Strawberry Spinach Salad

I’m trying to learn not to be a salad hater.

But it’s difficult.  I just don’t like salads.  They are boring.  I hate lettuce bones (the spines in iceberg lettuce).  Salad dressing with a creamy base completely grosses me out–especially Waldorf dressing (sorry, Tharrie!).

But–they are so good for you!  And all the bloggers I read love salads.  And they are trendy! 

I want to be trendy.  I want to bring salad to school with my dressing in a separate container so the leaves don’t wilt.  That’s cool.

So here’s my first (incredibly successful) attempt.  A classmate of mine reminded me how amazing salads can be when you combine baby spinach leaves and strawberries.  With a few other additions, this salad became my dinner.  It did not last long. 

Even Fritz felt full afterwards (and there was not a single lettuce bone in sight!).

Strawberry Spinach Salad

  • 2 (giant) handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • 4 strawberries, sliced vertically
  • 1-2 corn tortillas, baked until browned and crispy (really! seriously!)
  • 1/8 C raw walnuts
  • 1/2 grilled chicken breast, sliced into strips
  • balsamic dressing

Step one: make your husband grill the chicken for you or alternate step one: finally learn how to use the gas grill on your own (you are a doctoral student, for God’s sake!).  I went with the former–thanks, Fritz!

However, do put the chicken inside a freezer bag and pound it out flat with a saucepan first–that makes it grill faster so it’s nice and juicy by the time it’s cooked.  Dried out chicken will simply not do when I’m trying to learn to like a salad.  Season with salt and pepper and grill it up beautifully.

Assemble the salad–spinach, strawberries, and walnuts.  Crush up the tortilla and sprinkle over the top. 

I’m not kidding when I say that was the best-tasting crunchy texture ever.  I surprised myself with that idea, but I had some going stale from the open-faced tacos we had a few nights ago.  They stayed crunchy throughout the whole salad, and when browned, were so nutty and delicious that I kept asking Fritz if he could believe how good it all was.

Top with the grilled chicken, of course.  There is a man in the house, after all, and he just doesn’t feel complete without some sort of animal protein.

 Drizzle some balsamic right over the top.


So good!  I ate the whole bowl (even scraped up the remainders).  That is a salad first for me.  A salad as a meal?  That was big enough–and I still didn’t get sick of it?  I can’t wait to have more tomorrow.

What are your best salad combos?  I need inspiration!


Filed under Side Dishes

15 responses to “Strawberry Spinach Salad

  1. this is my ABSOLUTE favorite salad recipe!
    please stop by and say hi.

  2. Your salad is absolutely GORGEOUS! 😀

    I like Green Smoothies myself. 🙂

  3. Good for you for not giving up on salads! I always tell people not to say the don’t like something too quickly. Sometimes it’s just the way it’s prepared that’s the problem and not the food itself. Bravo!

  4. That salad looks great! One of my favorites is spinach, chicken, dried cranberries, walnuts, and blue cheese with balsamic vinaigrette. That was my lunch today…with the dressing in a little container on the side. 😉

  5. Erin

    So… apparently I got the salad loving genes in the family. I like spinach too and strawberries, too, but I add candied walnuts, feta cheese, and raspberry vinagrette. YUM!

    I also love BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad. Lightly coat lettuce with ranch dressing (emphasis on LIGHTLY), then top with corn, tomatoes, tortilla chips, black beans, avocado, olives, and whatever else you would like!

    Or… how about a Thai Crunch Chicken Salad? Lettuce with edamame, mandarin oranges, crispy Asian noodles, chicken (with some Thai curry seasoning), and a nice Thai peanut dressing.

    YUM! I ♥ salad! I hope you will learn to love it too. 🙂

  6. Jennifer Trask

    I’ve been making this same type of salad lately except I also add crumbled goat cheese, I use a mixed salad dressing of 2/3 newmans parmesan and herb vinegrette (something like that) and 1/3 a strawberry hazelnut dressing. My new favorite thing is mixing dressings. I use the big organic box of lettuce so I don’t get any of those nasty spines and use scissors to cut into mouth size bites. I also have been adding ham because I have it left over from Easter. Another good salad is a craisin/blue cheese. Good Luck!

  7. Paulien van den Burg

    Dear lauren,
    My all-time-favorite-summer-salad is from Nigella Lawson:

    Please do try!
    Greetings from Holland,

  8. Angela

    I suggest adding poppy seeds to this salad. I love poppy seeds, strawberries and spinach in a salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

  9. Salads are not boring!
    This is a lovely one.

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