Friday, March 5, 2010

Green Salad with Clementine, Fresh Pineapple and Almonds

My husband will tell you that I am the queen of salad. Salad is normally the majority of our lunch and dinner for nutritional reasons. Our lunch salads frequently include beans and salsa but for dinner I like to make things that are different. We love green salads with fruit and nuts. What I put on salad is a function of the fruit I have in the house. I also like to vary the dressings I use on our salads.

As you may have noticed my recent salad dressings rarely contain oil and when they do it is flax. I resisted eliminated oil from our diet for a very long time. The Italian portion of my DNA could not shake the notion that extra virgin olive oil had to be good for us. As much as I love the flavor of olive oil it is now a distant memory. I think about it this way. Oils are nothing more than processed food like white flour. The nut or seed is pressed and frequently also heat and chemically processed. The resulting oil doesn’t include the health benefits of the entire food. Now we get our fat from nuts and seeds, which is a whole food. It took a few weeks but both my husband and I quickly grew accustomed to salad dressing without oil. Here is the salad I made last night.

Green Salad with Clementine, Fresh Pineapple and Almonds
Serves 2

Dressing Ingredients:

1 tablespoon apricot preserves (orange marmalade would also be good here)
1 clementine, juiced
1 splash wine vinegar (for acidity), I probably used 1 teaspoon but didn’t measure
Salt and pepper to taste

Salad Ingredients:

8 cups baby spinach
2 clementine, peeled and sectioned
½ cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 tablespoon sliced almonds


Combine the salad dressing ingredient and mix using our blender or immersion blender. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Place the baby spinach on the base of the plate and pour the dressing over the spinach. Top the spinach with Clementine sections, pineapple and almonds.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 140.4
Calories From Fat (18%) - 24.7

Total Fat - 2.96g
Saturated Fat - 0.26g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 100.35mg
Potassium - 917.39mg
Total Carbohydrates - 27.55g
Fiber - 5.05g
Sugar - 17.21g
Protein - 5.42g


This salad was good, and almost too sweet. But this is coming from two people that have essentially given up sugar so you may not have the same reaction. We like the combination of spinach and fruit topped with the crunch of nuts. This was the perfect accompaniment to the baked tofu.

Each serving of this salad contains 11,300IU of vitamin A, 100mg of vitamin C, 160mg of calcium, 260mcg of folate, 580mcg of vitamin K, 100mg of phosphorus, and 120mg of magnesium. This is what I love about having salads. They are always so packed with nutrition (when properly made).

Unrelated note:

Today I am back to closet duty, the never ending task. Clearly I have too many closets and too much stuff in them. As much of a pain as this is, I am enjoying purging the house of unnecessary stuff. Now if I can just manage to keep those newly lightened spaces that way I will really be happy.

Last night was great at our house. Dan was home from work by 8pm and we had a nice leisurely dinner and time to relax before bed. I also learned that he will not be going downtown to the office this weekend. Yay! My plan is to talk him into doing something fun one day this weekend. We will see if I am successful. He really needs a break so wish me luck.

I will be back later today. I hope you are all having a great a day.


  1. You know, Ali, I'm sure that we would all happily come help you with your purging project if you would just cook for us. :-) Your salad is so pretty! And as you know, I agree with you on the oil, though I shared the same challenge giving up olive oil (even telling Dr. McDougall that he'd pry my bottle of extra virgin olive oil out of my cold, dead hand. He said if that's the way I wanted it... lol). Now I don't miss that oily-greasy feel on my food... or in my kitchen!

    That's great that Dan doesn't have to go into the office this weekend! I hope you do get to do something fun, and that you get the pretty weather they've predicted. You BOTH deserve a fun, relaxing break! ENJOY!! :-)

  2. Lalo,

    You are too kind. I would love the company!

    Olive oil was really hard for me to let go of. I love the smell and the flavor. But it isn't healthy, no matter how good it tastes. I don't miss it now either, which I never thought would happen.

    Your are right about the kitchen. It does make it much easier to clean without the oil film that would slowly coat things. I don't miss that one bit.

    I was quite psyched that Dan was not going into work this weekend. He will probably do some work from home, but at least he will be home and his time will be flexible.

    talk to you soon,

  3. I absolutely LOVE pineapples so that salad looks fantastic to me. YUM. Hope you guys do get to do something fun!

  4. Heather,

    Thanks! I hope you like it too. Can't wait to see how you change it.

    Now I need to convince him to relax a little. Wish me luck on dragging him out. I am going to be thinking about what to do this weekend all day while I purge.


  5. Yum yum yum!!!!
    I wish I could purge oil from my diet, well I wish I could purge alot of things from my diet, but I hold onto these things like a tick on a
    Your salad is lovely, I really have to eat more salads.....period!

  6. Brandi,

    Olive oil was harder for me to get rid of than white flour and sugar. But once you get rid of it, you really don't miss it (which I would never have believed if someone had told me that so I understand if you are skeptical).

    talk to you later,

  7. Have you ever tried making a dressing using whole olives? I was thinking about this the other day, wondering if whole olives have the benefits attributed to extra virgin olive oil. Seems logical but I can't find anything on this - or even decide which olives to use if I should actually get around to trying!

  8. Elisabeth,

    Great idea! I have made dressing with whole olives before. It works fine from a flavor perspective (I used kalamata olives, roasted garlic, dijon and lemon juice). My only complaint was the color. It looks sort of dirty (if that makes sense). The flavor is good it isn't photogenic.

    If you come up with a different combination please let me know. I would love to hear about it!


  9. Gorgeous salad!
    I noticed you added your photo, it's so nice to see you!

  10. Janet,

    You spotted the new pic quickly. I only added it about an hour ago. I decided I had been anonymous long enough, don't ask me why. Apparently I was just in the mood to be "out". Whatever that means! ;-)

    talk to you later,


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