While it's delicious cooked, these spinach salad recipes have caught our eye -- each offers a distinct blend of flavors, colors, and nutrients for your Meatless Monday table, and they're so easy to throw together.
It's no coincidence that Popeye was so famously strong: this leafy green is brimming with vitamins and minerals that give you an edge. A 3 1/2 ounce serving of raw spinach contains 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 15 percent of your recommended daily intake of iron, 10 percent of your calcium, 47 percent of your vitamin C, and a whopping 188 percent of the vitamin A you need. It's no wonder spinach is such a popular green, particularly when you're trying to eat even healthier.
This strawberry spinach salad is the perfect way to add just the right amount of sweetness to your lunch or dinner plate. The raw vegan salad includes both sliced strawberries in the salad as well as a bright, flavorful balsamic berry vinaigrette, for twice as much flavor. One serving of this salad gets you all the vitamin C you need for the day.
Image: Emily Monaco
Grain salads walk the perfect line between being filling enough for dinner and still staying light and fresh. This spelt salad pairs spinach with arugula for a leafy green base, atop which you'll find an easy quick-pickled onion condiment that will keep you coming back for more. The leftover onions will keep for a week in the fridge, and they'll only get better with time.
Tomato and spinach salad image via Shutterstock
This super simple spinach salad has an Italian flair with tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese. A sweet balsamic vinaigrette ties the salad together wonderfully. Feel free to add fresh basil from your garden, if you have some on-hand, for even more Mediterranean flair.
Vegetable Salad image from Shutterstock
And speaking of fresh herbs, if you have any lying around, you're definitely going to want to give this barley and spinach salad a try. Cilantro is our first choice for this salad, which also features tomatoes, corn, raw almonds, and, of course, spinach, but you could substitute any herb you like, from chives to parsley to basil.
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Spinach and strawberry salad image via Shutterstock