Spinach Salad Idea! Spinach, Feta and Blueberries in a Vinaigrette with... Sugar Free Candied Almonds!


Posted this on my Instagram story last night and then proceeded to eat a full half of this entire bowl full for dinner.  Oh my gosh... it was just so good.

This is one of those salads I used to throw together with Craisins but we are low carbing right now so I don't even buy the 'low sugar' version of those at this moment.  I also would often use sliced fresh strawberries.  I keep Mr. American Housewife supplied with bananas but those would not be good on this salad.

Opt for craisins, raisins, fresh strawberries, blueberries, pomegranate seeds; things like that!  I used frozen blueberries for this one.  Well, they were frozen but then I was in a hurry to get them into the salad so I ran them under water for a few seconds and then let them drain on a paper towel.

The dressing is also an 'up to you' choice as well as the fruit.  Regular Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette or the fat free or sugar free versions... as well as Balsamic Vinaigrette, Poppy Seed dressings... and they can be homemade or store bought.

Lastly!  The sugar free candied almonds...   You can use almonds or pecans and they don't necessarily have to be candied.  The reason I like to 'candy' them is because the sweetness of the 'candied' almonds or pecans offsets the bite of the balsamic vinegar.  They just go so well together!  But if you simply want to quickly toast them in a pan on the stove for a few minutes until they are starting to turn golden - that's fine.  Just let them cool first before adding them.

TO MAKE THEM CANDIED:  I did this part while I threw together the rest of the salad. And because we do not use sugar, I make mine SUGAR FREE by using natural sweeteners.  You could use sugar/brown sugar if you are not sugar free.

Sugar free Candied Almonds

1 1/2 - 2 c raw almonds or pecans (chopped, sliced, whole, whatever)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1/3 cup granular natural sweetener of choice
2 T any brown sugar version sweetener you can find in your area or online
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F; Line a large pan with foil and grease with butter for best flavor but you could use a spray like Pam if you wish. Pour almonds in a mixing bowl.  Combine your granular sweetener and brown sweetener; add a lightly beaten egg white. Pour over nuts, toss to coat. Spread mixture evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt if you desire a sweet/salty. Bake 30 minutes or until nuts are toasted, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool on waxed paper; store in airtight container. 

I make this salad when I want to 'use up' mounds of fresh spinach before it starts to turn, as I buy the really large containers of it at Sam's Club or Costco.  I also wanted to use up the last 1/3 of the balsamic dressing in the refrigerator so this recipe was a no brainer!

Spinach Salad with Feta and Blueberries

1 package or desired amount of fresh baby spinach leaves
Feta Cheese, crumbled
3/4 c fresh blueberries (or strawberries, etc)
Balsamic dressing of your choice (original, creamy, raspberry, pomegranate, poppy seed, etc.)
Almonds or Pecans; toasted, sugared almonds, chopped

Start with a bowl or serving plate of desired amount of spinach leaves.  Sprinkle on feta and fresh or dried fruit and nuts according to how it looks and how much you desire.   Just before serving drizzle with the dressing.  

If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon - An American Housewife at Amazon 

You might be interested in the two sweeteners I used last night to make this salad - and I'll link to the lower sugar Craisins I mentioned as well.

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Yes, I use power tools to clean my master bathroom shower! Getting soap residue off stone is frustrating!

Today I was GRUMPY!  Oh so cantankerous!  So this afternoon I found myself thinking "I'm in such a bad mood I should take out my aggression on that stupid shower!"  That's when I stopped my ranting and raving and thought... uh, yeah.  I really should.

Cleaning our master bathroom shower is one of those tasks which I hate to do.  We all have chores and household tasks we don't despise, a few more we don't mind, and maybe even one or two we enjoy doing.  We also have certain tasks we despise.  And we all have DIFFERENT 'hated' housework - so some of you may not mind scrubbing your showers.  I hate it.  Partly because our current home doesn't have normal showers.  It has these weird stone/slate tiles that suck up soap scum like it's a new best friend, grab on tight and hug it for life.

Seriously, getting dried soap or shampoo residue off this particular shower has been a thorn in my side since we moved in.  I've tried pretty much every cleaning product out there... tried as many hacks and hints as I could find.  Nothing really works.

So one day while be-bopping around Amazon, I spied these handy-dandy do-dads that you pop onto the end of your household drill and go to town on your floors, tiles, concrete, pools, walls, whatever.

They have ALL DIFFERENT LEVELS of scrubby brushes and different sizes and styles.  So obviously if you are scrubbing something that is more delicate that concrete or stone, you choose a softer brush.  

I bought two styles - a flat style for the walls and this rounded version to get into the corners.  I found I like the rounded version best as it works from any angle - as compared to the other one having to be flat on the surface.

If you follow me on Instagram than you may have already seen that I posted a video of me using this - and if you don't follow me on Instagram, but want to, I'm "AnAmericanHousewife" - nice to meet you!

