Cranberry, Mandarin and Candied Almond Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

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Happy Easter, hopefully all of you had a great holiday full of happiness and family. It was a little chaotic here today, so I didn’t get to photograph everything I had wished too, but I did get some beautiful pictures of the delicious salad we had. Sadly it was colder here today than it was on Christmas eve, but we still made it outside for an Easter egg hunt and some good old family pictures. I’m sitting here writing this as I continue to regret the amount of food I ate today, but it was just so good, and what adult can resist some of the kid’s Easter candy. Not me!

One nice thing is that we have plenty of leftover’s for lunch this week, after all not having to pack a lunch is one less thing to worry about. Even though it has been months since I worked with the chef’s from France, I am still trying to follow there principle of no waste cooking. I’m very pleased that in the last couple of months I have thrown away far less food than I normally would have, and it’s so easy. I am simply more aware of what we have in the fridge and I am using  daily lunches as an easy way to use up leftovers and food at the end of it’s life.

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The beautiful cranberry, mandarin and candied almond salad was a great way for me to use up some ingredients in my fridge, but by the looks of it you would never be able to tell.  As with any salad, you can toss in as many extra ingredients as you like, it’s a nice way to get really creative.

I started with a spinach, kale and romaine mix. You can use whatever you have on hand, I like to use a heartier lettuce so it will hold up to the dressing and the toppings. I sliced up and avocado that needed to be used, sprinkled on some dried cranberries and some candied almonds. I had a can of mandarin oranges, drained those and set the juice aside, and placed the orange segments on top of the salad as well. That’s what I used fr toppings but you could add anything else you want, cheese or other seeds and nuts.

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For the dressing i started with some olive oil, the reserved orange juice, dijon mustard and some honey and mixed that until combined, than I added in my poppy seeds and gave it a nice shake. Toss you salad in the dressing and serve immediately, this salad is so colorful and flavorful it will impress all your guests, it’s the perfect salad for a crowd!

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Cranberry, Mandarin and Candied Almond Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing
Serves 2
A quick, colorful salad full of different flavors and textures everyone is sure to love.
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Salad
  1. 1/2 cup candied almonds
  2. 10 ounces mixed green lettuce or fresh spinach
  3. 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges, reserve juice
  4. 1 avocado, sliced
  5. 3/4 cup dried cranberries
Dressing
  1. 1/2 cup olive oil
  2. 1/4 cup mandarin orange juice or syrup
  3. 1 lemon (1/2 teaspoon zest and 2 tablespoons juice)
  4. 2 and 1/2 tablespoons honey
  5. 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  6. 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
For the Salad
  1. In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, mandarin oranges, sliced avocado, candied almonds and dried cranberries
  2. .
For the dressing
  1. Combine all of the ingredients together except for the oil and poppy seeds. whisk together until all ingredients are well incorporated. Slowly add in the oil in a steady stream and whisk again until combined.
  2. Stir in the poppyseeds.
  3. Right before enjoying, add the dressing (add to taste -- you may not need it all), toss and enjoy immediately.

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