Classic Spinach Salad – Retro Recipe

 

Classic Spinach Salad

In the 1950’s and 1960’s Classic Spinach Salad was very popular. Ingredients usually included fresh spinach leaves, sliced mushrooms, fried and crumbled bacon, chopped hard-boiled eggs and chopped red onions. Other ingredients might include chopped water chestnuts and bean sprouts. The salad was typically was topped with French Dressing. I  have adapted a recipe from an old cookbook for the recipe I’m sharing with you today.

A Few Words About Spinach

Spinach is a very healthy food – it’s nutritionally dense, which means there’s a lot of nutrition packed into each serving! Spinach is low in calories (41 calories per cup) and yet high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. The glycemic index for spinach is very low, which is important for people with diabetes.


This green leafy vegetable is an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, potassium, Vitamin E, zinc and selenium, just to name a few! Spinach is a good source of fiber also.

Spinach is readily available in most parts of the world today and it’s easy to grow in your garden or to find at your local grocery store or produce market. Spinach grows well in a temperate climate. The United States and the Netherlands are the largest commercial producers of spinach currently.

A very versatile vegetable, spinach may be eaten raw in a salad or added to a smoothie, or eaten cooked as a vegetable added to casseroles and soups.

Spinach is believed by some to have anti-inflammatory properties which may aid various inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine headaches and asthma. Eating green leafy vegetables may slow the age-related decline in brain function, which is definitely desirable for those of us in the Baby Boomer Generation!

Select spinach that has deep green leaves that are fresh and tender, not wilted or bruised. Don’t wash spinach before storing in the refrigerator as water encourages spoilage. Place fresh spinach in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Spinach should be washed well before using and spun dry in a salad spinner if one is available.

Tasty Tip: Any time you make a salad, dry the leaves of the leafy greens you are using because salad dressing will not adhere to wet leaves. Remember oil and water don’t mix!

The Recipe

One of the best ways to eat green leafy vegetables is in the raw state as cooking may destroy some vitamins. One of the best ways to eat raw spinach is in Spinach Salad.  Classic Spinach Salad is easy to prepare and delicious, as well as healthy.

Classic Spinach Salad
Serves 6
A classic salad of spinach, mushrooms, bacon, hard-boiled eggs and red onions dressed with French dressing.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Salad
  1. 1 lb. spinach, washed & dried
  2. 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  3. 6 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
  4. 6 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  5. 1 cup red onion, chopped or sliced thinly
Dressing
  1. 1/3 cup catsup
  2. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  3. 1/4 cup cider vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
  4. 2 tablespoons sugar
  5. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1 cup oil (olive oil is good)
Instructions
  1. Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients except oil in a food processor (or blender) and process until well blended. With processor or blender running, pour oil slowly through feed tube. Just before serving pour half of the dressing over the salad and toss.
Notes
  1. I always have dressing leftover so I would advise starting with half of it, then adding more if needed. Leftover dressing will keep in the refrigerator for another salad.
  2. Optional ingredients: chopped water chestnuts and bean sprouts.
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Here’s a photo of mixing the dressing in the food processor:

The completed salad:

Parting Comments

When I have fresh spinach leftover I have dehydrated it with much success in our dehydrator. Dehydrated spinach stores well in a mason jar and can be used later in soups. Mushrooms also dehydrate well. If you have leftover mushrooms you need to use, check out my post on “Paprika: Flavoring or Garnish?” for my recipe for Paprika Chicken, one of my favorite chicken recipes.

Popeye had it right when he ate his spinach and became stronger – there are so many great nutrients in spinach! Try some today!

Remember to Savor the Flavor of Fresh Spinach!

Janet

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A Company Worthy Meal

When family or special friends are coming to my home to share a meal I always want to serve some of my “most favored” recipes – what I refer to as “company worthy” food!  We all have tried and trusted recipes that we fall back on when we want visitors to have a pleasant, delicious eating experience.  I want to share a few of my favored recipes for entertaining friends and family with you in this post.

The first recipe is my favorite chicken recipe, hands down.  My mother gave me this recipe years ago.  She found it in a Southern Living magazine (February 1983) and thought is was so good she passed it on to me.  By the way,  she kept Southern Living magazines and Southern Living Annual Cookbooks for years, which was unusual for her because all the other magazines in her house had a much shorter shelf life!  The recipe we’ve all enjoyed over the years is for Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts.

Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts
Serves 4
A company worthy recipe! Serve with a vegetable or salad and cranberry sauce and you have a wonderful meal!
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Chicken Breasts, boneless and skinless
  2. 4 Slices Swiss Cheese
  3. 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can Cream of Chicken Soup
  4. 1/4 cup dry White Wine
  5. 1 cup herb-seasoned Stuffing Mix, crushed (Pepperidge Farm is good)
  6. 1/4 cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Arrange chicken in a lightly greased 9" baking dish.
  2. Top with cheese slices. Combine soup and wine; stir well. Spoon evenly over chicken.
  3. Mix stuffing mix with melted butter and sprinkle over soup.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45-55 minutes or until chicken is done.
Notes
  1. Variations: Nuts can be added to the stuffing mix to make it crunchy. Cooking sherry can be used instead of white wine to change the flavor. Other cheeses may be used instead of Swiss. Curry powder (1 teaspoon or so) can be added to the soup mixture for a flavor enhancer.
Adapted from Southern Living
Adapted from Southern Living
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Variations may be made to this recipe by adding nuts (to add a crunchy texture), by using cooking sherry instead of white wine, and by adding curry powder to the soup/wine mixture.  Different cheeses may be used instead of Swiss cheese.  Experiment to learn which combination of ingredients you like best in this company worthy meal!

I usually serve cranberry sauce and steamed broccoli with Creamy Baked Chicken Breasts.  The way the soup and wine combine with the stuffing mix is reminiscent of a Thanksgiving meal.  

One of my favorite salad recipes is Orange Romaine Salad.  This company worthy salad is enhanced by many different flavors – romaine lettuce, mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, crumbled bacon and its own salad dressing.  This recipe has also stood the test of time!

Orange Romaine Salad
Serves 4
A salad with many layers of flavor with mandarin oranges, toasted almonds, green onions and bacon.
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Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 6 cups torn romaine lettuce
  2. 5 cups torn iceberg lettuce
  3. 1 1/2 cups mandarin oranges
  4. 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  5. 2 green onions, sliced
  6. 1/4 cup cooked, crumbled bacon
Dressing
  1. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  2. 2 tablespoons sugar
  3. 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. Dash hot sauce
Instructions
  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large salad bowl.
  2. Combine oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt and hot sauce in a jar.
  3. Cover tightly and shake vigorously until well-blended.
  4. Pour dressing over salad mixture immediately before serving and toss well to coat ingredients with dressing.
Notes
  1. Variations: Use baby spinach or spring mix lettuce in place of romaine and iceberg. Add craisins if desired. In place of green onions, use thin slices of red onion.
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Just as I like “homemade” salad dressing I also like croutons made from bread that I have on hand.  

Tasty Tip:  Make your own croutons by cubing bread and tossing it with extra-virgin olive oil, dried herbs, salt and pepper.  (Hmmm….Montreal Steak Seasoning?)  Spread the bread cubes out on a baking sheet and bake in a 300º F. oven for about an hour.  Turn the oven off and leave the croutons inside to dry.

Our garden is just about finished for the summer as I breathe a sigh of relief over zucchini and squash that had me outnumbered for a while there!  I do have one more squash recipe – this recipe is from 3 recipes that I combined to make one good one!  I call it 5-A-Day Squash Casserole because it has squash, celery, carrots, onions and bell pepper.  What a way to meet your requirements for 5 vegetables a day!

5-A-Day Squash Casserole
Serves 6
A great way to get in your 5 vegetables a day as recommended by nutritionists. Lemon thyme adds great flavor to this dish!
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups squash, chopped
  2. 1 onion, chopped
  3. 2 celery stalks, chopped
  4. 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  5. 1 bell pepper, chopped
  6. 1 cup sour cream
  7. 1 (10 3/4 oz.) can cream of chicken soup
  8. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme (if using dried use 1 teaspoon)
  9. 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  10. 8 oz. herb-seasoned stuffing mix (Pepperidge Farm is good)
  11. 1/2 cup butter, melted
Instructions
  1. Chop all ingredients.
  2. Cook the vegetables in a small amount of olive oil until tender. Set aside.
  3. Butter a 2-quart casserole dish. Combine melted butter with herb-seasoned stuffing mix.
  4. Sprinkle a layer of the stuffing mix on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  5. Mix together sour cream, cream of chicken soup and the cooked squash mixture.
  6. Add lemon thyme to mixture and stir.
  7. Sprinkle with grated cheese and add another layer of stuffing mix.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 minutes.
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In this post I shared with you several of my favorite “company worthy” recipes.  I hope you’ll find them “company worthy” too!

In future posts I plan to include more of my “company worthy” recipes as well as more ideas for Breakfast and Brunch.  Stay tuned!

Remember to Savor the Flavor!

Janet