Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
8 May

Simple Spinach Salad with Grilled Steak and Raspberry Vinaigrette

The easiest type of salad dressing to make is vinaigrette: shake or whisk together oil and vinegar, add a little salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself some salad dressing. As anyone who eats salad regularly knows, however, dressing your greens in the same basic vinaigrette day after day gets a little boring. The salad recipe submitted by Reni Westmoreland reminded us that drastically changing the flavor is as simple as changing the type of vinegar you use. If you’ve been reaching for the same bottle of balsamic, or rice wine or apple cider vinegar for your dressings, then Reni’s Raspberry Vinaigrette might just be the change you need.

In Reni’s salad, raw spinach leaves are coated in a lively vinaigrette made with olive oil, raspberry vinegar, mustard and garlic. Sweet and tart with a subtly fruity flavor, the raspberry vinaigrette tastes like summer bursting out of the bowl. Nuts go especially well with fruit vinaigrettes, and we liked Reni’s combination of sweet pecans and subtly bitter walnuts. Steak is the protein of choice for this salad, because as Reni says, “We ALWAYS have leftover steak.” Yet another simple but genius reminder from Reni: the best protein for a salad is often whatever is leftover from dinner the night before. So go ahead, throw chicken or salmon or any other leftover protein into this salad. The raspberry vinaigrette, although bold, is surprisingly versatile and will pair well with just about anything.

Most grocery stores and some farmers’ markets have a selection of fruit vinegars. They can be made from fruit wine that has been turned into vinegar or from vinegar that has been flavored with fruit. Soft fruits, such as berries, release the most flavor into vinegar and we also love the bright jewel-tone color of raspberry, blueberry and blackberry vinegars. If you’re feeling ambitious, fruit vinegar can be made at home by bringing vinegar to a gentle boil (we recommend white wine vinegar for its neutral color and flavor) and then poured over mashed berries. Experiment to find the flavor ratio you prefer, but 3 cups vinegar to 2 cups berries is a good place to start. The berries and vinegar should be kept in a sterilized jar with a lid and can generally be stored for up to a month in a cool, dark place. Before using, strain the vinegar with cheesecloth to remove the fruit and sediment.

Without any further ado, Reni’s recipe for Spinach Salad with Grilled Steak and Raspberry Vinaigrette. Simple, satisfying, and a flavorful change of pace.

Servings: 1


  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • A few slices red onion
  • Small handful walnuts
  • Small handful pecans
  • 4 oz grilled steak or other protein


  • 1/4-1/2 cup Raspberry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


Put spinach in a bowl and mix with nuts and onions. Mix together dressing ingredients.

Add dressing to taste.

Lay thinly sliced steak on top, either cold or warmed up. Enjoy!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. yu guys have GOT to try sauerkraut juice, oil, and mustard dressing…yll never go back to vinegar!! jut use me juice from the glass jar in the fridge, smidge of stoneground mustard and oil!

    mallory wrote on May 8th, 2010
  2. Nice WB. This site is freaking me out a little. My biggest problem for years has been sugar, and Mark covers that in detail. My thoracic issues flare up and he goes to work for me on that one. And you just posted almost exactly what I had for dinner last night. Turn the nuts into pistachios and macadamias and replace the onion and dressing with an over easy egg, and that was it. It was a high quality ribeye and the warm yolk,as a dressing was awesome. I almost took a picture of it. I wish I did, it looked very similar. My ribeye was in one thick juicy hunk though.

    This is good eats people. I have no interest in breakfast this morning.

    Grol wrote on May 8th, 2010
  3. My mouth waters every time I look at these recipes! Can’t wait to try it–I do have some raspberry vinegar here so can totally whip this up!!! MMMMMM!

    FairyRae wrote on May 8th, 2010
  4. As I don’t eat meat I will head for the fish market in Samoa and get a piece of fresh Tuna fish. I believe that the recipe will taste just as good with the tuna.

    can’t wait, already hungry…

    Try The Tuna wrote on May 8th, 2010
  5. I love the fruit viniagrete idea! I love my olive oil and vinegar dressing, but mixing it up a bit by adding some fruit sounds delicious!

    I also like the idea of adding mustard and garlic too in order to mix it up.

    Great ideas to mix up my daily big ass salad! :)

    Primal Toad wrote on May 8th, 2010
  6. Looking forward to trying the recipe. I eat a large salad with spinach,
    mixed vegetables & animal protein just about every day for lunch.


    Fitness Contrarian wrote on May 9th, 2010
  7. Funny, the plate of ingredients was making me salivate but I wasn’t interested in the salad mixed together! For some reason I really enjoy my food in its constituent parts rather than mixed together in a jumble. In a salad I usually want maximum 2 or 3 ingredients, and I eat it dry, with no dressing at all. But I’ll have nuts, fruits, meats, etc. in the same meal, just not in my salad. My friends all think I’m weird for liking my salad better without dressing but whatever, it tastes good to me.

    Uncephalized wrote on May 12th, 2010
    • It is not “weird” to not use salad dressings on salad…..for those who want to try it but do not want to go totally dry, try a squeeze of lemon or lime, a little salt & pepper and that’s it. It gives the “dressed” flavor without all the calories. Or, u can try layering on a very ripe avocado… will give u the necessary good fats & act as a dressing.

      tracy wrote on July 23rd, 2012

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