Apple Walnut Spinach Salad

Apple Walnut Spinach Salad | Magnolia Days

Salad night happens at least once a week at my house. I find it to be both a nice light meal and quick to prepare. It is a great way to get in a well rounded meal without a lot of fuss. Salads with vegetables, fruits, nuts, and protein all mixed together make for a colorful plate of goodness. It can be very heart healthy with the right ingredients. One I particularly enjoy is an apple walnut spinach salad. Every bit of it is good for keeping me healthy and my heart strong.

Today we are joining together to help raise awareness for Heart Disease. Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic lost her Mom to heart disease when her mother was 47, and Kim was 15. Each year on the day her Mom passed she shares stories and photos of her Mom. This year she joined forces with Jen of Juanita’s Cocina, whose life was also touched by heart disease when her Stepfather had a heart attack. Jen’s Stepfather is alive and well more than a decade later, and for that, Jen is thankful every day. The ladies got in touch with other bloggers to ask them to share their own stories about how heart disease has touched their lives. So today we share stories and recipes from our hearts to yours, in memory and honor of Momzie, Kim’s Mom. We hope you will share your stories with us today as well.

Recipes and Stories From Our Hearts To Yours Image

Heart disease has touched my life in a quiet way. I have high blood pressure. It is called the silent killer. For me it wasn’t so silent. I knew something was wrong. I felt “off”. It is hard to explain. I went for a checkup and my blood pressure was a little high,  just over the borderline mark. I decided to take action and fix it through following a heart healthy diet. I cut back on salt to a bare minimum and went full-on with home cooked meals watching every single ingredient, especially sodium. I lost weight. I exercised. After a year I went for a checkup. My blood pressure was higher. Yes, higher. Almost to the point where they would not let me leave the doctor’s office.

My doctor visit that day was 3 hours long. After extensive discussion and detail it was determined my high blood pressure is due to genetics and there’s no diet that can help it. I was given medication which has kept it at a normal level since then. I still watch the sodium level in foods. Moderation is key. The important part is that I am taking action to help prevent heart damage. Hypertensive heart disease is the number 1 cause of death associated with high blood pressure (source: WebMD & lots of other medical sites).

Eating heart healthy food is a good choice. There are so many delicious ways to eat right. Gone are the days of bland and boring health food. Take a look at these wonderful heart healthy recipes:

Are you keeping your heart healthy? It’s easy with exercise, regular checkups, and a balanced diet. Take care of yourself and your family. May your heart be strong and full of love.

Apple Walnut Spinach Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: Makes 2 servings
For the salad:
  • 1 package (5 ounces) baby spinach
  • 1 apple (Pink Lady or sweet/tart variety) cored and thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ¼ cup toasted walnut pieces
  • ¼ to ½ shallot, thinly sliced
For the apple cider vinaigrette:
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon minced or chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped shallot
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • Pinch of salt
  • Couple of grinds of fresh ground pepper
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
For the salad:
  1. Place the spinach equally on two plates. Top with apple slices, goat cheese, walnuts, and shallots. Serve with apple cider vinaigrette.
For the apple cider vinaigrette:
  1. Place the mustard, honey, garlic, shallot, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend on high speed to combine. Slowly pour in the olive oil while blending on low speed. Taste and adjust flavor with more vinegar or oil to your taste preference. Transfer to a salad dressing container. Serve immediately.
  2. Refrigerate leftovers. When using leftovers, take vinaigrette out of the refrigerator an hour before as oil will solidify when cold. Shake well prior to serving.

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  1. says

    Renee thank you for sharing your personal story with us today, as well as your recipe. I have high blood pressure too but seem to do well with atacand. My sis also suffers and hers is just wildly out of control no matter what she does. She lives healthy and organic, exercises, and she still runs super high. It seems to be in our genetics so I watch my salt intake and stress when possible. Which is hard with two kids, and well, life. Lol.

    I love this salad. There’s just something about fruit in salad that makes my heart super happy.

    Thank you again for joining us, it really means so much to me to have such supportive friends. xx

    • says

      Thanks so much Kim. I’m so glad you and Jen asked me to join in this event. I hope you and your sister can keep your blood pressure at a good level too.

  2. says

    I love the use of cider vinegar – it’s one of my favorites! The recipes today have all been great. I lost my grandmother to a heart attack in 1995. She also had high blood pressure but no other symptoms. We all were, and still are, devastated by her loss. We even celebrated what would have been her 100th birthday in 2007.

    • says

      It is so sad when we lose someone to a heart attack or heart disease. At least you are keeping your grandmother alive by cherishing the memories you have with her and celebrating her 100th birthday with her there in spirit.

  3. says

    Cheese, fruit and nuts…those are the key additions to my ideal salad! This looks fantastic, Renee…and heart healthy, too!

  4. says

    Bravo for taking care of yourself through medication and lifestyle. Yes, sometimes high blood pressure is purely genetic. I’m actually friendly with a very young woman, under 30 and very slim and active, who has had it for years. Thank you for sharing your personal story with us. Big hugs.

    • says

      I’m glad you are putting health at the top of your list this year. It’s very important to watch it all the time to stay healthy.

  5. says

    So inspiring that you took on your high blood pressure head-on and did all that you could. But then, when all that wasn’t enough, you were smart enough to take the next step. Burying one’s head in the sand is never an effective method of getting or staying healthy.

    The salad looks great, and I really like Pink Lady apples. Sometimes we can find them at the farmer’s market here. And goat cheese is Always welcome at my table! lol The vinaigrette sounds lovely as well. Nice that the honey/ACV combo sort of reinforces the apple in the salad. Mmmmm:)

    • says

      Thanks Jenni! It would be nice to be able to ignore it but that would not be very good for my health. I’d like to stay around for a long time. Pink Lady apples are one of my favorites and I am lucky to have them available at my local grocery store.

  6. says

    Good for you for looking out for the small signs and going to the doctor. Glad they caught it, and you clearly have a fantastic physician! What a great salad too, I wouldn’t mind eating this once a week.

  7. says

    I love salads like this, they are actually one of my favs! I to have high blood pressure and try to eat very healthy and limit my salt intake. These two factors I think are very important. Thanks for sharing!!

  8. says

    Thanks for sharing your story, Renee. I’m one of the lucky ones in that I was able to get my blood pressure back under control through lifestyle changes, but I know there’s a good chance I might still end up needing meds someday (my grandmother has very volatile blood pressure, though it didn’t start until much later on in her life).
    I’m so glad you’ve got things under control, and that you were smart enough to listen to your body and get yourself checked out when things didn’t feel right. Prevention is key with this stuff!
    I try to have salad night at least once a week, too, and this one sounds like a real winner – I just love adding fruits and nuts to a green salad.

    • says

      Thanks Isabelle! I can only hope that other people will get a good, thorough checkup and take care of issues like high blood pressure too.

  9. says

    I’m so glad you found out about your blood pressure before it caused bigger issues!

    I love the looks of this salad. What a cool combo of ingredients. :-)


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