When I first moved to Los Angeles almost 14 years ago, I started going to the beach on weekends. You might think that living in LA means we all lie on the beach day in and day out (in my dreams), but unless you actually live at the beach, chances are you rarely go. However, back when I first arrived here, thanks to a little restaurant named 26 Beach Cafe and my love of roller blading, I made a serious effort and found myself at the beach often (not having a husband or kids at the time made it a lot easier). Weekends spent skating north, from Marina Del Rey all the way to the beginning of Malibu, made all those years of living through bitter cold winters on the East coast disappear from my memory pretty quick. After all that rolling up and down the coast, I would stop by my beloved 26 Beach Cafe to refuel with their tasty brunch foods.
One dish I could never get enough of was their Very Berry Spinach Salad. Chock full of tons of my favorite goodies -- spinach, chicken, mixed berries, and walnuts, to name a few -- I dreamed about that salad all week long, counting the days until the weekend when I could roll by 26 Beach and have it again.
Since having kids, my rollerblades have collected some serious spider webs and it's seemingly harder and harder to get to the beach. I started making this salad to relive the memories of my early days in LA. Whether you make it for yourself or pack it up for school lunch with the dressing on the side, this is one of those meals that is sure to satisfy.
Very Berry Spinach Salad (serves 4-6)
- 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
- 1 cup cubed, cooked chicken breast
- 1 cup mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, quartered strawberries)
- 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted walnuts
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1. In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, chicken, berries, tomatoes, mushrooms, and walnuts. Toss to combine.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil and salt, and pour over the salad.