Elevated Nutrition and Wellness

Soreness Squashing Strawberry & Spinach Salad

Looking for a salad that will knock your socks off and kick your soreness to the curb? Then you have come to the right place. This sweet, tangy, and delicious salad will have you coming back for seconds. Regular incorporation of this antioxidant rich salad in to your meal prep routine could help you to recover faster and reduce your soreness after your next hard workout!

The Strawberry and Spinach Bliss Salad was inspired by The Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking Cookbook. Honestly, everything that I have made out of her cookbook has been fabulous and I highly recommend!

This recipe is fabulous to make as a side dish or as the main course. Make this salad a meal with these Elevated tips:

  • Build your meal to promote weight gain:
    • Use this recipe to fill 1/4 to 1/3 of your plate depending on your training needs
    • Add lean protein: grilled chicken, freshly seared salmon, scallops, shrimp or tuna
      • (20 – 30 g worth)
    • Try a higher fat grass fed beef such as steak strips to increase the iron content of this dish
    • Fill 1/3-1/2 of your plate with a whole grain such as millet, rice, udon noodles, cous cous, farro, pasta, etc. use any extra dressing to add sauce to your grain dish
    • Add a little extra fat in the form of nuts, olive oil, goat cheese, avocado, or seeds like chia, sunflower, or hemp

Plant-based meal:

  • Add quinoa cooked in vegetable broth or other favorite whole grain like forbidden rice
  • For protein try roasted chickpeas, pan seared tempeh, or tofu steaks
  • Try dehydrated or roasted edamame for added crunch!
  • Build your meal to lean out or slim down:
    • Use this recipe as the main feature of your plate! Load up on this delectable dish by filling up half your plate with it
    • Utilize lean proteins such as the ones listed in section above or any of the proteins in the plant based section
      • Keep these to 1/3 of your plate
      • 20 – 30 g
    • Choose whole grains (quinoa, farro, millet, brown/black/wild rices, etc.) or starchy vegetables (potatoes with the skin on, peas, fire roasted corn) to fill in the rest of your plate

Want to up your game? Regular intake of spinach can actually help to reduce inflammation and soreness experienced from training! Check out this great video to learn how it works! YES that means this amazing recipe can help you to recover faster and reduce your soreness from exercise if regularly incorporated into your routine!

You can switch out the strawberries in this recipe for any other berry that is in season. Try it with raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries! Also swap out the almonds for walnuts or roasted pecans for added variety. This is an excellent recipe to experiment with a little to shake up your routine.

Did you find this recipe to hit the spot? Have recommendations or things you like that we touched on? Comment below! The Elevated Community wants to hear what you have to say 🙂

Soreness Squashing Strawberry and Spinach Salad

Course dinner, lunch, Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword antioxidant, balsamic, berry, fiber, fresh, healthy fat, Salad, spinach, summer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 420 kcal



  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2/3 cup fresh strawberries quartered or berry of choice
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper ground
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or to taste


  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar organic cane
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced


  • 1 cup slivered almonds or nut of choice
  • 4 cups raw spinach or kale
  • 1 1/2 cup fresh strawberries or berry of choice, sliced
  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds or chia seeds (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (162 degrees C)

Prepare the dressing:

  1. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the balsamic vinegar. When it reaches a low boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes, or until reduced by half. Set aside.

Prepare the onions:

  1. While the dressing is heating up, prepare the onions by combining the red wine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small bowl or mason jar. Whisk or shake to combine. Add the onion, cover, and place in the refrigerator to infuse/pickle for 15 minutes.

Prepare the salad:

  1. Place the slivered almonds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until slightly golden brown. Set aside.

  2. Add the reduced balsamic vinegar and remaining dressing ingredients to the bowl of a food processor or blender (I used my vitamix). Blend to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

  3. Place the spinach, strawberries, pickled onions and hemp seeds (optional) in a large bowl. Top with the almonds and desired amount of dressing. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

  4. Leftovers keep (separately) in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though best when fresh.

Written by:

Hi! My name is Eleanor, I have a love for delicious and nutritious dishes, the outdoors, great people, and good times! I am a Registered Dietitian and an enthusiast when it comes to learning about health and how I can help others to feel their best. Learn more about living vibrantly on my site and take your health to the next level with a more individual approach when you meet with me.

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