This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Organic Choice for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Feels more and more like spring with every bite of this fruity spinach salad with barley and cinnamon vinaigrette!
spinach salad with barley and cinnamon vinaigrette

Spring is sprunging.

I know, not because the temps are starting to get warmer, which doesn’t happen in NYC until June when it suddenly goes from 20 and frigid to 95 with 100% humidity, but because all my blog friends start talking about all the produce they’re going to grow in their beautiful outdoor gardens, dishing on which heirloom tomato grows the sweetest, and preemptively humble-bragging/complaining about the summer squash that’s going to take over their lives.

While I smile, nod, and try to suppress the pangs of jealousy thumping within my chest.


Don’t get me wrong, city life has its perks (like, for instance, never having to drive anywhere, which makes the whole world safer for both myself and anyone who would have to share the road with me).

But it would be pretty darn super to toss together a big bowl of salad that I could proudly say was brought to life with my own two hands and a pot of soil. Not to mention the obvious health benefits of farm-to-table eating, so that you know and have control over everything you put in your body.

Organic Plant Food photo 100958_01_zps2640dd9f.jpg

I had come to terms with the fact that it just wouldn’t be possible for me, in my 1.5 room apartment, to have a flourishing garden. And then along came Scotts Organic Choice with an alluring offer to provide me with all the tools I would need to achieve just that.

How could I not jump (for joy) at such an opportunity? Obviously I accepted and will be starting my own organic garden this spring! And I am super excited to share with you guys how it is going along the way.


This salad was obviously made from store-bought ingredients, but it’s just the kind of meal I’d love to fawn over with motherly pride, knowing that it came entirely from ingredients I had grown myself. Somehow, with the bursts of fruity flavor from the fresh blueberries and the citrus infused vinaigrette, each bite tastes just like spring should – happy, healthy, and delicious.

A preview of what is to come, I hope.


Spinach Salad with Barley and Cinnamon Vinaigrette
Feels more and more like spring with every bite of this fruity spinach salad with barley and cinnamon vinaigrette!
Yield: 4-6 servings
  • ½ cup barley
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
For the dressing
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp blood orange juice
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Cook the barley according to package directions. Drain and let cool.
  2. For the vinaigrette, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, white wine vinegar, honey, and cinnamon. Add in salt to taste.
  3. Toss together the barley, baby spinach, blueberries, carrots, onion slices, and vinaigrette.
Adapted from McCormick
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bowl

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54 Responses to Spinach Salad with Barley and Cinnamon Vinaigrette

  1. Love the blueberries on this! Soooo ready for spring and salads like this one 🙂

  2. Even having a pretty large yard, I totally fail at growing anything edible. Between the shade and hungry bunnies, usually only a couple of tomatoes actually make to my table. I’ll have to get in my car, drive to the store, and pickup the ingredients for this salad, which is the worst of both worlds… but at least it ends in cinnamon vinaigrette.

  3. Beautiful! Can’t wait to hear about this gardening project. I have to admit, I wish I could grow things too! But I don’t even have a balcony, so I think it’s a lost cause 😉

  4. OMG would die for my own garden… I can’t even keep a basil plant!

  5. Never had a salad with cinnamon in it, but with those blueberries in there too I bet it makes sense to the taste buds!

  6. I’m gonna have a similar post to this verrry soon. I totally get the little apartment – I want a big garden, though!

  7. Those are some mega blueberries, Joanne… but just so you know, I may be in Houston but I don’t see many local veg out yet… patience… but at least we have the nice weather this week. BOOYAH!

  8. cassie says:

    This cinnamon vinaigrette is genius, Joanne!

  9. I’m so jealous of these gardens people are starting too! And warm weather people are experiencing. The weather says we are supposed to get 5-6 inches of snow tonight. Wahhh. This salad sure would make me feel better about life though! Love the colors and all the fresh ingredients!!

  10. best salad ever! I love the cinnamon touch to the vinaigrette!

  11. I cannot wait until it warms up and we have local fresh produce available. Have fun with your apartment garden! I used to have a garden but we have so many wild critters around, everything always gets eaten up, so I’ve taken a hiatus and buy mine from the farmer’s market and belong to a CSA.

  12. So loving the blood orange, honey & cinnamon dressing, Joanne!

    So looking forward to what you grow these next few months!

  13. I have been on such a veggie kick and trying out new salad dressings, but cinnamon vinaigrette is such a great idea! I’m going to try it on my salad today!

  14. Yup, I get it. The weather is warm here in Phoenix but it’s hard (for me) to grow much besides herbs in this soil. Luckily there are plenty of farmers markets around!

  15. Teffy says:

    I never add blueberries to my salad, but I’ve seen it around quite recently! Looks really yummy. I don’t have barley at home, but would maybe brown rice be a good sub?

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  16. The addition of cinnamon is really interesting. This salad says sprng, but cinnamon says it is still a little wintery! LOL!

