Emily Rancer

After coming home from that afternoon class, a frozen dinner can be enough to satisfy your needs.

But I challenge you to make today’s salad as a healthier option or, gasp, your next meal’s side dish (yes, side dishes can exist in college).

This recipe will take you a whopping 10 minutes to make and it’s unbelievably tasty.

Not only will you get nutritious goodness from the spinach, but the addition of oranges and nuts will give you an extra boost of vitamins for the day. Now that’s much better than those freeze-dried mashed potatoes sitting in your freezer, isn’t it?

Spinach salad with an orange-cilantro vinaigrette

1 package spinach

1 can mandarin oranges, drained

1/4 red onion, sliced in half-rings

1/2 cup candied walnuts

About 15 leaves cilantro

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup olive oil

To make the dressing, chop the cilantro into small pieces. Stir them in with the orange juice and slowly pour in the olive oil. Whisk vigorously for about one to two minutes until the dressing stops separating itself.

For the salad, combine the spinach with oranges, red onion, walnuts, and any leftover cilantro.

Just before serving, whisk the dressing one more time and then pour as much as necessary over the salad. Serves about six.

Emily’s cooking tip of the week:

Instead of buying candied walnuts, melt 2 Tbs butter in a small frying pan. Add 1/2 cup walnuts and quickly coat them in 2 Tbs sugar and toss to combine. Stir frequently so nothing burns and in about five minutes, you’ll have yummy candied walnuts.

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