Spinach, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Does eating “brain healthy” mean eating salads all day, every day? Um, absolutely not, BUT I will let you in on a little secret: this Spinach, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette has not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE ingredients that are considered MIND diet foods because they contain nutrients that support brain health.

The cool thing, though, is that all 75 of the recipes in my new Brain Health Cookbook have a handful of ingredients that are MIND diet foods, and not all of them are salads (I mean, I love a good salad, but there are lots of ways to eat more brain-supportive foods without just eating salad) – think appetizers, soups, sauces, seafood, meat and pasta dishes and DESSERTS.

Spinach, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette on white plates

That’s why I’m so darn excited about this new cookbook! Similarly to my MIND diet cookbook, the focus surrounds incorporating more foods into our diets that support brain, heart and overall health.

You’ll find ingredients like darky leafy greens and other vegetables (both starchy and non-starchy), berries and other fruits, whole grains, beans and legumes, seafood, poultry and heart-healthy oils like olive and avocado for cooking and making dressings.

No, these won’t be the only foods you eat, but these ingredients are the focus of the recipes in this cookbook. And that’s because they’re packed with nutrition.

Learn more about the Brain Health Cookbook!

I even show you how to incorporate foods that may not be associated with brain health, such as red meat, cheese and desserts because life is all about balance!

You do not need to be deprived or feel like you’re on a diet AND you can and will thoroughly enjoy the meals you eat while simultaneously doing good things for your brain and body. It’s AMAZING.

The Brain Health Cookbook cover

So, now let me explain more about why I absolutely love this particular salad. First of all, I am a huge fan of spinach in general. It’s mild in taste, especially when eaten raw, and makes the perfect base for a salad. It is super easy to incorporate into soups, stews, casseroles, sauces and pretty much everything else you cook.

Which makes it super easy to eat more of them without having to try too hard (yay!). Also, spinach, and other leafy greens, have nutrients like vitamins A and C, antioxidants and fiber (fiber is good for heart health – heart health and brain health are directly linked) – and most of us don’t consume enough.

Spinach, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette: The salad that doesn’t make you feel like you’re eating a salad.

And as far as the rest of the salad goes, you simply cannot go wrong with adding crumbled goat cheese (tangy, creamy), walnuts (crunchy, nutty), mandarin oranges (sweet, juicy) and the very best raspberry vinaigrette you’ll ever eat. It has fresh raspberries, orange zest and juice, Dijon, a little vinegar and sugar, and oh boy… it’s freaking delicious.

Salads page from cookbook

Now my mouth is watering, and I hope yours is, too! Give this salad a try and grab a copy of the Brain Health Cookbook!!


Spinach, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette

Spinach, Goat Cheese & Walnut Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette on white plates

A simple spinach salad with goat cheese, walnuts, mandarin oranges and (the best) raspberry vinaigrette.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 10-15 mins
  • Cook Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 10-15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 1x
  • Category: Salads
  • Method: No-Cook



For the dressing:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • Zest and juice of ½ orange (about ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey or granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

 For the salad:

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 5 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup mandarin oranges, drained
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese


  1. Place the raspberries, orange zest and juice, olive oil, vinegar, honey or sugar, Dijon, and salt in the bowl of a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.
  2. Heat a small skillet to medium-low heat. Add the walnuts to the dry skillet and toast about 60 seconds, tossing frequently, until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
  3. Build salads in 4 bowls with spinach, oranges, goat cheese, and toasted walnuts. Drizzle with raspberry dressing.


Substitution Tip: Omit the goat cheese for a dairy free salad. Swap in maple syrup or sugar instead of honey for a vegan salad.

Variation Tip: Try a mix of chopped kale, Swiss chard and mustard greens rather than spinach.


  • Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
  • Calories: 195
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 94mg
  • Fat: 17g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 10g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Cholesterol: 2mg

Keywords: salad, salads, raspberry vinaigrette, raspberry dressing, spinach salad, spinach, walnut, walnuts

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