Sometimes when people think of salad, the idea of tired-looking iceberg, a couple of token tomato slices, and if you're wild, a slice of purple onion. Then, in order to find the will to eat it, you'll choose a sugary or creamy or both dressing in which to drown your "salad." OH and, don't forget croutons and bacon, etc.

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If that's a salad you adore, then enjoy my friend. At the same time, I'd like to offer the idea that salads can really be much more exciting than that. I'd also offer the idea that salads can easily became a main dish--even without meat. Eating lighter during this time of year is a pleasure, anyway. Eating heavy foods can make us feel lethargic in the heat of the summer.

Here's one of my go-to's as a side dish or main dish and I make it at least every two weeks. It's one I picked up somewhere a long time ago and then just kinda added stuff along the way. Feel free to play with it. ;) Not the salad itself of course.

Summer Spinach & Berry Salad: 

Ingredients

Around 6 cups of organic spinach, I prefer baby spinach myself

I container blueberries, organic 

Half a pint of strawberries--more or less to your liking

1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted in oven

Slices purple onion, halved. I used about half of a medium-sized onion

At least 5-6 oz. of feta cheese--totally optional

An entire avocado. Just peel it, pit it, and either diced or spoon out segments--as you prefer.

If you want you can just toss it all together. Personally, I prefer putting the spinach in a pretty bowl and artfully arranging the ingredients on the top. This always a welcome addition to any get-together.

As far as dressing goes, you can use either a berry vinaigrette or a poppy seed dressing. There are plenty of recipes online if you'd like to make your own. I, however, am usually doing it last minute so I opt for the bottle.

Don't forget to toast the almonds--they make ALL the difference in the world. Feel free to add more. Enjoy!