Some people with fructose malabsorption have problems with vinegar, so I tweaked the recipe so that you can substitute any vinegar. Use sugar-free raspberry syrup, found in the coffee aisle at the grocery store, to flavor the vinaigrette. Sometimes espresso bars sell it along with whole coffee beans for people who make their own drinks at home. If you prefer to use raspberry vinegar, swap it for the red wine vinegar, add a teaspoon sugar, and omit the raspberry syrup.
The nutrition panel on feta states that it has 0 grams of carbohydrate, which means it’s safe to eat if you’re lactose intolerant. According to “Food Intolerance Management Plan”, by Sue Shepherd, most people with lactose intolerance can handle about 4 grams of lactose per serving of food without experiencing problems (page 29). As always, only eat what your body can tolerate, and only you know what that is.
Read the nutrition facts if you’re substituting another cheese: if it says 0 grams of carbohydrate, then it doesn’t contain lactose and is safe to eat. Cheeses that you can substitute for feta include ricotta salata, Cotija, Manouri, Haloumi or Myzithra.
Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts, Feta and Raspberry Vinaigrette
Serves 4 to 6, Adapted from “Fine Cooking”
1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml) red wine vinegar, or other vinegar or lemon juice
2 teaspoons (10 ml) sugar-free raspberry syrup
1 teaspoon (5 ml) Dijon mustard, or other mustard as tolerated
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) Kosher salt
Dash of black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml) walnut oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) chopped chives
5 cups (5 ounces or 142 grams) spinach or mixed greens as tolerated
1 cup (75 grams) fresh raspberries
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces or 43 grams) crumbled feta, ricotta salata or Cotija cheese
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces or 60 grams) chopped, toasted walnuts
Toast the walnuts and set aside. In a jar with a tightly fitting lid, add the vinegar, mustard, raspberry syrup, salt, and pepper. Briskly stir until combined. Add the olive oil and walnut oil, then cover the jar with the lid and tighten securely. Shake the jar vigorously, until the contents are emulsified.
Put the spinach in a large bowl and pour the vinaigrette on top. Toss the spinach until the leaves are evenly coated. Add the raspberries, cheese and walnuts. Gently toss and serve.