Monday, December 28, 2015

Orange Almond Salad Recipe

Orange Almond Salad is a simple fresh tasting salad. 
orange almond salad
My mother in law just loves it and asks me to make it for just about every family gathering. Many people ask me for the recipe so I am posting it for you all! 

It consists of romaine lettuce, red onion, mandarin oranges and almonds with a vinaigrette dressing. Simple, healthy and flavorful! It's perfect at lunch or dinner.

There used to be a restaurant, some of you may remember, called The Magic Pan. It was a crepe restaurant that made a tasty orange almond salad. I loved to get the spinach souffle crepe with an orange almond salad. Mmmmmm, it was so good! 

I want to share with you my mother's orange almond salad recipe which is similar to that Magic Pan orange almond salad.


Not only is this salad yummy, it is packed full of nutrients.
romaine lettuce
For years lettuce got a bad rap as being low in nutrition. Not so. Scientists have become aware of the importance of micro nutrients and phyto chemicals for a strong immune system, bone health, blood clotting and so many more bodily functions.

Romaine lettuce will provide your body with calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, potassium, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, and beta carotene.
sliced red onion
Red onions are an amazing antioxidant, anti-inflammatory food. Their sulfur containing compounds (thiosulfinates, sulfides and polysulfides) are excellent for fighting off illness and cancer.  They contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, anthocyanins and quercetin.

They are excellent for heart health, stomach health, colon health, bone health, and blood sugar control.

Cooking will reduce their antioxidants so they are a great food to eat raw.
toasted almonds
Almonds are know as a healthy protein food. There are 6 grams of protein in a 1 ounce serving. They are a great source of vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, copper, riboflavin and phosphorous.

Toasting them does reduce some of their antioxidant properties but it makes them super flavorful!
slivered almonds

mandarin oranges
My mother always used the canned mandarin oranges for this recipe. I like using fresh produce so I frequently substitute clementines for the canned mandarins. I usually use about four peeled and sectioned clementines for this salad.

Mandarin oranges and clementines are both high in vitamin C and potassium.

The dressing for the orange almond salad contains dry mustard. It's  wonderful for flavor but one of my daughters is allergic to mustard. When I make this salad when I know she will be eating it, I just omit the dry mustard. The dressing is still tasty without it.
orange almond salad
Orange Almond Salad

This healthy salad is a great source of Vitamins A, B, C, E, K, protein, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, a variety of minerals and lots of antioxidants. The vitamin C in the oranges and in the romaine lettuce helps the body absorb the iron in the romaine. The Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of the calcium in the romaine.

The Salad
1 bunch of romaine lettuce
1 11 oz. can of mandarin oranges or 4 or so peeled sectioned clementines
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted (See almond toasting tips below)

The Dressing
1/2 cup oil of your choice, I use olive oil 
3 tablespoons wine vinegar or white vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar, shake well and set aside. Drain mandarin oranges. Wash, dry and tear romaine lettuce into bit size pieces. Put the romaine in a large bowl. Add drained oranges, sliced onion and toasted almonds. Add the dressing when you are ready to serve the salad. Toss to combine.

Serves 6

Almond Toasting Tips
Toasting almonds gives them a more intense nutty flavor and crisper texture. There are a few ways to toast your slivered almonds. In a pan on the stove, in the oven on a cookie sheet or the microwave. I like to use the stove top method with a little butter. I find it easier to keep an eye on them so they don't burn. They burn easily, believe me, I get distracted and burn them often! Keep it vegan by using olive oil instead.

The Microwave Method: They say you can also use the microwave. Put the almonds on a microwave safe plate and microwave on high for 1 minute, stir them and continue microwaving at 30 second intervals until they are toasted. The microwave method doesn't appeal to me. I never toasted almonds that way.
sauteing almonds
The Pan Method:
1. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Melt about 1 tablespoon or less of butter in the pan.

2. Add the slivered almonds so they are in a single layer. Let them cook for about 2 minutes them flip them letting them cook another 2 minutes.

3. Continue stirring them with a spatula often to help them toast evenly and prevent burning. It should take about 4 to 8 minutes for them to become fragrant and golden.

4. Remove the almonds from the pan to cool when they have the color you desire. If you leave them on the hot pan, they will continue to cook and get over done. I put them on a paper towel to cool.

The Oven Method:
1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spread slivered almonds in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet.

3. Bake for about 3 minutes then shake the pan or use a spatula to turn them. Continue baking and turning the almonds until they are fragrant and golden. It will take approximately 10 minutes.

4. Remove the almonds from the cookie sheet to cool when they are done. If you leave them on the hot cookie sheet, they will continue to cook and get over done.
slivered almonds
I hope you enjoy this yummy salad as much as we do!
Want more salad recipes? There are some great salad recipe books on Amazon!
                                                                                                                             
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Dinner is the meal I really like concentrate on each day. I like cook something substantial since we are all on the run doing our work and school schedules during the daytime. Plus, you can eat the left overs (if there are any!) for lunch the next day! 

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       Have a Healthy Food Day! 
xo
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