Strawberry spinach salad

This flavorful salad with strawberries, garbanzo beans, cucumber, and feta cheese can make a substantial balanced lunch. And each component can be prepared in advance — just wait until you are ready to eat to dress the spinach and add the bean mixture. If you don’t eat cheese, omit the feta and add 2 tablespoons of toasted walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds as a garnish.

Servings: 1 serving is about 3 cups

Ingredients

Salad

  • 6 ounces (8 cups) baby spinach (prewashed is easy!)
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced into half-moons (remove peel if not organic or pesticide-free)
  • 1 cup garbanzo beans (if canned, rinse)
  • 2 ounces feta cheese or similar, crumbled

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (remove leaves from stems)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare spinach greens by rinsing and spinning dry in a salad spinner. Place in the refrigerator until ready to assemble for deliciously crisp spinach. If using prewashed, bagged spinach, empty into a large bowl and discard any wilted greens; refrigerate until ready to assemble.
  2. Combine strawberries, cucumbers, and beans in a medium bowl and set aside.
  3. Prepare dressing by adding oil, vinegar, shallots, thyme leaves, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper to a jar or dressing container, cover and shake thoroughly until emulsified. Alternately, whisk together all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  4. Pour 1/4 of the dressing over beans, cucumber, and strawberries and gently fold until coated.
  5. Remove spinach from refrigerator, season with salt and pepper (this helps the dressing to coat greens), add the remaining dressing, mix thoroughly. Add bean mixture and crumbled feta cheese, then toss gently.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 24 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 6 g
  • Vitamin A: 30%
  • Vitamin C: 50%
  • Calcium: 15%
  • Iron: 15%