I love spinach. In fact, I think that if there was a contest for a Ms. Female Popeye, I'd make it to the semi-finals (the swimsuit round would kill any chance at the finals.). If picturing me with huge tattooed forearms doesn't turn you on, the image of a corncob pipe hanging from my mouth should be able to seal the deal for ya. And let's not even get into my fondness for Olive Oyl, in a totally culinary and non-lesbian sort of way, of course.
Tonight's dinner started out to be something entirely different. I had some leftover grilled pork loin that was supposed to become part of a stir fry with pasta. The temperature hit 82 here today however, and I thought it was entirely too warm in my kitchen to be boiling water and heating oil and basically making the house even hotter. A spinach salad sounded so much more refreshing than a heavy pasta dish, so I used the sauce I'd already prepared and adapted it to be used as a dressing for this salad. It was a great choice. The combination of baby spinach and crispy vegetables made for a wonderful warm weather salad but the pork and sauce/dressing made it a stand alone and hearty meal.
You may have seen my recipe for Thai peanut dressing elsewhere on my blog. Its versatility makes it a great accompaniment to pork, chicken and pasta. I've even found it makes a fantastic pizza sauce!
Grilled Pork Loin And Spinach Salad With Thai Peanut Dressing (serves 4)
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 TBSP sugar (I used Splenda)
1 TBSP fresh lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
3 TBSP chicken broth or water
1 TBSP reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
8 oz. cooked pork loin, cubed
8 cups baby spinach
4 oz. sugar snap peas, diced
1 orange or red bell pepper, seeded, julienned
1 (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 green onions, green and light green parts only, diced
In sauce pan over medium low heat, combine peanut butter, sugar, lime juice, broth, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Stir until peanut butter is melted and dressing is smooth. Add the cubed pork loin, stir to combine and remove from heat.
Arrange spinach on salad plates or bowls. Top with sugar snap peas, bell pepper and water chestnuts. Spoon pork and dressing on top and garnish with green onions.