Mandarin Orange, Toasted Almond, & Feta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing (Gluten Free, Grain Free, Refined-Sugar Free, Egg Free, Corn Free, Vegetarian, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, & Paleo Optional)

Summer is on the way, and I’m reminded there are Barbeques and family/friends gatherings coming up, so I decided to post one of my favorite recipes to take to friends houses for my contribution to the Pot-Luck style get-togethers. The best part, is that it’s easy, and absolutely everyone will ask for your dressing recipe. Yes, it’s that good.

I know you’re probably thinking “Gluten-Free salad is sooooooo boring,” but I’m here to tell you this salad is anything but boring. It’s bound to be the highlight of the party – and you’ll never go back to boring salad greens.

Let’s get right down to it. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Salad Itself (Serves 6-8 people, depending how hungry your guests are!)
1 Bag Mixed Greens Lettuce, or 1 Head Lettuce, Torn Into Bite-Sized Pieces
1/2 C. Lightly Toasted Sliced Almonds **Instructions Below**
1 10.75oz Can of Mandarin Orange Slices, Drained (Make sure they’re store in mandarin juice & not corn-syrup)
8 oz. Feta Cheese, Crumbled (Or omit for Paleo or if excluding Dairy)
Red Onion Slices, to taste
Sliced Avocado, If you Wish

The AMAZING Poppy Seed Dressing (Yield 1 1/2 Cups)
1 Cup Grape Seed Oil
1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 t. Pink Himalayan Salt
1/4 C. Maple Sugar or Coconut Sugar
1 Tablespoon Dry Mustard Powder
1 Tablespoon Onion Powder
1 1/2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds

To toast the sliced almonds, toss in 1/2 Tablespoon butter or Coconut Oil and toast for a few minutes on the stove top, thoroughly coating all the almond slices in butter. You can also put the butter on top of the almonds in a small bowl and cook in 30 second increments, for 2-3 minutes, with stirring every 30 seconds.

Wash & prepare your lettuce and place in large salad bowl. Drain your mandarin orange slices of their juice, and pour on top of lettuce, Crumble Feta Cheese on top, and place red onion and almond slices to preference (doesn’t it look amazing?).

At this point, if you’re taking the salad somewhere or saving for later, I’d wrap up the bowl with saran wrap. Do not dress until ready to eat.

I mix up the dressing in my blender. It’s super easy and stays good for about a month stored in a mason jar in the refrigerator. Blend oil, vinegar, salt, maple or coconut sugar, onion powder, and dry mustard powder together on low speed until they are just combined. Add poppy seeds and just whir to mix. You must shake well before serving, as separation is normal.

Obviously, you won’t need the entire batch of dressing for this one salad, so dress to taste and save the rest for a future date. believe me, you’ll want salad every day with this dressing.




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