Why Dogs and Food?

Why Dogs and Food?

It's simple. Write about what you love. And what is better than dogs and food? If you are anything like me - and millions of other people - you will relate to and understand the unwavering love I have for my dogs and my passion for cooking - and eating - great food. I hope you will enjoy reading about my day to day experiences with good food and a couple of very special dogs.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Summer Salad with Pasta & Spinach

Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place by a lake, with boats and friends and noodle salad.
~ Melvin Udall, As Good As It Gets

As summertime approaches, the warmer weather inspires many of us to choose a lighter fare of dining.  Summer salads are an easy way to whip up a light, refreshing and delicious meal.  I came across this salad recipe, courtesy of Creme de la Crumb, and it is a delightful mixture of greens, fruit and pasta with wonderful textures and flavors.  Of course, as with most recipes, I add my own twist, but either way, I guarantee you will love this salad.  You may serve it as a side dish or add some shrimp or chicken to it and make it a meal.

Grab yourself some baby spinach, cilantro, mandarin oranges, dried cranberries, pine nuts and bow tie pasta and toss it up with a sweet and tangy teriyaki dressing.  The original recipe is here and below it, I tell you how I altered it.

Mandarin Pasta Spinach Salad with Teriyaki Dressing
Prep time
Total time
This salad is easy, quick, healthy, and tossed in the most addictive teriyaki vinaigrette dressing!

Serves: 4
  • 8 ounces bowtie pasta noodles
  • 4 cups spinach leaves
  • ½ cup craisins or raisins
  • ⅓ cup cashews or Diamond of California Pine Nuts
  • 1 4-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup teriyaki sauce (the thicker, the better!)
  • ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar (may sub apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder (if you have it)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup oil (such as vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil)

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. While pasta is boiling, prepare the dressing. In a jar combine all dressing ingredients. Cover and shake to combine. Chill until ready to use.
  3. In a large bowl toss together pasta, spinach, raisins, nuts, mandarin oranges, and cilantro. Just before serving pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve.

This is how I changed it up and it was delicious!

I added the following:

  • fresh slices of mandarin orange (versus canned)
  • about a cup of shredded cabbage
  • sliced fresh strawberries
  • fresh blueberries
  • some crumbled feta cheese
  • boiled fresh shrimp  (I think you could add some grilled chicken and it would be great, too!)
  • a TBS of honey and a sprinkle of sesame seeds to the teriyaki dressing