Spinach Salad with Cinnamon Almonds, Strawberries and Goat Cheese

This salad is perfect for entertaining with all its vibrant colors, flavors and textures. The combination of spinach, spiced nuts, strawberries and goat cheese gives it loads of character. Prepare the almonds in larger quantities and keep in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.

2. Rinse the almonds with cold water. Drain but do not let them dry. Place them in a bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground ginger. Toss to coat. Spread out on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, tossing once. Let cool, then remove from the baking sheet and chop coarsely.

3. Place the baby spinach, red pepper, strawberries and goat cheese in a large serving bowl.

4. Prepare the dressing by whisking together the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, apple juice concentrate, brown sugar, garlic and mustard in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Top with the chopped almonds. Serve topped with grilled chicken or shrimp, if desired.

1/4 cup whole almonds
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 tsp ground ginger

8 cups baby spinach
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese (about 2 oz)

1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp apple juice concentrate
1 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp chopped garlic
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
6 oz grilled sliced chicken or shrimp (optional)

Nutritional Analysis per Serving (without meat)

Calories 104
Protein 3.2 g
Fat 5.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.3 g
Carbohydrates 11 g
Cholesterol 3 mg
Sodium 120 mg
Fiber 2.3 g

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes

Make Ahead: Prepare the salad early in the day but dress just before serving.

Serves 8

Nutrition Watch: Amonds are great source of essential fatty acids,
which can increase your good cholesterol (HDL).