This salad is full of nutrients and immunity boosting ingredients!
Anytime you make a salad there are no strict rules. I think sometimes with recipes there can be anxiety around making the dish perfect and following a recipe as closely as possible. Heck, I still feel that way sometimes. If you want to swap an ingredient, or add more or less of something to your liking, do it--you will love this salad even more!
Yields 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1 bag of pre-washed spinach
- 12 oz cooked chicken breast (I used fit-flavors Pure Protein - Herb Chicken)
- 1 C or 3 oz of shredded carrots
- 10 strawberries - washed & quartered
- 2 oranges - peeled and cut into 8 pieces each
- ⅓ C toasted pecans
Yields about 12 servings (one serving is 1.5Tbsp)
Prep time: 5 minutes
- ¼ C apple cider vinegar
- ¾ C olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Clean your strawberries and cut into 4 pieces each.
- Peel your oranges and cut into 8 pieces each.
- Put your spinach in a bowl and top with chicken, carrots, strawberries and nuts.
- In a separate bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, mustard, sweetener and seasonings. Whisk in olive oil with a fork or small whisk.
- Put dressing on salad.
- Keep leftover dressing for up to one month in the cabinet.
- Add ½ serving of blue cheese or feta to add a tang.
- I like to use a very small whisk when making dressings. This is my favorite one. Also great for scrambling eggs.
Ingredient Health Benefits
Spinach - Considered a superfood, spinach is high in vitamins A, C, and K and minerals folic acid, calcium and iron. Nutrients such as vitamin C are essential in supporting a healthy immune system and act as an antioxidant to protect cells.
Carrots - Carrots are known for their high amounts of vitamin A, which is important for healthy vision, skin and nails, as well as boosting your immune system and maintaining organ function.
Strawberries - Especially needed for immune function, strawberries are high in antioxidants like pelargonidin, ellagic acid, ellagitannins, and procyanidins. They contain fiber, helping stabilize blood sugar levels, promoting bowel regularity and getting rid of toxins from the GI tract.
Oranges - While all citrus fruits are packed with vitamin C, oranges in particular contain an important nutrient called Choline. Choline helps with sleep and memory, both important while maintaining a healthy immune system.
Pecans - These heart healthy nuts contain monounsaturated fats such as oleic acid along with phenolic antioxidants to help reduce oxidative stress on the body. Pecans provide anti-inflammatory benefits and help with digestion.
Apple cider vinegar - Apple cider vinegar is loaded with healthy bacteria and probiotics to support a healthy immune system.
Olive oil - Containing high sources of heart healthy unsaturated fats, olive oil has shown to have positive benefits on immunocompromised people.
Honey - Honey has been used for hundreds of years as a natural way to soothe sore throats and is great to utilize when feeling ill. Additionally, honey contains tons of antioxidants and anti-microbial properties to help fight viruses and infections.