Friday, November 20, 2009

Spinach, Apple, Dried Cranberry and Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Wednesday was a whirlwind of a day. It started early for me with ravioli making for lunch. I spent about 5 hours yesterday teaching my friends, Sue, John and Wil how to make vegan ravioli. We made three different variations of ravioli, spinach and almond feta, curried butternut squash and white bean puree with fresh sage. All the ravioli were wrapped in my semolina dough. I was too busy chatting and showing everyone how make ravioli to take any pictures or measure the ingredients in the filling. Since my hubby did not get any of these I will be making all the recipes at my house, and posting the recipes, sometime in the next week or so.

Thursday the weather was gray, rainy and cool. Exactly the type of day when you want to curl up on the sofa with a throw, mug of tea and good book and cocoon all day. I did a variation of this most of time when I wasn’t chatting on the phone.

I did make a pot of vegetable stock for miso soup last for dinner. I made a variation of this recipe but I added kombu to the stock, and a little freshly mined ginger. I also doubled the amount of miso.

To go with the miso soup I made another salad variation. Since this is cranberry season I wanted to make a cranberry dressing. I hadn’t had one before, but why would I let that stop me. Cooked and cooled cranberries make a nice thick salad so I thought they would also make a nice thick salad dressing. I added a little Dijon and garlic for flavor. This salad is thick and rich. At the same time it is tart and has a definite background of mustard. This dressing is not at all sweet. You can add agave but I decided the fruit in the salad would add enough sweetness to the overall dish. Here is what I did.

Spinach, Apple, Dried Cranberry and Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
Serves 2


6 cups baby spinach
2 apples, cored and cut into bite size pieces
2 servings cranberry vinaigrette (recipe below)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons walnuts


Plate baby spinach, top with pears, cranberry vinaigrette, dried cranberries and walnuts and serve cold.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 308.5
Calories From Fat (27%) - 82.04

Total Fat - 9.58g
Saturated Fat - 1.03g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 248.05mg
Potassium - 723.52mg
Total Carbohydrates - 56.09g
Fiber - 9.03g
Sugar - 15.48g
Protein - 4.34g

Cranberry Vinaigrette
Makes 1/3 cup or 2 servings


¼ cup frozen cranberries
¼ cup water to cook berries
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ clove garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 pinch kosher salt
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon water, if dressing is too thick


Cook berries in ¼ cup of water until they are all soft. Place the cooked berries in your blender. Add the remaining ingredients, except the last addition of water. Puree until smooth. Check the thickness of dressing. Add a little more water if the dressing is too thick, mine was. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Refrigerate until needed

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 40.17
Calories From Fat (77%) - 31.01

Total Fat - 3.52g
Saturated Fat - 0.48g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 174.06mg
Potassium - 23.39mg
Total Carbohydrates - 2.34g
Fiber - 0.82g
Sugar - 0.57g
Protein - 0.26g


I liked this salad and dressing combination. Even my husband, who isn’t a big fan of mustard, liked this salad. The apple and cranberry works well in a salad. I liked this dressing enough that I am going to play around with other berries in salad dressing to see what else I can come up with.

One serving of this salad contains more than 8,500IU of vitamin A, 110mg of calcium, 180mcg of folate, and 440mcg of vitamin K.

Today I need to run by the pharmacy and Costco this morning. I hope to be back later today with a post before dinner.


  1. Yum! I love how well apples and cranberries go together!

  2. Marissa,

    Thanks! We liked it a lot, and it is really easy. My favorite combo (tasty and easy).


  3. Oh, That salad looks so amazing and it's calling my name! I'll definitely give it a try very soon. This recipe is so perfect for cranberries season (they're on sale right now, haha)!

    p.s. I posted about Noodle Soup, I mentioned about adding miso paste and I wanted to link you but I had some problems that I couldn't figure out how to do the link, the posting options are changed, I couldn't even pick the font, size or color, I had such a hard time posting tonight. I'll link you after I can figure out:)

  4. Oraphan,

    When fresh cranberries are available I buy as many bags as I have room for in the freezer so that I have them all year. They freeze very well. I bought three of the big bags of cranberries at Costco yesterday for the freezer.

    I just read your noodle soup post. Great job! I think you changed from "compose" to "edit HTML" when you were putting your post together last night. When you go back to edit check that (it is at the top of the post just above and to the right of where you input photos and links. If that doesn't work send me an email and I will try to help you figure it out.


  5. Thanks so much, Alicia! for explaining how to fix my post. Good thing I came straight to your blog to get the answer before trying to figure it out myself (it would take a lot longer or forever..haha) and it does work alright, I really appreciate your time:)

  6. Oraphan,

    You are very welcome! I am glad I could help. If you ever have any questions please don't hesitate to ask. You can also send me an email if you prefer. My email address is on my profile page.

    talk to you soon,


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