just as ready to serve)
  • 1 large gala apple, unpeeled, and diced (cut just before serving)
  • 3 sliced kiwis, if desired
  • 1 pt. sliced strawberries, if desired[br]
Instructions
  1. Combine nuts, cinnamon sugar, butter in microwaveable pie plate sprayed with cooking spray; spread evenly onto the bottom of the pie plate.
  2. Microwave on HIGH 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring every 30 seconds.
  3. Mix lettuce and spinach and spread into a large serving bowl.
  4. Layer diced celery, green onions, and red bell pepper on top.
  5. Add toasted almonds.
  6. Drain mandarin orange segments and add to salad.
  7. Top with chopped Gala apples and, if desired, sliced kiwis or strawberries.
Notes
The key here is the dressing! Put whatever veggies you want in the salad. I found green and red peppers makes it really “pretty” to the eye – and tastes wonderful! The salad is also really good with strawberries and kiwis.

 

[b]Sweet and Sour Dressing[/b]
Recipe Type: Salads and Salad Dressings
Cuisine: Asian
Author: Teresa Ambra adapted from Colleen Parks, when we attended Hillcrest Baptist Church, Cedar Hill, TX
This spinach salad is colorful and festive as well as delectable. The almonds are toasted with cinnamon-sugar. This one has mandarin oranges and apples. You can also add strawberries or kiwis. The salad dressing is the key to this recipe. The hot sauce makes this recipe sensational.
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • dash pepper & red pepper sauce
Instructions
  1. Mix canola oil, vinegar, salt, sugar, parsley, pepper and red pepper sauce in a jar with a tight lid.
  2. Shake mixture vigorously and refrigerate.
  3. Add to salad when ready to serve.
Notes
You can also mix ingredients in a blender to get better emulsion.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

Here it is. Mandarin Spinach Salad is pretty and ready to eat!

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

This close up shows you all the veggies and fruit in this tasty salad.

Mandarin Spinach Salad | Can't Stay Out of the Kitchen | this fantastic #salad uses #mandarinoranges, #apples, homemade cinnamon-sugar #almonds & has a homemade salad dressing with a dash of hot sauce that's absolutely dynamite. This salad is terrific for company or #holiday dinners like #MothersDay or #FathersDay. It's also great made with #strawberries & #kiwi. #vegan #Glutenfree

We added sliced kiwis on the Mandarin Spinach Salad before serving and this made the salad even better!

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