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Diet and Nutrition

Baby Spinach Navy Bean Tomato Spring Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette

Be kind to your spine!  A diet rich in calcium is essential for proper bone maintenance and muscle function - two key components of good posture.

Many salad greens, such as spinach, are rich sources of calcium. Spinach contains, on average, about 150-200 mg calcium per cup. An impressive showing indeed - and mostly absorbed, despite the naturally occurring oxalic acid often present in leafy green vegetables.

Many spring salads use spinach, especially baby or 'early' spinach, since the leaves are tender, yet possess a subtle crunch. When combined with tomatoes, purple onions, and navy beans, then drizzled with a tastefully thoughtful dressing this salad is high in calcium, folate, vitamin C, and fiber and has an excellent profile of beneficial vegetable oils.

Ingredients

Salad:

1 8-oz (250-mL) bag baby spinach
1 cup (250 mL) navy beans, cooked and rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 small purple onion, thinly sliced or chopped
Red wine vinaigrette (added to preference)

Dressing:

1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey     
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil.

Directions

On a large dinner plate, arrange spinach and top with navy beans, tomatoes, and onion. Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately. If you plan to use leftover salad later, keep salad dressing separate and apply just before serving.  Above recipe serves 2. Calories (and fat kcals) depend on amount of dressing used.

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Last Reviewed: Sep 09, 2013

James H Swain, PhD, RD, LD James H Swain, PhD, RD, LD
Assistant Professor of Nutrition
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University