Ode to the Delicious Summer Salad

main dishes salads side dishes vegan recipes vegetarian recipes Jun 06, 2019
Ode to the Delicious Summer Salad

I LOVE a good salad. And summer is the perfect time for salad lovers. The hot days pair perfectly with the cool, crispy, crunchy bites salads are known for.

Salads sometimes get a bad wrap. I mean, I can totally understand if you think of those pitiful iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber only salads we used to eat back in the day. You were hungry before you ate it and guess what? You were hungry when you finished. Nothing interesting or filling, just boring iceberg.

But boy have salads made a comeback! These days they’re filled with protein, grains and all types of fun goodness to satisfy your tastebuds and keep you full too.

Side note: Salads have become extremely popular. Which is great! Buuuut, as with a lot of food in America, we’ve taken things too far. Adding in unnecessary unhealthy ingredients turning something good for you into something you should avoid. For example, the Oriental Chicken Salad from Applebee’s that my Mama and I used to eat basically every single time we went. It’s super yummy and I really thought (outside of the friend chicken) that I basically was. Clearly I was mistaken…

Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad

1400 calories

99 grams of fat

42 grams of sugar

WHY?!?! No, seriously. Why would a salad be THAT bad for you? Applebees has some serious explaining to do. But sadly they aren’t alone. Be leery of restaurant salads. Check the calories and fats at the very least. And when you’re at the salad bar, try to avoid adding buckets of ranch dressing, cheese, bacon, croutons and fried chicken. Otherwise your salad can be just as unhealthy as a trip to McDonalds.

Back on the healthy salad front, last week I was obsessed with this quinoa salad. I literally ate it everyday.

This week I’ve got a new obsession. It’s full of of summer seasonal goodness like strawberries and spinach. The avocado adds a dreamy creaminess. The super easy homemade poppyseed dressing brings the zing. I can’t get enough so of course I had to share it with you.

And just like last week’s salad it’s super versatile. Don’t have strawberries? Add in some blueberries? Only have walnuts? Toast ’em up and toss ’em in. Throw in some quinoa for an extra protein boost. For my cheese lover’s, this salad would be outstanding with a bit of feta, blue cheese or shaved parmesan. I used my favorite Follow Your Heart plant-based cheese and it was amazing. The salty bite paired with the juicy sweet fruit is a win.

Friends, summer is for salads so dig in!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Ready in: 15 Mins Serves: 2



  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 pint of strawberries, sliced
  • 1 avocado, diced and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup of sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 small red onion or 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp Follow your heart parmesan cheese (or blue cheese, feta or shaved parmesan)


  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or more to taste (I always add more)
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp poppy seeds
  •  pinch of ground dry mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a bowl. Or add ingredients to a mason jar, secure lid and shake until combined (this is my favorite method). Taste dressing and add necessary additional ingredients (more vinegar, salt and pepper, etc)
  2. Assemble salad ingredients (except for the avocado) in a large bowl.
  3. Add in desired amount of dressing and combine.
  4. Add in avocado and a pinch more sea salt. Stir gently to mix.

How to toast sliced almonds: Toast in a 350F oven in a single layer on a sheet pan for about 5 minutes, checking every minutes (after the 3 minute mark) to shake pan and ensure they don’t burn.

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