Spring Salad With Berries & Goat Cheese

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I love the time of year when gardens are starting to produce and farmer’s markets have fresh greens for salads. Big salads are my go-to lunch and often my go-to dinner with a glass of kombucha or iced herbal tea on the side.

And guess what… adding berries is a sure way to get my kids excited about salad!

How to Make the Perfect Spring Salad

This salad was inspired by the freshness of the greens and strawberries of spring and early summer. Here’s how we make it:

First: Baby Greens, Strawberries, and Goat Cheese

For the base of this salad I like to use mixed baby greens, but I’ll also use spinach, romaine, or other lettuces if it’s what I have on hand. Then, I toss in some toasted pecans and dried cranberries. Next, I slice some strawberries to put on top and dot the salad with goat cheese. You could also use blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a mix of berries that are in season.

Yup, that’s right. Goat cheese. It seems to be a very polarizing cheese. Some love it and others won’t touch it with a ten-foot pole! If you like, omit the cheese or use one that you like in its place. Feta, gorgonzola, and bleu cheese are all great.

Sometimes I make this salad ahead of time (sans dressing) and then stick it in the fridge until dinner.

Second: Honey Mustard Dressing (or Dressing of Choice)

I use a honey mustard dressing for the spring salad. The sweet tanginess goes perfectly with the fruit and creamy goat cheese and the homemade chicken strips that go on top.

I prefer to avoid a lot of the ingredients in store-bought honey mustard dressing, so I just make my own. I use simple identifiable ingredients and use it as a dressing or dipping sauce. It’s my kids’ favorite condiment for dipping.

The dressing can also be made in advance and refrigerated. Usually, I already have some in the fridge that’s leftover from another meal, which makes making this salad even simpler.

Last Step (Optional): Almond Flour Breaded Chicken Strips

If I’m serving this as a meal, the last thing I do is to make my almond flour breaded chicken strips to top the salad. They’re delicious, grain-free, and everyone in the family loves them. I usually pan fry them on the stove, but you can also drizzle them with oil and bake in the oven.

This berry salad also works great as a side salad without chicken.

Mix It Up!

I serve this salad often, so I change up the dressings or ingredients to keep it interesting. Here are some substitutions we love:

Cheese

Goat cheese is our favorite, but try these variations:

  • Feta
  • Bleu Cheese
  • Gorgonzola
  • Smoked Gouda
  • Dairy-free option – sub avocado

Berries

Any seasonal berries will work!

  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Diced apples
  • Chopped dates or figs

Nuts/Toppings

  • Sliced almonds (drizzle with maple syrup and a pinch of salt before toasting)
  • Pine nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hemp hearts

Dressings

All of these dressings are delicious on this salad! When I don’t make them from scratch, I buy them from Primal Kitchen.

More Spring Recipes to Try!

What is your favorite salad? Do you have a variation of this one? Let me know below!



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