First you need a drill.  Pretty much any drill you already own is fine.  I am using our Dewalt drill today but we have a couple different drills.  This one is my husbands favorite because it holds it's charges longer than a couple of the other brands we've had in the past.  But seriously, use whatever drill you have.  I'll add a couple drill links at the bottom of this post as well if you need to look for something.  We bought ours at Lowe's but I'm an affiliate of Amazon so I'll post a link there.

Then you need the drill brush attachment(s).  I bought mine off Amazon back in 2017 and they are still in great shape since I use them for cleaning the bathroom and not, say, the driveway or something.  I just checked and there are oodles of them available now on Amazon - but I'm going to link to the exact one I bought because at the time.  I know mine are legit and not a Chinese knock-off.

Here is a link to their Amazon store showing all the different options:

And THAT is how finally was able to get the stupid soap scum off our stone shower tiles.



And you need scrubby brushes that I already linked to in the post but what the heck,
here you go again...  LINK HERE TO THE SCRUBBY BRUSHES.

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Low Carb and Sugar Free Frozen Margaritas

Low Carb and Sugar Free Margaritas

1 c water*
1/2 - 3/4 c natural sweetener(s) of your choice
Zest of 1 orange or 2 teaspoons dried
1/2 t xanthan gum
1 c fresh lime juice
1 1/2 c tequila
lime slices

In a saucepan, place the water and sweetener with the orange zest.  Sprinkle xanthan gum over lightly while whisking briskly. Don't use a stick blender - I did once and it got really thick.  And don't use too much xanthan or you'll end up with... pudding. Most recently I only used about 1/4 of a teaspoon and found that's about right for me.

If you know you really like your margaritas a little sweeter, add a little more natural sweetener and taste test.  I used to use just less than cup total of a mixture of 2-3 natural sweeteners to get the best flavor but my newest 'favorite' sweetener I only need to use 1/2 cup! So again, taste test because we all have different favorite natural sweeteners.

Heat over medium low to medium (gently) until it thickens.
Remove it from heat, strain through a wire colander to remove the bits of orange; and let it cool while you juice enough limes to equal 1 cup.

You can cheat and use store bought lime juice - it won't taste quite as fresh, but no one will probably notice or care.  I've done both.

Mix the sweetened mixture with lime juice and tequila.  Chill.

Salt the rims of your margarita glasses and use as is, or pour over crushed ice.

For a frozen, place a cup of mixture in the blender with some ice and pour into your glass.  Garnish with a lime slice or an unbrella.

*Everything can be adjusted to your taste. Add more sweetener, more lime, more water or less tequila to get the taste you like.

I have jotted down in pen at the bottom of my piece of paper that I had scribbled this recipe, that I used 'more water'.  So again, as thick and 'strong' (use more/less tequila if wanted) as you need/want the imitation triple sec (the orange mixture you cook on the stove) to be is up to you.  But remember it will be very liquidy once you add that tequila and the ice gets all melty.

I have some old paper drink umbrellas on hand from... must be years ago... because I barely remember buying them.  But I just checked and there are OODLES of them on Amazon... here's just one to start you off:

Kangaroo's Tropical Luau Umbrella (200 Count)

You might also be interested in these items from Amazon;

McCormick Gourmet Valencia Orange Peel, 1.5 oz
Powdered Monk Fruit Sweetener with Erythritol Confectioners (1 lb / 16 oz) - Perfect for Diabetics & Low Carb Dieters - 1:1 Sugar Replacement - No Calorie Sweetener, Non-GMO, Natural Sugar Substitute 
Stevia In The Raw, 9.7 Ounce
Libbey Cancun Margarita 7-Piece Glassware Set
Just Like Sugar Table Top Sweetener -- 16 oz
SucraDrops 4 oz Bottle of Premium Liquid Sucralose Sweetener, Free 5 ml Travel Size Bottle
NOW Foods Xanthan Gum,  6 Ounce Bottle


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Six salmon recipes previously posted on An American Housewife since 2006

Six salmon recipes previously posted on An American Housewife since 2006

Salmon Loaf

1/4 c fresh onion, chopped fine
1 t dried dill weed
1 T butter
1 slightly beaten egg
1/4 - 1/3 c milk or cream
1 c soft bread crumbs
Leftover salmon to equal about 2 cups  (*can use 2 cans of salmon - clean the skin and bones off and discard)

In a microwaveable bowl place the onion, dill and pepper with the pat of butter. Microwave about 2-3 minutes until the onion is tender. Combine the egg, bread crumbs, milk and butter/onion mixture. Add the salmon, breaking it apart as you add it. Mix with your hands for best blending. Shape into a loaf and place in a bread loaf pan (6X3") that has been greased or sprayed. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Broil for a few minutes to crisp up the top if you prefer a slight crust on your salmon loaf.

OPTIONAL:  Top with a white sauce to which you've added a peas and/or some cheese.

Simple White Sauce

2 T butter
1 T flour
1/2 t salt
1/8 t white pepper
1/8 t paprika
3/4 c milk
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c frozen pea's - thawed

Microwave the butter until melted; add the flour and seasonings, then the milk and lemon juice. Microwave 4-5 minutes, stirring after each minute. Add 1/2 cup peas. Stir and serve over salmon. 

