A Boost for Your Spring Salad

Photo by Candace Young

Spring is finally here, and it's the perfect time to enjoy your favourite spring meals.

The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and the sunshine lasts longer. I always look forward to the weather becoming warmer and our frozen world coming back to life. The spring is a gentle reminder that seasons do not last forever and that eventually, flowers will begin to bloom again.  How can this reawakening of a flower relate to our story as women? Are you currently stuck in a career that does not allow for growth? Do you want to get your health back on track but don’t know where to start?  Just like a flower emerging from its winter slumber, so can we as women come into a new season of life. It might take some hard work and sacrifice, but with time you will begin to see the fruition of your efforts and fulfillment of your goals. 

Not only do flowers bloom but so does spring produce! It's time to consume as much nutritional value during this season so look for these fruits and veggies at your local farmer’s market or produce aisle:

Strawberries
Asparagus
Radishes
Peas
Rhubarb
Arugula
Beets
Fava beans
Artichokes
Avocados
Citrus Fruits
Fresh herbs

What better way to incorporate these ingredients than to make a spring salad! Salads are a super-convenient way to get in a couple of servings of vegetables and fruit into your diet. Salads can also be fun, colourful and full of great texture. 

For this healthy recipe, I have created a vegetarian style salad with most of these spring ingredients that contain healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates that will keep you satisfied. 

This winning strawberry fields salad is complex in flavour, yet super simple to make. It provides just the perfect amount of sweetness from the strawberries and honey balsamic vinaigrette, nuttiness from the pecans, creaminess from the avocado and goat cheese, tartness from the green apples, and spiciness from the arugula and radishes. The honey balsamic vinaigrette pairs beautifully with the contrasting flavours and textures of the salad. 

This strawberry fields salad will become your new go-to salad for the spring! Made with fresh spring produce and a bright honey balsamic vinaigrette. A vegetarian and gluten-free option! 

Salad ingredients:
1 cup pecan halves
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 tsp coconut oil
1 cup strawberries (sliced)
1 large handful fresh mixed greens
1 small handful fresh arugula
2 Tbsp goat cheese (crumbled)
1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves
½ cup carrots (shredded)
½ granny smith apple (sliced)
¼ cup radishes (sliced)
½ cup fresh snow peas
½ avocado (sliced)

Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette
½ lemon with zest
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp honey
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to season

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees

  2. Mix coconut oil and sugar and add pecans. Toss until thoroughly coated. Place pecans in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Cook for 5-10 minutes on one side and then flip them and cook for an additional 5-10 Minutes.

  4. While the pecans are roasting, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients until corporated. Have a taste! If you want this to be a little sweeter, add a touch more honey. If you prefer more vinegar, add a touch more balsamic.

  5. Toss dressing with the salad and top with avocado and coconut sugar roasted pecans.