This Strawberry Pecan Salad is definitely in the running for my favourite salad ever! It’s a colourful mix of spinach, quinoa, cucumber, avocado, strawberries, and goat cheese topped with sweet, nutty pecans. Each bite is packed with the sweetness of candied pecans and strawberries, and the savoury taste of avocados and goat cheese. The other night, I packed a bowl of this for supper AND layered ingredients into a few salad jars for the week ahead. I think Health Dish might just become a one-stop shop for salad jars!
In the past, my salads rotated between an assortment of greens, cucumber, and diced tomatoes. I rarely experimented with adding fruit, nuts, cheese or different salad dressings. In time, I picked up ways to load my salads with more nutrition and antioxidants. Different foods are rich in their own unique antioxidants, so I always make a point of varying the toppings on my salad. I might add berries in the summer, apples in the fall, and squash in the winter.
Since I can never commit to finishing a whole bottle of salad dressing, I like to make my own! It only requires a few simple ingredients I always have on hand like lemons and olive oil, and maybe a run to the bulk bins for things like poppy seeds! This Lemon Poppyseed Dressing makes enough for 4 salads. Blend together the juice of one medium lemon, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of honey, 2 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds, and a pinch of salt and pepper!
One serving of Strawberry Pecan Salad provides 440 calories, 12 grams protein, and 8 grams fiber. Avocados provide a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat. Studies show this fat helps lower LDL cholesterol and raise healthy HDL cholesterol while providing major anti-inflammatory benefits! In fact, a serving of avocado with your salad helps absorb beneficial antioxidants called carotenoids. This salad is also an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B12, and potassium.
- Lemon Poppyseed Salad Dressing (see notes)
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- ½ english cucumber, diced
- 1 avocado diced
- 9 small-medium strawberries, sliced
- 4 tablespoons goat cheese
- Spinach, washed and completely dried
- 4 tablespoons candied, chopped pecans (substitute: chopped pecans)
- To Assemble Salad Jars: at the bottom of a pint-sized mason jar, layer 2 tablespoons Lemon Poppyseed Dressing, ¼ cup quinoa, a layer of English Cucumber, ¼ diced avocado, a layer of sliced strawberries, and 1 tablespoon of goat cheese. Pack in washed and dried spinach. Add 1 tablespoon of pecans. Cover with lid.
- You can also assemble this salad in a bowl. Toss and serve!