Using the recipe for a salmon loaf, you can adapt it to make salmon patties; and can make a low carb version by playing with the recipe a bit.

For a low carb Salmon Cake I use;

1 can salmon
diced celery
diced onion
1 egg

Saute' the onion and celery in the butter until soft.  Add it to a mixing bowl with the salmon and an egg.  Mix it up and add seasonings to taste.  Pan fry in butter/olive oil until golden brown on both sides and done in the middle.

Salmon Salad

2/3 cup Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar (Roasted Garlic or Original)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed, divided
4 salmon fillets, about 5 ounces each
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
16 asparagus spears
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon capers Hearts of Romaine lettuce

Combine rice vinegar, garlic, salt and 1 teaspoon dill weed to make dill vinaigrette; stir well. Place salmon fillets in a shallow non metallic container. Add 4 tablespoons dill vinaigrette; marinate 30 to 60 minutes. Drain salmon and discard marinade. Grill or saute salmon, starting with the skin side down, until cooked as desired. Cover and set aside.

Add olive oil to remaining vinaigrette. Blanch asparagus and place in shallow, rimmed dish. Drizzle 3 tablespoons vinaigrette over asparagus. Combine tomatoes, capers, 2 tablespoons vinaigrette and remaining 1/2 teaspoon dill weed.

To serve, arrange lettuce leaves and 4 asparagus spears on each serving plate. Remove skin from salmon and place one fillet on each plate. Spoon a generous ribbon of tomato mixture over salmon, lettuce and asparagus. Serve with remaining dill vinaigrette, as desired. Salmon may be served hot, room temperature or cold. Serves 4


Salmon Dip for Crackers

1 lb can salmon
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 T lemon juice
1 t  grated onion
1 t  prepared horseradish
1/4 t  liquid smoke 

1/2 c finely chopped pecans
3 T snipped/minced fresh parsley

Drain and flake salmon. Remove skin and bones.  Combine salmon w/ cream cheese, lemon juice, onion, horseradish and liquid smoke. Mix well. Chill several hours or overnight. Shape salmon mixture into a ball and roll in nut mixture. Chill again, and serve w/ assorted crackers. 

Crab Stuffed Salmon with Shrimp

4 salmon fillets or patties 
6 oz. real crab meat
1 T onion, diced fine
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T celery, chopped fine
5 T butter
1/2 c cracker crumbs
1 egg
lemon pepper garlic seasoning
4 large raw shrimp, cleaned

Preheat oven to 375. Sprinkle each filet or patty lightly with salt and pepper. Saute' the onions, parsley and celery in 5 T butter. When tender, remove from heat. Add the crumbs, flaked crab meat and egg. Mix and season to taste with lemon garlic seasoning. Spoon a walnut sized mound onto the top of each salmon patty.  Bake 20 minutes, top with a large shrimp, return to the oven to bake an additional 7-10 minutes or until your fish is done.

Crab Stuffed Flounder or fish of your choice

6 fish filets  (sole, flounder, tilapia)
1/2 lb. real crab meat
1 T onion, diced fine
1T red pepper, diced fine (*optional)
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T celery, chopped fine
6 T butter
1/2 c cracker crumbs
1 egg
lemon pepper garlic seasoning

Preheat oven to 375. Sprinkle each fillet with salt and pepper. Coil each fillet into a buttered muffin tin. Saute the onions, parsley and celery in 3 T butter. When tender, remove from heat. Add the crumbs, flaked crab meat and the egg. Mix and season to taste. Spoon into the center of each fish fillet. Brush with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake 20-30 minutes or until your fish is done.

(Comment from me:  Wow, this one is from 2008 - over 11 years ago already! This one isn't low carb, obviously!  But you could use low carb bread and leave out the crackers completely.)
Crab Stuffed Salmon
*this is my own recipe for crab cakes but it can be used as a stuffing for salmon

4 pieces soft bread grated or ground in a food processor
1/3 c mayonnaise
1 egg
2 green onions, diced with greens
2 T parsley, dried
2 T lemon juice
1 T Old Bay Seasoning
1 t mustard
1 lb. crab meat
4 oz. cream cheese
saltine crackers - approximately 2 handfuls crushed in your fingers until fine

Fresh salmon
Lemon Pepper Seasoning

Mix the stuffing ingredients. Add enough crackers so the stuffing is not too dry, but moist enough to hold its shape when scooped up with an ice cream scoop or large serving spoon.

Place the salmon pieces on a greased piece of parchment on a baking sheet or an oiled baking sheet. You can make as many or few as you like but this stuffing recipe will make approximately 10. I made 6 stuffed salmon servings and made the rest into crab cakes by flattening the scoop and frying in a bit of oil on the stove top until golden.

Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on each of the salmon pieces and top with a large ice cream scoop of stuffing on each. Bake at 400 degree's until the fish is done (I baked mine about 15 minutes) and then placed under the broiler for 2 minutes to crisp and brown the top of the stuffing.

If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon. - An American Housewife at Amazon 

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