Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Avocado with Balsamic-Sesame Vinaigrette

Along time ago, my mom got a cookbook from the library that had an amazing spinach and strawberry salad with an incredible sesame and balsamic vinegar dressing. Well, that book went back to the library along with the recipe. That recipe happened to pop into my head this week because I acquired a large amount of gorgeous Florida strawberries from a strawberry sale by one of the sororities on campus in order to raise money for breast cancer research---a very important cause, in my book. Therefore, I decided to whip up my own version of the salad. I added avocado for richness, which was not in the original recipe. I used flax seed oil to get my omega-3's, but extra virgin olive oil is a fine substitute. Feel free to add poppy seeds to the dressing as well for a little extra color contrast in the salad. This is a very easy salad to make; it's perfect for a side dish or a light meal.

Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Avocado with Balsamic-Sesame Vinaigrette

1 small Haas avocado, cubed
1 cup sliced strawberries
4 cups loosely-packed spinach leaves
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp demerara sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp flax seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Arrange the spinach leaves on the serving dishes or in a large bowl. Top them with the strawberries and avocado.
2. Blend the oils, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad.
3. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and toast them until golden-brown, stirring often. Sprinkle them over the salad and serve.

Servings per recipe: 2
Per serving:
Calories: 217
Fat: 16.2 g
Saturated fat: 2.3 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 55 mg
Carbohydrates: 17.6 g
Fiber: 8.5 g
Sugar: 6.4 g
Protein: 4.7 g

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