A few years ago my friend Amy completely revamped her health by adding in exercise and changing the way she ate. Two years later, she’s lost a ton of weight (ten sizes!) and is now a marathon runner. When I started trying to get my health back after James was born, she was not only my inspiration but an incredible resource. She told me what kind of running shoes were best, took me with her to different work outs (I wish Bar Method was closer to my house!), and sent me tons of recipes. She gave me permission to share this salad as it’s one of my favorites. It’s healthy, delicious, and can easily serve a few or an entire party (I served it at my cousin’s wedding shower).
Chopped red onion
Raw pecans, crumbled
Dressing of your choice (Amy suggests organic honey mustard, I like vinaigrettes)
One of the best parts of this salad is how easy it is to tweak. I’ve used candied pecans, steak, different berries and several kinds of dressings. I try to keep it pretty healthy, though, and the ingredients listed above are my favorites.
I’ll usually make a few chicken breasts at the beginning of the week, and after I put some aside for kids’ lunches I shred the rest and store it in Tupperware so I can make the salad all week long.
Annabel calls it “The Pretty Salad,” and I agree.
Even my kids like it! They don’t always eat the onions, but I still consider it a victory.
I always used to joke that “Salad is what food eats,” but this salad definitely goes in my exception column. I’d love more easy salad recs!
I love this salad (it is very good with grilled chicken or shrimp) http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/salads/spring-greens-with-pears-sugared-walnuts-gorgonzola/
I am a huge fan of strawberry and spinach together. I do this exact salad but with raw walnuts. So yum!!
Amy K. says:
Yeah! I love that recipes are making a comeback on the blog!
I make one very similar (with champagne dressing too!) but try adding a little feta. It adds some calories, but delicious!
Sara Mc. says:
I’m a quesadilla fanatic but since I’m eating healthier (mostly) these days, they are off the menu. That is until I decided to put the ingredients on fresh spinach instead of inside a tortilla. Cook the Chicken, onions, peppers like you would for a regular quesadilla and the just put it on top of the spinach. I use fresh salsa, or the stuff in a jar, instead of dressing. Sometimes I add sour cream and you have to have guacamole. It’s delicious and I still feel like I’m getting my quesadilla fix. Btw, I’ve lost 112lbs in 11 months so kudos to your friend. I know how hard she had to work to get where she is.
Yum! Will have to do this!
Have you tried either spinach or Bibb lettuce with fresh roasted beets, blood oranges (or regular if blood aren’t available), crumbled pecans, a light sprinkling of bleu cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette? For a meal, add shredded chicken or steak.
I love pasta salad, but that’s not healthy so I found an awesome substitute. Quinoa! I love it. It’s super good for you and it can add some good heft to a salad. You can make it with any theme in mind! Greek? Add tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta, kalamata olives. Italian? Add tomatoes, different colored bell peppers, red onion, parsley, etc. Basically make it what you want. The key is to make sure that you salt your quinoa properly. It can be very bland and flavorless, so you want to dress it well. I made a TON for a shower and I had a HUGE serving bowl leftover. I ate it for the rest of that week and it was good to the last bite almost a week later. I really enjoy vinegar, so I just dressed it with salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. Try it!
If you like goat cheese, it would be wonderful in this salad! And I’m with your kids…ditch the onions! Hehe.
There is a recipe in The Fresh & Green Table for a grilled sesame-ginger asparagus and portobello salad with napa-spinach slaw. Basically you marinate everything in a mix of sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce & sesame seeds, grill it, and serve it over lettuce. Or don’t – it’s fine without. I added some sesame seeds and an avocado.
My go-to salad all summer has been super simple: baby spinach, cooked chicken, cubed or sliced avocado, blue cheese, and a slice or two of bacon crumbled on top. You can add some cherry tomatoes if you’re into that sort of thing. I dress it with freshly ground salt and pepper and just a tiny bit of olive oil. My boyfriend loves this salad, and I’ve been known to eat it with a whole avocado on top when I was too lazy to cook some chicken!
LOVE this! Not a big spinach fan, but I’d totally make it with a leafy lettuce. Must try it!!
This sounds whack, but seriously… it’s frigging delicious.
I sub cucumber for celery, and I never seem to have dill, but the sweet corn and blueberries go amazing well with feta dressing and the yummy chicken.
I used to not eat salad because I HATE lettuce. The texture makes me gag, and to me it tastes nasty. Someone suggested I try spinach salads, and I was hooked.
This sounds delightful, but I’d leave out the onion. And I’m not sure what kind of dressing to use. I’m a ranch girl through and through, but I don’t think it’d go with this salad well. Anyone have suggestions??
Strawberry Vinaigrette. It certainly goes well with a protein-less version of this salad.
My one friend makes a salad like this but she uses a strawberry poppyseed dressing that is amazing. I don’t know the brand name–I think it might be Simply Dressed, but I am not sure–and I highly recommend it with the strawberry salad goodness!
I have to ask how the Trader Joes Champagne Vinaigrette is… I can no longer find my absolute favorite light champagne vinaigrette, so I need a new one. I feel like a lot of light dressings end up tasting way too sugary and I like mine to be more vinegary than anything else. Please let me know what you think. Thanks!
Also, if you like kale & Brussels sprouts, then you should try this salad… http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Kale-Brussels-Sprout-Salad-368295
I love Marzetti’s simply dressed light red wine italian vinaigrette. I do spinach AND romaine (I just can’t do all spinach), sliced strawberries, and a slice of smoked gouda torn into little pieces. I know the gouda makes it not quite as healthy but what can I say, I love cheese.
I make a protein-less version of this most of the time as a side to chicken dishes. When strawberries aren’t in season (we try to keep food local), I sub dried cranberries for the strawberries.
If you want to get fancy (and I used to, before kids), you can make your own dressing by sauteeing 2 tbs of chopped sweet onions, adding half a glass of red wine and a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, and simmering the whole thing until it’s reduced by half.
We use that homemade dressing on pear Gorgonzola salad too (1 pear, 4 oz crumbled Gorgonzola, half a pound of baby mixed greens), and it makes it taste divine!
I love spinach (and just about any lettuce) and strawberries. I found a recipe for a quick side salad that is sliced up spinach (or I’ll sub in a red-leaf/green-leaf lettuce, depending on what I have), sliced up basil, chopped strawberries and a simple balsamic vinegar reduction — which sounds really fancy, but it’s just taking some balsamic vinegar and cooking it on the stove until it’s reduced by half. For just my husband and me, I’ll cook up about 1/4 c. of the balsamic vinegar (reducing it to about an 1/8 c.). Very tasty!
I also make this salad A LOT:
I have had this salad the past two days for lunch and have loved it! I made some honey mustard chicken breasts for the salad. The fact that I loved it and it doesn’t involve any cheese is huge for me…thanks!
YAY! So glad you like it! I just bought more stuff to make it and I’m already excited about lunch tomorrow.
Tina white says:
What are her recommendations on shoes? Needing new ones and there are SO MANY!
Actually that looks really good! I have put mango and melon and even grapes in my salads but have not tried strawberries… This recipe inspired me to give it a go …