When spring is in the air and fresh strawberries starting to hit the supermarket shelves, I look forward to making spinach strawberry salad. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see a surplus of organic strawberries in the market this morning, so I took advantage of the sale. With strawberries in season, it seemed the perfect time for a spinach strawberry salad recipe.
But, it's important to remember the dirty dozen when making salads this spring and summer. Although I always try to buy organic, certain fruits and vegetables are a must in the organic section.
Strawberries and spinach, for example, contain the highest amount of pesticides, so buying organic is a MUST! So, buy organic when making a spinach strawberry salad.
LIST OF DIRTY DOZEN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Even though I always try to buy organic, sometimes, it just isn't available. Then, I choose non-organic produce with thick skin, such as pineapple, bananas, or onions, but I always try to buy organic first.
INGREDIENTS IN SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD
The flavors you choose for the combination of salad ingredients make a salad incredible. For instance, Simple Rosemary Infused Pickled Red Onions provide a sweet and tangy taste when mixed with greens, while the strawberries give a subtle, sweet taste. The addition of red quinoa, for example, gives a nutty flavor without adding nuts to the spinach strawberry salad.
- 2 cups cooked red quinoa (or any color works)
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion or Simple Rosemary Infused Pickled Red Onions
- 8 cups organic raw baby spinach
- 16-ounce bag washed Organic Spinach (8 cups)
- 4 cups Organic Strawberries, stem removed and sliced thin
- 1 English cucumber, cut into coins
- 1 cup, chopped Walnuts (optional)
HOW TO COOK QUINOA PERFECT EVERY TIME FOR SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD
To make the most of every salad, my goal is to include incredible ingredients with the best nutritional value. Quinoa, for instance, is one of my favorite salad ingredients. Not only does it provide a nutty flavor, but it is also high in protein.
For some reason, people struggle when cooking quinoa. So, if you need a few tips, check out How to Cook Quinoa. Once the quinoa is cooked, it is best to cool completely before adding to a cold salad.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE THE SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD IN ADVANCE TO KEEP IT FRESH
Usually, I like to prep my dinners or lunches in advance. For that reason, it is important to dress this salad in advance. Also, if using Simple Rosemary Infused Pickled Red Onions, I like to lay them on a paper towel to drain before I add them to the spinach strawberry salad. Another tip is to make a well in the middle of the spinach for the quinoa, so all the ingredients stay fresh and don't get soggy.
Once the quinoa is cool, placing the quinoa inside the well allows it to stay fresh. Then, I assemble the rest of the ingredients around the bowl. Since the strawberries highlight this spinach strawberry salad, I dispersed the strawberries on both sides of the bowl.
OTHER POSSIBLE INGREDIENTS TO ADD TO THE SPINACH STRAWBERRY SALAD RECIPE
This particular salad is spinach-based, but feel free to add any of your favorite greens. Spinach is a superfood loaded with tons of nutrients in a low-calorie package. Dark, leafy greens like spinach are important for skin, hair, and bone health. Spinach also provides protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals. The health benefits are endless.
- Tofu Feta Cheese
- Dried cranberries
TWO DRESSING OPTIONS: PICK YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR
Of course, the dressing brings it all together, which is my favorite part. Since I do not cook with oil, and I LOVE dressing, I couldn't make up my mind, so I made two different dressing to choose from. I don't know which one I like better, so I made both and used a little of each to see which one was the winner.
When trying to eat healthily, many people make the mistake of using a lot of fatty dressing. The healthy salad ends up having more calories and fat than a heavy, fattening meal. Although the intention of eating healthy exists, it goes right out the window with the fat-laden dressing. And we all love a lot of dressing.
OIL-FREE POPPYSEED DRESSING:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Pure Maple Syrup or Date Syrup
- Poppy Seeds
- Unsweetened Unflavored Plant Milk
- Coconut Flour
- Lemon juice
- Dijon Mustard
- Garlic Powder
- Fresh Ground Pepper
- Pink Himalayan Salt
OIL-FREE STRAWBERRY BALSAMIC DRESSING
- Organic strawberries
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
I LOVE the combination of sweet and crunch in every bite. And, if you want to pair it with a great spring soup, try Quinoa Vegetable Soup.
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR SALADS TO WELCOME SPRING, CHECK OUT THESE RECIPES
- Vegan Potato Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Lentil Salad
- Grilled Caesar Salad
- Bean Salad
- Tabouli Salad
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad
- Vegan Egg Salad
- Vegan Taco Salad
- Quinoa Salad
- Fattoush Salad
- Vegan Waldorf Salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad with OMG Oil-Free Dressing
Spinach Strawberry Salad
- 16 ounces Organic Spinach washed (8 cups)
- 1 cup pickled red onions or raw purple onions
- 4 cups Organic Strawberries stem removed and sliced thin
- 1 English cucumber cut into coins
- 1 cup chopped Walnuts (optional)
- 2 cups cooked red quinoa or quinoa of choice
Oil-Free Poppyseed Dressing:
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup
- 3 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
- ¼ cup Unsweetened Unflavored Plant Milk
- 3 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
- 2 teaspoons Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt
Oil-free Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
- 1 cup fresh organic strawberries
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
- 3 Tablespoons water
Oil-Free Poppyseed Dressing:
- Add all ingredients except for the poppyseeds to a small blender. I used my single cup Nutri-bullet blender.
- The flour is used to thicken the dressing, so you don't need to add any vegan mayo or other high-calorie thickeners.
- Add the poppyseeds and shake.
- Refrigerate until ready to use.
Strawberry Balsamic Dressing
- Combine ingredients in a single cup blender
- Blend on high until smooth
- Place dressing in the refrigerator until ready to dress the salad
- Wash and stem spinach.
- I get it fresh at the farmer's market, but I have to cut some of the long stems.
- You can buy it already washed and prepared in the organic section of your supermarket.
- Fill each bowl with at least half spinach or a choice of greens, creating a well in the middle.
- Prepare Other Vegetables and Fruits:Wash and slice onions, cucumbers, and strawberries.
- If using pickled onions, make sure you drain and dry on a paper towel before adding the strawberry spinach salad.
- Add Ingredients to Salad Bowl:Surround the bowl with spinach, creating a well in the middle
- Add cook quinoa into the middle
- Evenly distribute the rest of the ingredients on the four bowls, making sure to scatter the ingredients to divide the cut vegetables and fruits equally.
- Add the nuts last (optional) (do not put nuts on until it is time to serve if making ahead of time).
You don't want soggy nuts.
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