Wilted Spinach Bean Salad

Long holiday weekends always mess with my sense of time, not that it isn’t slightly off anyway. I’ll be puttering around the house, getting everything ready for another work week when, damn!, I realize I’m supposed to be posting something on the blog. Luckily I found the following that should have been posted a couple of weeks ago. Where the heck did August go anyway? The whole month was a blur of crazy heat, work, and family and now it’s September. That’s okay, everything in the post still applies, so here you go!

It’s the middle of August and about the last thing I want to do is cook a meal. Whatever hot mess I’m making in the kitchen these days usually involves canning, who has time or energy to fix anything else? However, I don’t want to be hitting up the deli or a restaurant to much either. It makes my bank account shrink and my waistline grow.

I have to admit I’m a little shy of bean dishes. They don’t usually satisfy me. I’m used to eating meat and/or cheese with a meal. Most of the members of my family don’t recognize something as an entrée unless it contains meat; it’s obviously a side dish if it’s meatless. But the combination of the beans with the avocado has the mouth feel that I’m used to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s like eating meat, just that I didn’t miss animal protein in this dish. In fact, adding meat or cheese would have felt over the top (not that I’m generally opposed to over the top, bacon crumbles would be an interesting idea, but see the above “growing waistline” comment).

So here it is; quick, easy, healthy, and just a few minutes on your ovens small burner. You could always break out the camp stove and not heat the kitchen at all. Just cook the dressing on the patio.

You can actually make the salad ahead; I’ve taken this dish to work for lunch. Make the dressing and refrigerate it. Put the salad ingredients in a separate bowl. When ready to serve, heat the dressing on the stove or in a microwave to the boiling point and then serve as directed.

Wilted Spinach & Bean Salad

12 cups spinach, torn into bite size pieces
15.5 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
2 avocados, diced
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
½ cup chicken broth (substitute water or vegetable broth for vegetarians)
3 Tbsp. stone ground mustard
3 Tbsp. orange marmalade
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
dash powdered garlic
dash salt

Place the spinach, beans, and avocado in a salad bowl.

Combine the remaining ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring ingredients to a boil. Ingredients should have blended to make a sauce at this point; but if they have not, simmer until combined.

Pour hot dressing over spinach, gently toss salad, and serve immediately. Enjoy!


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