Asian spinach salad with mandarin oranges and avocado

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Asian spinach salad with mandarin oranges and avocado

In last Sunday’s New York Times, there’s a good article entitled “Rethinking the Meat Guzzler.” Americans eat about 8 ounces of meat per day per person, approximately twice the global average. Producing meat takes 10 calories of energy for every 1 calorie of consumable meat. Much of that energy goes into the fossil fuels and fertilizers used to raise the corn to feed to the cows so we can all get our 1/2 pound per day. 

It has been estimated that a 20% reduction in meat consumption (eating only 145.5 pounds per year instead of 182.5 pounds) would save as much energy as if everyone drove a Prius instead of a standard sedan. As I don’t personally eat anywhere close to that much meat anymore, I am still good to go in my standard gas-powered four-cylinder car. 

Personal carbon footprint issues are getting more complicated. If you aren’t going to eat as much meat, it helps to have really tasty alternatives. Try this seasonal salad. It uses Fuerte avocados available in fall and winter. 

I learned that the usual Hass avocado has a creamy texture, great for guacamole with some chunks and that the Fuerte avocado is more firm and holds its shape when cut into wedges. Nothing worse than having an avocado wedge lose its shape.

Servings: 4


  • 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
  • 3 Satsuma mandarin oranges, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Fuerte avocado, halved, peeled, pitted and cut into thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (use the bowl of a spoon to peel it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Whisk the shallots through sesame oil for the dressing in. Season it to taste.  
  2. Toss the spinach and the dressing in a salad bowl. 
  3. Add the oranges and avocado and toss gently.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 153
  • Total fat: 12 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 14 g
  • Dietary fiber: 5 g
  • Sodium: 184 mg
  • Protein: 3 g