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Fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad with Spiced Pecans

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Fresh strawberries are in season at farms all around our home, and after out strawberry picking adventure, I’ve been using strawberries in as many meals as possible. One of my favorite ways to use fruit, especially strawberries, is in salads. My husband likes his salads loaded with veggies, bacon, cheese, egg, croutons… the list goes on with no fruit in sight. I, on the other hand, like a simpler salad, and this strawberry spinach salad is one of the best.

 

spinach salad with fresh strawberries, cucumber, and feta on white plate

Strawberry Spinach Salad

First, spinach is such a powerhouse of nutrition, full of iron, vitamin C, calcium (for all of you dairy-free folks out there), and vitamin K. (And a great addition to the fall garden, no less.) Strawberries aren’t exactly a slouch when it comes to the nutritional value either; they’re a great source of vitamin C and manganese. There’s also fiber to be found in both of these tasty ingredients, so eat up and rest assured you’re doing your body a favor.

Now, everyone has preferences for what they like on salads, but the combination of juicy strawberries, leafy spinach, crisp and crunchy cucumbers, creamy goat cheese, and sweet spiced pecans in this salad are a winner, winner, chicken dinner. In fact, we had this salad along with our chicken for dinner last night, so the rhyme is not all fluff. The spiced pecans are my Granny’s recipe, and if you can wait until they cool to start eating them then I’ll give you a medal. It’s worth a little burn on the tongue to eat these fresh out of the oven. So, let’s get started on how to impress your friends and family by whipping this up to go with dinner.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with Spiced Pecans Ingredients

  • 1 cup spiced nuts (recipe below)
  • 8 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe below)

Spiced Pecans

  • 4 cups pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 egg white

Poppyseed Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Fresh Spinach Salad Recipe

  1. Start with the pecans. Beat one egg white with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

egg whites

2. Add 4 cups of pecans to the egg whites and fold to coat the nuts. coated pecans3. Combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and a few dashes of cayenne pepper in a bowl and pour over nuts. Mix until all nuts are coated and there is no sugar mix at the bottom of the bowl.

4. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Let cool on sheet, while you snack on them and assemble your salad. (Store extra nuts in an airtight container.)candied pecans

5. For the salad, wash and spin dry your spinach leaves, place in large bowl or platter. Peel a seedless cucumber, halve and then slice. Top strawberries, cut in half and slice. Spread cucumber and strawberry slices on top of spinach leaves. chopped ingredients

6. Using a fork or your fingers, break off small dollops of goat cheese and place over the salad. It’s a messy job but someone has to do it… strawberry salad

7. Combine all dressing ingredients in a pint mason jar and shake to mix. Pour over salad, toss, and top with spiced pecans. Serve immediately. 

I usually serve this salad with a poppyseed dressing that adds a nice sweetness to compliment the pecans and strawberries. Now, I have my full of oil and sugar recipe, but I’ve recently stumbled upon a lighter version from Love Grows Wild, made with greek yogurt and honey, and I just couldn’t NOT share it. Do yourself a favor and check out her recipe here. We used this dressing on our salad last night and it was delicious!

I’ll have more strawberry recipes coming this week, but I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell me how you like to use fresh strawberries in your cooking!

Other Fresh Spinach Recipes to Enjoy:

Pomegranate Spinach Salad

Leprechaun Milk

Greek Yogurt Strawberry Smoothie

Fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad with Spiced Pecans

Fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad with Spiced Pecans

Nutritious spinach, sweet strawberries, and creamy goat cheese combine with sweet and crunchy pecans for this delicious and fresh salad. Topped with homemade poppyseed dressing, and you have a fantastic salad in no time.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup spiced nuts (recipe below)
  • 8 oz fresh baby spinach
  • 1 seedless cucumber
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • Poppy Seed Dressing (recipe below)
  • Spiced Pecans
  • 4 cups pecans
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 egg white
  • Poppyseed Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

    1. Start with the pecans. Beat one egg white with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
    2. Add 4 cups of pecans to the egg whites and fold to coat the nuts. 
    3. Combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and a few dashes of cayenne pepper in a bowl and pour over nuts. Mix until all nuts are coated and there is no sugar mix at the bottom of the bowl.
    4. Spread onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Let cool on sheet, while you snack on them and assemble your salad. (Store extra nuts in an airtight container.)
    5. For the salad, wash and spin dry your spinach leaves, place in large bowl or platter. Peel a seedless cucumber, halve and then slice. Top strawberries, cut in half and slice. Spread cucumber and strawberry slices on top of spinach leaves. 
    6. Using a fork or your fingers, break off small dollops of goat cheese and place over the salad. It's a messy job but someone has to do it...
    7. Combine all dressing ingredients in a pint mason jar and shake to mix. Pour over salad, toss, and top with spiced pecans. Serve immediately. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 675Total Fat: 53gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 44gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 358mgCarbohydrates: 46gFiber: 8gSugar: 34gProtein: 13g
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