Warm Spinach Salad

This is the first of 3 salad recipes coming your way over the next few weeks in my Summer Salad Series. In an effort to help non-believers overcome the stereotypical “salad is boring” attitude, I’ve decided to focus on a few different ideas that you can use as a side dish, a main dish, or for a summer get-together. When you crave something refreshing and simple, or even a bit more creative on those summer nights, the salad is the solution. Allow me to introduce you to the “warm spinach salad”.

For many of us, our back yard garden is our connection to the natural world. It’s where you can put your busy life aside and focus on the effort of sowing and reaping. In the early summer, most of us harvest peas, radishes, and leafy greens. When paired together with legumes, these vegetables pack a healthful punch. The great part about this salad is that you really can’t screw up. Use as much or as little of any ingredient as you like. Why? One of the mantra’s of eating whole, plant-based foods is this: when you eat whole, plant-based foods, you don’t have to count calories. If that’s a foreign concept to you, consider this, whole foods, greens especially, are some of the most nutrient dense foods on our planet. Because your calories are biologically clean and pure, (in other words, they come from nature and not from a box) you can go ahead and eat until you’re full. Bon Appetit!

baby spinach
small white beans (soaked overnight or a can rinsed well)
yellow and/or red bell peppers, sliced thin
sun dried tomatoes
fresh minced garlic
fresh buffalo mozzarella (eliminate this ingredient if you are vegan)
sherry vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
splash of olive oil for sautéing peppers

Saute peppers in a small amount of olive oil for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Turn off the heat and add the minced garlic and the spinach leaves. Stir to incorporate and remove from the heat right away to prevent overooking the spinach. Fold in the other ingredients and sprinkle with sherry vinegar.

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