Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spinach Salad with Blood Oranges

After getting home from the gym tonight and drinking a chocolate banana shake made with Sunwarrior protein, I decided I wanted a light, simple dinner. Luckily, I picked up salad ingredients when I grocery shopped at Whole Foods this past weekend. Blood oranges were on sale, so I bought a couple of them to segment into a salad. Blood oranges are sweeter than regular oranges, and have a great "blood" red colored flesh. This is thanks to the presence of anthocyanin, a type of antioxidant. Besides the antioxidants, blood oranges are full of vitamin C and fiber, just like regular oranges. I used spinach for my salad greens; perfect since the iron in the spinach is absorbed better when eaten with vitamin C rich foods. I also used avocado and sliced almonds to round out the salad, and I made a blood orange sesame vinaigrette to dress it. This was so good, I could have eaten a whole additional plate. The recipe below serves two; double as needed.

Spinach and Blood Orange Salad with Blood Orange Sesame Vinaigrette
-2 servings of fresh spinach
-2 blood oranges
-1 avocado, diced
-4 tbsp sliced almonds
-2 tsp red wine vinegar
-1 tbsp sesame oil
-1 tbsp canola oil
-1 tsp agave nectar
-1/2 tsp sriracha
-1 clove garlic, minced
-juice of half a lemon
-1 tbsp sesame seeds
-salt and pepper

-Divide the spinach between two dinner plates and set aside.
-Using a paring knife, slice the ends off of each blood orange. Then slice the rind and outer pith off the sides of the orange. Finally, slice out each segment of the orange between the membranes. Do this over a bowl and save the juice; you can also squeeze the remaining juice out of the membrane once you've removed your segments. Separate the juice and the segments.
-Make your salad dressing. You should have about 3 tbsp of blood orange juice. To this juice, add the vinegar, oils, agave, sriracha, garlic, lemon juice, sesame seeds, and salt and pepper. Whisk until combined.
-Top each plate of spinach with segments of one orange, half the diced avocado, and 2 tbsp of almonds. Divide the dressing between the plates and serve immediately.

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