Spinach, Cherries and Smoked Almond Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette + Dole Get Up and Grow Tour

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There is nothing better than a fresh, flavorful and nutrition
packed salad on a warm almost summer day. 

I take that back, this fresh and flavorful salad can actually be enjoyed
year round. Just use dried cherries instead of fresh if out of season. Oh and add a bit of crunch
on top of the salad, now you have hit salad nirvana.  This nirvana is achieved when you have the
freshest of ingredients on hand in your kitchen.

I have the distinct privilege of being one of eleven food
bloggers around the country to be bestowed the honor of being an official ambassador
for Dole Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for 2015. 
Dole had provided me compensation for my time. As always, all opinions
expressed in this post are mine.

I am proud to announce the Dole has executed a terrific
campaign for 2015 called – “Get Up and Grow”. 
The folks at Dole have a mission to help everyone become a happier and
healthier YOU.  With any goal, when you
write it down and tell other people, you are more likely to achieve that
goal.  Dole has provided a pledge that
you can find here and you can participate in their rewards program and even
wine a trip to the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. Click here for official rules.
Dole is touring 45 Cities in the United
and Canada
to demonstrate that a plant based diet can be easy, fun and quite attractive.  Click here to see when they are coming to a
city near you.  Knowing the folks at
Dole, each of the stops along the tour will be packed with great recipes, tasty
treats, fun and tips for a healthier lifestyle. 
With each of us making New Years resolutions, this is a way to kick
start mid year if you fell off the wagon. 
If you have been great all year, they will provide new ideas, recipes
and tips to enhance what you are already doing.
So how well do you know your fruits and vegetables?  These fun facts are courtesy of the Dole Nutrition Institute and Jenn LaVerdera, MS,
RD, nutrition and health communications Manager for the Dole Food Company:
  • Bananas top the charts worldwide.  The iconic yellow fruit is not only North
    ’s most popular produce, it is also one of the
    most-purchased single items in the supermarket – not only in the U.S.
    and Canada but
    around the world
  • Strong to the finish … Cuz I eats me spinach!  Spinach may be one of the healthiest
    foods on earth, supporting six body systems: heart, eyes, brain, skin, bones
    and immunity. Popeye’s favorite food may even help maintain mental sharpness
    and reduce risk of certain cancers, according to preliminary research.
  • Eat greens to feed
    your brain!
    Folate-packed foods like asparagus and salad greens has been
    linked to lower risk of cognitive decline and dementia in women.
  • Celery can fight breast cancer?  Not only is celery a dieter’s dream at 15
    calories per serving – the stalky vegetable contains apigenin, a compound that
    may prove an ally in the crusade against breast cancer. Scientists from the University of Missouri demonstrated that
    apigenin delayed onset of tumors by 38%.  
  • Strawberries promote heart health. In a study from the University of Toronto, patients at risk for
    heart disease saw a 13% drop in bad LDL cholesterol after adding three cups of
    strawberries to their diets. Strawberries also support brain function and are
    high in vitamin C, fiber and manganese – all for only 45 calories each!
  • Grapefruit, a (not-so-hidden) weight-loss secret.  The old “grapefruit diet” has finally
    been proven by science. Researchers at the Scripps Clinic found that people who
    ate half a grapefruit with every meal for 12 weeks lost an average of 3.6
    pounds, while those who drank grapefruit juice three times a day lose 3.3
    pounds. Many subjects lost more than 10
    in the study!

Spinach, Cherries and Smoked
Almond Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette

  • 1 (6oz) Bag Dole Baby Spinach
  • ½ Cup Cherries, pitted and cut
    in half
  • 2/3 Cup Smoked Almonds
  • ½ Cup Crumbled Blue Cheese

Empty the bag of spinach into a
large bowl and drizzle the desired amount of vinaigrette over the spinach and
toss.  Adorn the top with the cut
cherries, almonds and blue cheese.  Serve
immediately and enjoy.

Honey Lime Vinaigrette

  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Add all of the ingredients to a
mason jar and shake well.  Keep
refrigerated until ready to use.

Smoked Almonds

  • 2/3 Cup Almonds
  • 2 teaspoon Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Hickory Smoked Salt

In a medium pan, add the butter and melt over medium heat then add the sugar and stir until combined.  Add the almonds and coat well.  Next add the hickory smoked salt and stir.  Cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat until they become sticky.  Remove from the heat and pour onto a plate to cool.  Break apart if needed.

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