Spinach and Strawberry Salad

One of the things I love most about this time of year is the fresh produce that appears everywhere! And nothing says “summer” more than fresh strawberries. Whether you grow them yourself, pick them at a patch, or buy them from the grocery store, strawberries have to be one of the best things about this season.

For a super easy, healthy supper (or a side dish for the many cookouts that mark this season), you’ll love this spinach salad. All of the ingredients are inexpensive, healthy, easy to prep, and readily available this time of year (which also makes them more affordable). As always, this recipe is gluten free with options for dairy free and vegetarian or vegan diets.

Recipe

Serves 4-6, depending on serving size

  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup chopped almonds
  • Dressing: 6 Tbsp olive oil, 4 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette, 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp honey, 2 tsp dried basil, salt and pepper to taste

In a large salad bowl, add spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, and almonds.

In a separate bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients (or combine ingredients in a glass jar and shake).

Pour over salad, and toss to combine.

Notes

An easy option for spinach is to purchase pre-washed, packaged baby spinach. It’s often extremely affordable (and if you have leftover spinach, throw it in your freezer to be used in soups or pasta dishes). If you like to garden, spinach is also very easy to grow in a garden or in pots for a fresh harvest throughout the season.

In addition to strawberries, this salad is great with blueberries, raspberries, oranges, or whatever fresh fruit you prefer most. In mid-summer when both blueberries and strawberries are ready for harvest, I love to make a “red-white-and-blue” version of this salad with both kinds of berries.

If you have a nut allergy, feel free to omit the almonds. If you still want something with a little crunch, you could substitute crushed gluten free pretzels, toasted oats, or homemade croutons. This recipe is also great with different kinds of nuts, such as pecans or walnuts.

To chop the almonds easily, consider using a slap chop or food processor. Or skip chopping completely, and use whole nuts!

If you are dairy-free, the goat cheese can be omitted. If you eat dairy but don’t particularly like goat cheese, you could try substituting feta, or adding a little plain Greek yogurt to the dressing instead of the goat cheese.

For a vegan option, simply omit the honey or substitute with an equal amount of your choice of sweetener: maple syrup, stevia, monk fruit, etc. If you prefer your dressing less tangy, simply adjust up the amount of sweetener, or use less balsamic.

Enjoy!

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