Warm Spring Salad Served Cold

All day yesterday I was looking forward to dinner. It was one of those days where I had decided what I was going to make for dinner, before I had even thought about what to have for breakfast. This obviously lead to high expectations when dinner actually came, but because this recipe was adapted from a recipe on my all-time favourite recipe blog,, I knew it would exceed these expectations! I’ve been following Angela’s blog for over a year now, and I have fallen in love with every single one of her recipes that I have tried–and there are still many more I hope to try! This salad recipe is adapted (only slightly) from her Warm Spring Salad. Even though it’s not spring, I came across this recipe and just knew I had to make it for dinner. Maybe eventually I’ll get the hang of cooking in-season…

Warm Spring Salad Served Cold

I changed the dressing to a raspberry-lemon balsamic vinaigrette because I had just bought some fresh raspberries from the farm (yum!), and the dressing turned out super spectacular! I was really impressed at how easy and simple, yet so flavourful it was. I thought the raspberries complemented the strawberries nicely in the salad, and the lemon added a subtle tartness, which was also quite nice. I also used edamame beans instead of peas, red onion instead of leek, and served the entire salad mixture cold over a large bed of spinach, instead of hot out of the pan. This salad easily wins the salad of the week award!

Warm Spring Salad served Cold 2

Warm Spring Salad Served Cold

Makes Two Large Servings- With Leftover Dressing

For the Dressing

  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  • 2 tsp agave nectar, or liquid sweetener of choice

For the Salad

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 15 asparagus spears, lightly steamed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 10 fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/4 medium-sized red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 edamame beans
  • 4 cups baby spinach

1. Combine dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, asparagus spears, strawberries, red onion, and edamame beans until well mixed.
3. Split quinoa mixture over 2 plates, each with 2 cups of baby spinach.
4. Drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of dressing and enjoy!


Avocado Topped Tomato with Green Onions and Cilantro

Often when I buy avocados, they unfortunately either go bad, or they get turned in to guacamole. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because I do love guacamole, but because I’m not too familiar with avocados I find it hard to be creative and use them in other recipes.  So lately I’ve been reading about all sorts of recipes featuring avocado to get more ideas to experiment with in my kitchen.

avocado topped tomato 1 tomato topped avocado 3
A common one I’ve been stumbling upon involves mixing avocado and tahini to make a dressing or dip, which inspired me to create my own variation. It’s super simple (I didn’t even have to pull out my food processor for it!) and can easily be modified for all sorts of other uses–as a spread for sandwiches, thinned out for a salad dressing, as a healthier alternative for Alfredo sauce on pasta– the ideas are endless! I’m obviously not the brilliant creator, but I thought I would share my variation to others to encourage them to try it themselves. After trying my own spin on it, I can certainly say I will be making it way more often!! tomato topped avocado 2

This recipe is perfect as a snack between meals, or as an appetizer before a large family dinner as it’s super fast and easy to prepare, and great for presentation! I added chia seeds because you can’t really taste them and they add an extra nutritional kick. You could also blend the cilantro and green onion right into the avocado mixture, I just kept mine separate to use as a garnish to make it pretty for pictures. :) Enjoy!

Avocado Topped Tomato with Green Onions and Cilantro

Makes Three Servings


  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1-2 cups spinach or field greens
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Pepper, to taste

1. In a blender (I used my magic bullet), blend avocado, lemon juice, and tahini until well blended. Add field greens, garlic, and chia seeds, and blend until a thick mixture is formed.

2. Slice tomato into thin slices. Make sure you slice it width wise, or the tomato slices will fall apart.

3. Garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro, and pepper to taste!

Balsamic Portobello Mushroom with Apple Walnut Salad

Today was one of those days where after a good long day of both working and working out, I feel super content and satisfied. I was quite productive throughout the day (even getting my entire kitchen sparklingly clean!) as well as energized and motivated at the gym reaching a new personal best for myself in spin class! It’s just one of those days where nothing particularly exciting happened, yet I’m headed off to sleep with a mega smile and a noonecanruinmymood sorta feeling. Oh how I do love these kinds of days!

Now, for me anyway, a great day like this absolutely must finish off with the same standards when it comes to dinner. So creating a meal to satisfy my hunger and my superb mood of the day was my challenge tonight, and twas accepted and oh was it ever highly achieved! This meal was so light and flavourful, yet it hit the perfect spot after a tough workout.

Both components of this meal were extremely fast and easy to whip up while absolutely not sacrificing flavour, so it’s a perfect weekday meal after a long day! I was super excited to share the recipe the entire time I was trying to savour it (but really inhaling it because I was so hungry) ;-) So I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy it!

Balsamic Portobello Mushroom & Apple Walnut Salad

Makes two servings

Balsamic Portobello Mushroom 

  • 2 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • Pepper, to taste

1. Combine olive oil, water, balsamic vinegar, garlic, mustard, lemon juice, maple syrup, and ginger together in a small glass and stir well.

2. Using a rubber brush (or just a spoon), brush 3/4 of the marinade on the bottoms of the mushrooms.

3. Let sit for 10-15 minutes.

4. Place mushrooms face down onto barbecue.

5. Brush the rest of the marinade on the tops of the mushrooms.

6. Barbecue until soft and tender.

7. Sprinkle with pepper, to taste, before serving.

Apple Walnut Salad

  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted walnuts, chopped
  • 1 small royal gala apple, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

1. Combine spinach, chopped onions, and chopped apple in a bowl.

2. Mix together olive oil, water, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, and sugar in a small glass for the dressing, and pour on top of salad.

4. In a small pan or pot, roast walnuts over the stove on high heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning.

5. Sprinkle roasted nuts on top and enjoy!


Tropical Dream Quinoa Salad


I’m one of those people that use their fridge for inspiration. I’m constantly reading recipes, but I find when I’m actually getting around to making a meal, the outcome will be determined by what’s in my pantry or fridge right now, not what could be if I spent the 20 minutes to go to the grocery store and pick up some extra ingredients. Sometimes it’s great and works wonders! But other times it just results in an incomplete, lazy flunk that’s missing 5000 things.

So today I opened my fridge and my hungry eyes immediately focused in on 3 things: lime, kiwi, and mango. Yummm. Perfect ingredients for a fun, summery tropical dish! With the addition of coconut and cilantro all mixed up with quinoa and chick peas, seriously what could go wrong? And so the Tropical Dream Quinoa Salad was invented, and oh so very enjoyed :-)

Quinoa salads are the new thing recently, and I’ve gotta say it’s making me quite happy! There are endless possibilities and so much room to be creative when working with quinoa, and its packed with all sorts of nutritional benefits. The nutty flavour of the quinoa combined with the tropical fruits and coconut in this recipe just made my taste buds scream with joy! Now all I need are some sunglasses, a beach chair, and my own personal island in the Caribbean and I’m set! Oh and maybe a massage, that would be nice too.

Tropical Dream Quinoa Salad

Serves Two


  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium-sized mango
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1/2 can no salt added chickpeas
  • 4 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 tbsp chopped red onion

1. Bring water to a boil, then add quinoa and reduce to low heat to let simmer for 1012 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

2. While the quinoa is cooking, peel and chop up mango, kiwi, and red onion and place into a bowl.

3. Fluff quinoa with a fork, and combine with chopped ingredients.

4. Add chickpeas and tbsp coconut and gently stir until mixed.

5. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and additional coconut.

6. Squeeze lime juice over top before serving.