Spinach Pesto & Spinach Strawberry Salad~Meatless Monday

Spinach Pesto

Spinach Pesto ~ One word ~ YUMMY! This is an excellent dish.  The vibrant green color is amazing.  J loves it!   He really enjoys eating his spinach & this dinner always disappears quick.  I love it when it's so easy to get him to eat his veggies.  I use whatever pasta I have handy.  Try this wonderful recipe over at Real Simple. I have to throw in a little bit of dried basil, along with the spinach.  It just isn't pesto (to me, anyway) without some basil.

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

Spinach Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette ~ What an easy way to eat your spinach. I don't know why strawberries with spinach trips my trigger so, but it does.  I guess it reminds me of the salads I used to make when I lived in Los Angeles.  I remember driving past large plots of strawberries & being able to just pull over on the side of the road to buy flats of fresh strawberries ~ still warm from being picked from the field.  Of course, that was in the late 80's/early 90's.  I'm sure all those fields, that were tucked in between housing developments, sprinkled here & there, in & among the foothills of L.A., are all long gone...OK, enough strolling down memory lane.  Let's eat!  :) 

I cheated with the salad dressing ~ I just added some strawberry jam to the bottled Italian dressing to make the 'Strawberry Vinaigrette'.  I say ~ Why not?  It makes this salad so very quick & easy to throw together.  It's also the easiest way to change up a salad dressing to suit whatever fruit you're using.  Use this 'doctored-up' dressing in any salad you're making ~ spinach, any other salad greens, pasta or grains.  It's especially good for when the different fruits come into season.  (I also like any excuse to keep different jams in the fridge. heehee)  Just change the fruit jam you are using to match the fresh fruit you are putting in the salad.  ~  Use blueberry jam with fresh blueberries, orange marmalade with oranges...you get the drift.  If I use a fat free Italian dressing, it even makes it diet friendly.  Gotta love that!

Spinach Strawberry Salad
with Easy Strawberry Vinaigrette
serves 2-3 (or one very hungry person, that would be me!)

1 bag                baby spinach, prewashed
1 1/2 cups        sliced strawberries
1/2 cup             walnuts, toasted & chopped
1/4 cup             Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup             your favorite bottled Italian dressing (regular, fat free, lowfat)
1 tbsp               strawberry jam

~                      salt & pepper, to taste

Toss first 4 ingredients in salad bowl 

Blend Italian salad dressing with strawberry jam in small jar ~ Shake up until well blended 

Add dressing to spinach salad & toss to coat. Salt & pepper, to taste.


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