Thanks to some spring rain and mild temperatures my little garden is already starting to produce spinach and green onions. Yay! I’ve been working on finishing my bachelors degree in nutrition and with a busy family I’m so glad my garden has been able to handle some neglect – I mean just look at this beautiful salad it helped make! Thanks to some homemade strawberry jam with no refined sugar it made the Strawberry Vinaigrette so simple and healthy. Strawberries and spinach are both full of vitamin C and B6, folate, magnesium, fiber, and a handful of other vitamins and essential minerals.
4 cups crushed strawberries
1.5 cups honey or 1 – 2 tsp. stevia powder or liquid
2/3 cup water
2 – 3 tbsp. chia seeds
1 package fruit pectin for “less or no sugar needed recipes”
Follow the directions on the pectin package for the freezer jam.
As I’ve studied the biology and chemistry of the body and elements that effect our cells, and consequently our lives, I keep thinking how easy it is to neglect the things that we need most for nourishment (I’m talking physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual). It made me think of this quote I read once…
When the stresses of life weigh too heavily on our minds and hearts (whether our consciousness is aware of it or not) it will manifest as not just an emotional or mental problem, but goes much deeper. The very cells of our bodies respond with a weakened ability to accomplish their purposes in maintaining homeostasis or balance. Unlike my garden whose ability to thrive is not solely dependent on my health, the very cells and activities that keep cell mutations or disease from developing can be compromised when neglected. Thankfully, the opposite is also true. The more positively mindful we are at nourishing ourselves in all areas the more we allow and encourage the cells throughout the entire body to respond to fulfill their proper function.
So even though the other night we enjoyed a variety of reheated leftovers, I took a minute to make this delicious immune boosting salad to go along with it and then laughed and talked while we ate it. It was the best medicine for this momma who is just as guilty as any for neglecting to clean out the build-up of weights on my mind and heart.
Spring Salad and Strawberry Vinaigrette
Author: Melissa Cornwall
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4 - 6
Sweet and tangy strawberry vinaigrette is made from homemade no refined sugar strawberry jam and drizzled over an array of delicious and healthful veggies and fresh strawberries! A little feta cheese crumbled on top adds just the right amount of salty goodness, but can be substituted for a nut cheese for a vegan alternative.
- 10 oz. spinach, kale, and red or green chard mix
- 1 large avocado, pitted and sliced
- handful strawberries, stems trimmed and sliced
- 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 2 tbsp. feta cheese, crumbled
- ⅓ cup no refined sugar strawberry and chia seed jam
- 2½ tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp. water
- pinch of course sea salt
- Place all the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a glass jar. Put the lid on a shake until everything is well blended.
- Rinse, slice, and toss all the ingredients for the salad and put them in a bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top (or a yummy cashew cheese for a vegan alternative), or have the dressing on the side for everyone to drizzle as they like.