The great thing about this salad is that it can be paired with a steak or fish, or can be a meal in and of itself. I tend to eat it as my meal, but you can do whatever works for you. It has enough protein and richness that it's satisfying, but it's also light enough so that you don't feel weighed down after eating it.
I got the recipe from my mom years ago, and since it didn't have an "official" name, I've named it "Yummy Spinach Salad". It's not as simple or quick as a plain ole' green salad, but don't let that stop you! The prep time and thinking ahead is totally worth the finished product... it is amazing!
Yummy Spinach Salad
Active prep. time: 20 min. Total prep. time: 20 min. plus min. 2 hrs resting time for dressing.
*** NOTE: Below is the recipe as it was given to me, but I do things a little differently. I'll list my tweaks at the end of the recipe.
1 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 med. purple onion, thinly sliced, in dressing AFTER mixed. Let sit at least 2 hrs.
* You don't actually use all of the dressing on the salad below, but it's so good, you can save it for another day!
2 bunches/bags spinach (washed and dried)
1 head iceberg lettuce, broken in small pieces
3/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 cups graded swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked bacon, cut into small pieces
1 cup cottage cheese
3 hard boiled eggs, diced
Prepare the salad just before eating. Apply dressing just before eating.
My little changes:
- I don't use the amount of sugar called for. I actually use Splenda because I try to stay away from sugar. But whether you use the real thing or a sugar substitute, I only use about 1/3 cup.
- I find that Canola oil works best. I have NOT liked Olive Oil in this recipe. I also use a little less oil than called for AND I use a little more vinegar than called for.
- With the onion, I take half and cut into slices as directed. I take the other half, cut into cubes, put into dressing after all of the other ingredients have been added, and then use a hand mixer/blender to chop and puree it. I think it gives the dressing a great taste AND makes the dressing a pretty pink/purple color. After using the hand blender thingie (yes, that is the technical name), I add the onion slices that I've set aside and let them sit in dressing overnight. Remove the onion slices from dressing with a fork before serving.