{Bistro Salad}

On a hot summer day there is nothing like throwing together a Hip, Simple, Fabulous™ meal without a lot of time in the kitchen. This is one of my favorite go-to salads. The  variations are endless and I find I always enjoy its delicious simplicity. The best part? This salad is packed with nutrients - both nourishing our body AND satisfying our taste buds!

Eat Inspired Today Tip: Splurge on a good Aged Balsamic Vinegar. This will make the difference between a simple salad and a fabulous favorite! A little goes a long way and an excellent bottle of Balsamic Vinegar will last you and become a staple in your kitchen.


This salad combines 3 powerful (and delicious!) nutrient-dense ingredients:

  • Spinach - which has been shown to contain more nutrients per calorie than any other food on earth.

  • Walnuts -  which contain almost twice as many antioxidants as an equivalent amount of most other nuts.

  • Aged Balsamic Vinegar - which manages to hold onto most of the nutrients present in the parent grapes, including iron, calcium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. Balsamic Vinegar also helps to stimulate digestive enzymes and  encourage healthy digestion.

Eat Inspired Today™ Tip: Cook the pasta ahead or simply cook extra the night before and refrigerate to make this a no-cook meal or the perfect cool picnic salad.

Again the variations are truly endless and we have experimented with so many...but somehow I always return to the simplicity of this Quick Bistro Salad, reminiscent of warm Spring afternoons street-side at  various cafes...

As fresh figs abound this is another perfect use - slice a few and sprinkle them atop this simple dish. Check back later this week for my feature on Fresh Fig recipes!

Enjoy your summer,

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Bistro Salad

Makes 2 servings


  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed, stems trimmed (or use a bagged baby spinach)

  • 1 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Pasta (we used Tinkyada Fusilli)

  • 3 tablespoons Aged Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil

  • Sea Salt, to taste

  • Freshly Ground Black pepper, to taste

  • 1-2 Tablespoons Nuts (we used Walnuts)


  1. In a large pot prepare pasta to package directions.

  2. While pasta cooks, wash and trim spinach. Place in a large bowl. Set aside.

  3. In a small bowl whisk together remaining ingredients for your dressing. Set aside.

  4. Drain pasta and immediately place into bowl with spinach. Toss well to slightly wilt spinach.

  5. Add dressing and toss again.

  6. Separate salad into two portions. Just before serving, sprinkle each with nuts (optional) and serve.



© Copyright Clea Shannon 2009-2012