Spinach Pasta Salad & Brownie Tips

The Covered Dish


When I was visiting with my dad, Jerry, this past week he asked what I was sharing in the column this week. I won’t share dad’s response when I told him about this delicious salad.
Dad thought the combination was pretty far out there. I on the other hand truly love this salad and the interest it brings to a meal.

I did not write this week’s recipe it actually was shared with me by Ervin’s step-mom, Donna Uhrig, at a family gathering a few years ago. I hesitated to run it in the column because it was not mine originally. You will note I have given full credit at the end of the recipe as to where the dish originated. Do I consider the recipe a keeper, most definitely? Even Dad will like it once he tastes the dressing and the refreshing take on this dish.

Prepare yourself if you take it to a carry-in dinner because everyone will ask: ‘Who brought this salad?” At the family gathering there were about 50 of us and everyone was begging for recipe.
The uniqueness and the flavor combinations will absolutely explode on the palate.

Like myself some of you will want to tinker with the outcome, I encourage you to stick with the recipe the first time around. Listen to what people say about it and then move forward and apply your own twists to the dish. Sometimes we are looking for healthy dishes to take in our lunchboxes, if sodium is an issue for you I would ponder a bit. Also adding fresh chicken would bring in a nice amount of protein.

Ervin and I enjoyed a great dinner out last week at FD’s in Springfield. Everyone in the family had eaten there before except me! I truly liked the restaurant. Nice atmosphere, good food, great prices for the value, I’ll definitely be going back. If you haven’t been it’s off Campbell,
on the South end of town.

Brownie Tips: Everyone always asks me to bring my chocolate brownies to events, like the NASCAR party on Sunday! The truth is my brownies are ‘Fudge’ box brownies by Pillsbury or Duncan Hines! What do I do that’s different? Not that much, the ingredients are exactly what’s on the box. Once in a while I add a tad more water. Here are the biggest tips:
1. I always bake 2 boxes at once and they are prepared in a lasagna pan.
The dimensions on a lasagna pan can vary slightly:
Emile Henry: 13 x 9 x 2.95
OXO: 15 x 9.5 x 2.5
PYREX: Varies, most are 13 x 9
2. The pan size renders a depth of brownie that is just perfect.
3. Do a good job spraying the pan.
4. Cooling & cutting: Make sure the brownies are 100% cool, then use a plastic knife or a
Cheese knife coated with plastic to cut. Don’t get in a hurry when you slice them!
5. I follow the timing on the box, but I always rely upon the toothpick test, it doesn’t fail.
That’s it, expect great feedback. If you don’t own a lasagna pan it’s worth the investment because of the size! Of course it’s perfect for lasagna, but you’ll find yourself using it more often than you think.

Enjoy this enticing salad and easy brownie tips. I’d like to share my ‘hot’ recipe for spinach and bow tie pasta, but I only have it in hard copy form and locating it may take a bit of time!!!!!
I’ll try, it also has chicken in it.

It is so simple to make someone’s day. Last week I told someone at work to go home at 3:30 instead of 4:30, because they had such an outstanding day at work. It doesn’t take much to bring a lift to someone’s step or to warm the spirit. Coffee anyone?

Simply yours, The Covered Dish.


This salad is easy, quick, healthy, and tossed in the most addictive teriyaki vinaigrette dressing!
• 8 ounces bowtie pasta noodles
• 4 cups spinach leaves
• ½ cup craisins
• ⅓ cup cashews or Diamond of California Pine Nuts
• 1 4-ounce can mandarin oranges, drained
• ¼ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
• Dressing:
• ⅓ cup teriyaki sauce (the thicker, the better!)
• ⅓ cup rice wine vinegar (may sub apple cider vinegar)
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon onion powder (if you have it)
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• ½ cup oil (such as vegetable oil, canola oil, olive oil)
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
2. While pasta is boiling, prepare the dressing. In a jar combine all dressing ingredients. Cover and shake to combine. Chill until ready to use.
3. In a large bowl toss together pasta, spinach, raisins, nuts, mandarin oranges, and cilantro. Just before serving pour dressing over salad, toss, and serve.
If possible, opt for a thicker teriyaki sauce. My favorite brand is Kikkoman.
Recipe inspired by The Style Sisters.
A huge thank you to Diamond of California Nuts for sponsored this awesome salad recipe!


  1. Wish I had your mailing address but found this site. Hope you receive.
    Thank you so much in sending those delicious sandwiches. What a surprise.


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