This is one of my favorite salad recipes EVER! When I was first introduced to the concept of putting mandarin oranges on anything I was completely against it. I was participating in this weightloss “bootcamp” and this salad was on the menu for an entire week. My first thought was that there’s way too many ingredients involved in this process. My second thought was “this shit don’t sound like they go together.” I had already paid my money for this program so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad I did!
The mandarin oranges actually work in this recipe. Really, they more than work; they bring the whole salad to life. I prefer to use the Del Monte Mandarin Oranges in water with no sugar added. This is supposed to be a healthy meal so packing on the sugar in the form of fruit syrup kinda defeats the purpose. One thing I could do without was the red onion. It wasn’t the worst thing I could have put in my mouth, but it just wasn’t doing it for me personally. Give it a try and see if it works for you.
I was also a little apprehenive about the feta cheese in the beginning. This was my first time eating it and I wasn’t convinced based on the smell and honestly, the look of it. That aside, it really adds an additional dimension of flavor to the meal. I feel like it’s in the bleu cheese family, but not as sour/tart tasting. It crumbles but has a nice creaminess to it once you get it in your mouth. I ended up really liking feta cheese; especially in this salad. It works really well with the strawberries and the oranges as well (sometimes I’ll eat just feta and strawberries).
Feel free to use any flavor salad dressing you’d like; just make sure it is “lite”. My preference is the Ken’s Steak House Lite Caesar. This stuff gives me LIFE every single time. In fact, the first time I made this salad for friends all they kept asking was “What kind of dressing is this?” I ended up having to go buy both of them their own bottle so they would leave mine alone. Yes, it’s that good!
As you start preparing the ingredients, you’ll see that this is more than enough per serving to fill you up. There really isn’t a need for additional side items or proteins. This salad gives you everything you need to feel full and satisfied when you finish eating. The only complaint you may have is that it doesn’t last long enough; it’s so good you’ll practically vacuum it off the plate. Go ahead and enjoy it, no need to feel guilty!