Making a folate-rich salad

January 2, 2011 9:23:54 AM PST
January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and the first week of January is Folic Acid Awareness Week (January 2 - 8).

The March of Dimes promotes the benefits of a diet rich in folate for women, because it says it has been found that folate/folic acid decreases the possibility of certain birth defects by 50 percent.

Folic Acid is a B vitamin that can help prevent birth defects of the brain and spinal cord called neural tube defects (NTDs). The most common NTDs are Spina Bifida and anencephaly. Chef Eric Paul visited the ABC7 Chicago studio to demonstrate how to make a tasty salad that is rich in folic acid.

Spinach Salad Recipe
Makes 6 servings.


    For spiced pecans:
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 egg white
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

    For dressing:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup raspberry wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a blender, combine the oil, raspberries, vinegar, honey, mustard, oregano and pepper.

    For salad:
  • 6 cups fresh spinach, washed and dried
  • 2 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 1 cup mandarin oranges
  • 1/2 feta cheese


Make spiced pecans. Beat egg white until very frothy, but not stiff. Add remaining ingredients, excluding pecans. Now add pecans and mix to coat. Spread pecans on baking sheet in single layer and bake in a preheated 200-degree oven for 45 minutes, turning every 15 minutes.

Once pecans cool, place fruit, cheese and nuts on top of spinach.