Cherry Wild Rice Salad with Spinach and Walnuts {hearty spinach salad + cherry vinaigrette dressing}

Topped with hearty wild rice and sweet cherry vinaigrette this deliciously satisfying spinach salad can be served as a main-course or simple side. 

cherry wild rice salad with spinach and walnuts recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com
photo credit: stacie hassing, simply nourished recipes

It’s the first full week of January and if you’re reading this blog my guess is that you’ve got goals to eat a little greener in 2016. Am I right?

Well, you’ve come to the right place as I’m green machine when it comes to eating veggies. I love them. But I must admit it gets a little harder to eat greens, especially raw greens, in the winter months. The cooler temps and increased indoors snuggles usually has me craving warm comfort foods like sweet potato turkey chili, stuffed acorn squash and creamy butternut squash soup…mmm soup.

And although these comfort foods are loaded with nutrient dense veggies, they’ve been roasted and heated which means some of the nutritional value has been ‘burned off’ so to speak. So I try to be intentional about eating at least one serving of live, or raw, greens at each meal.

This spinach salad is the best of both worlds; the wild rice gives you the warm satisfaction of comfort food while the spinach, celery and onions give you the crunchy veggies you’re striving for. 

cherry wild rice salad with spinach and walnuts recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com
photo credit: stacie hassing, simply nourished recipes

Although I’ve bragged up the wild rice quite a bit it’s actually the salad toppings that make this salad a real win for me — crunchy celery, toasted walnuts and sweet cherries.

cherry wild rice salad with spinach and walnuts and cherry vinaigrette recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com
photo credit: stacie hassing, simply nourished recipes

Drizzled with the sweet, tangy and richly colored, cherry vinaigrette this can be a deliciously satisfying main-course salad {go ahead throw some rotisserie chicken on top too}. Or make it a simple, yet hearty side salad that’s sure to be a beautiful addition to any meal. 

cherry wild rice salad with spinach and walnuts and cherry vinaigrette recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com
photo credit: stacie hassing, simply nourished recipes

Either way you serve it, this salad never goes out of season in my recipe book. But cherries do go out of season. So the recipe calls for dried cherries in the salad and frozen cherries in the vinaigrette, but feel free to use fresh cherries when they are in season.

*This wild rice and spinach salad and cherry vinaigrette recipe was originally featured as a guest blog on The Real Food RDs. Added bonus, the educated foodies {and dietitians} Stacie and Jessica  calculated the nutritional information on this salad — view nutritional information here

**The delicious pictures were taken by my good friend, food blogger, dietitian, and golden doodle-loving, Stacie Hassing. 

cherry wild rice salad with spinach and walnuts


cherry wild rice salad with spinach and walnuts and cherry vinaigrette recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.comauthor:
lindsey, nourish move love {featured as guest blog on therealfoodrds.com}

prep time: 5-10 minutes
cook time:
 40 minutes {wild rice}
servings: 4 servings

salad ingredients: 

  • 1 c water
  • ¼ c wild rice
  • 5-6 c baby spinach
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ c red onion, chopped
  • ½ c fresh/dried cherries
  • ¼ c toasted walnut halves

cherry vinaigrette ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ c fresh/frozen {thawed} cherries
  • ½ tsp dry mustard or 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • black pepper and sea salt to taste

directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and stir in wild rice. Lower heat, cover and cook the rice until grains are tender {approx. 40 minutes}.
  2. While the rice cooks, blend apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cherries {thawed if frozen} and mustard in a blender for the dressing. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine spinach, celery, green onions, red onion, dried cherries and nuts.
  4. Toss salad with ½ of the cherry vinaigrette dressing.
  5. When the rice is finished, drain any excess liquid and let cool.
  6. Add the rice to the salad; toss again with the remainder of the cherry vinaigrette and serve.

*If serving as a main course, feel free to top salad with grilled or rotisserie chicken for additional protein.
**gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan.

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cherry vinaigrette recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com

wild rice salad with spinach and walnuts and cherry vinaigrette recipe -- www.nourishmovelove.com

8 comments
    • It’s so good and the masterpiece that pulls the whole salad together for sure! Love all your yummy recipes and of course following you on the IG — you ladies rock; wish you were around when I was in college! xo-Lindsey

    • Hey Girl! Yay for TBP right?! So amazing and bringing so many awesome bloggers together; I love it. Thanks for checking out my blog girl, love what you’ve started on yours as well! xo-Lindsey