Winter Spinach & Mandarin Salad

January is the time of year that our bodies demand something fresh and nutritious to counteract the debauchery of the holiday season. Thankfully citrus is in season and it goes wonderfully with hearty baby spinach leaves. This easy winter salad is a perfect side or make it a meal by adding chicken breast or shrimp. 


1/2 cup of olive oil
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs. minced fresh mint, plus leaves for garnish
Sea salt & ground pepper

450 grams of baby spinach (average size of bagged spinach)
4 mandarin oranges, peeled & separated into slices
Handful of cherry tomatoes (optional)
1/4 cup of red onion, thinly sliced or diced
1/4 cup almonds 
1/2 cup dried cranberries 


Preheat oven to 350°F and toast almonds on a baking sheet for 5-8 minutes (depends on how hot your oven runs). Chop almonds into small pieces.

In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil,  honey, orange juice, lemon juice, Dijon and minced mint and mix well with a fork or whisk. 

Wash, rinse and spin spinach. In a large salad bowl, add the spinach all the remaining ingredients. If the dressing has separated, give it a good whisk and add the desired amount of dressing and gently toss just before serving. Garnish with mint leaves and more almonds.