  17. Julia says:

    Ohhh this looks so fresh and tasty! I’ve been putting cinnamon in my dressings quite a bit this winter and love it so much, I’m just never going to stop! All the ingredients in this healthy salad are calling my name!

  18. What a beautiful bright salad! I’m super jelous of people with gardens too!

  19. cheri says:

    Your salad looks so fresh, even from the market, but the cinnamon vinaigrette… that sounds amazing, I’ve heard it’s supposed to be so good for you. Will you be container gardening?

  20. sandra says:

    I am more than a little intrigued, being a fellow New Yorker myself. I can’t wait to see how they plan to pull this amazing feat off. I will definitely stay tuned!

  21. Pam says:

    I am loving everything about this beautiful salad. The cinnamon vinaigrette has me really intrigued!

  22. sallybr says:

    Cinnamon vinaigrette! WOW, you manage to tease my palate, even though I am IN PARS (as you know…. just teasing you again) – and teasing a palate in Paris is not an easy task…

    well done, my dear… well done!

    (flying home tomorrow…..)

  23. I have definitely got the gardening itch now that we’re seeing some 50 degree days. Unfortunately, I’m notorious for going way overboard in my gardening zeal in the spring then losing interest in mid summer and letting everything fry to a crisp. Oops. This year I think I’ll scale down, but I’ll definitely have some greens on hand for this lovely salad!

  24. I am craving spring and colourful salads so, so, bad!! This looks fabulous friend!

  25. Kate says:

    I’m actually more excited to try the vinaigrette over the salad!

  26. I like the cinnamon vinaigrette looks lovely, delicious looking salad 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  27. This looks fantastic! So many wonderful, fresh flavors!

  28. If it’s any consolation, while my nectarine tree is full of pretty blossoms, my artichoke bush hasn’t done a damn thing in 2 years. Feel better? No? Sorry. You know my weakness for spinach, and therefore this salad!

  29. Shannon says:

    ooh, cinnamon vinaigrette and blueberries! love this salad 🙂 and I can’t wait for more berries!

  30. Chris says:

    I don’t ever use barley except for stews and soups, I like your thinking here!

  31. One glance at your dressing and I’m in love. I’m most certain I’ve never had anything like it. And you know I’m diggin’ the barley today =)

  32. gloria says:

    This look really beautiful!!

  33. Elizabeth E says:

    I’m so intrigued by this – I would never thought of making a cinnamon vinaigrette. It’s def going on the “to make” list. Also, as a fellow apt dweller, I can’t wait to see about your garden adventures.

  34. Abby says:

    yea garden!! Can’t wait to see what you grow. I love this salad, confession I thought the blueberries were olives at first, either way sounds good to me! haha.

  35. Hotly Spiced says:

    I too, am jealous of anyone with a garden. I’ve just managed to clear a little space in our backyard where I’m now growing some herbs. I can’t stop looking at them and I’m adding them to everything. I’m glad to hear your seasons are turning around for you xx

  36. Salad looks so refreshing and spring-like delicious! Can’t wait to try this !

  37. Megan says:

    The salad looks lovely and I can’t wait to hear more about your garden. I attempted my first garden last year and am deciding if I’m going to give it another go this year. It’s so satisfying picking, cooking, and eating something you grew yourself! (But it is a lot of work too!)

  38. I am so with you on the dying to have a garden/trapped downtown situation. I dream of picking vegetables I’ve grown myself each night before dinner (or at least herbs). What a cool project! I can’t wait to hear about it.
    PS. Cinnamon vinaigrette? Be mine forever and ever!

  39. I love the sound of this dressing (and that comes from someone who is not usually a big salad dressing fan!) – cinnamon would be great against these vegetables.

  40. Cinnamon in a vinaigrette? NICE- must give it a try!!

  41. I love eating blueberries in a salad. This one looks great!

  42. elly says:

    Oooh, I’ve never thought to use cinnamon in a vinaigrette. So interesting! Love the look of this salad – I am kindasorta barley obsessed.

  43. cinnamon vinaigrette sounds great!

  44. grace says:

    in all my years of cinnamon obsession, i’ve never come across a cinnamon vinaigrette! bravo, joanne–you’re my favorite. 🙂

  45. Reeni says:

    I’m in total love with this salad! Cinnamon vinaigrette? I think I need to take a bath in that! Or pour myself a big glass. (Maybe I should just make a salad!) 🙂

  46. I just saw the Pioneer Woman make a salad with blueberries in it! Now you?! I definitely must try. 🙂 This salad is so bright and colorful…love that!

  47. Ahhh I can’t get enough Barley lately, so I really need to make this soon. It looks delicious! <3

  48. Such a beautiful salad – I love barley! I used them in my harissa veggie stew and it was so good with them!

  49. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    So fresh and vibrant 🙂 I am so excited for spring foods!

  50. I love this unusual combination instead of the usual boring salads. Who would have thought that Barley and Blueberries would work together. Of course cinnamon is always a delight. Love the photos.

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