Restaurant Worthy Raw Vegan Strawberry Pecan Spinach Salad

by on April 18, 2012

Low Fat Raw Vegan Chef's Strawberry Pecan Spinach Salad

I wanted to share this special and healthy salad recipe with you today for a few reasons. It’s also my friend Karmyn Malone’s top favourite raw recipe. She is a raw foodists and is always on the look out for delicious and simple oil free raw recipes, so this is right up her alley.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it has few ingredients and is easy to make. You don’t have to spend a lot of time making it and the ingredients are fairly easy to find at the grocery store.

As spring is here and it’s looking like it’s going to be a nice warm summer you’ll be able to make this recipe many times for yourself or for entertaining. It’s perfect to bring to a potluck, barbecue or to serve as a first course for dinner guests.

The problem with most salads is that they rely on store bought dressings that are neither nutritious or great tasting. The ones that people generally do like are full of cream and fat and are not part of a healthy life style if you eat them every day. The oil free ones are basically vinegar, sugar, salt and flavourings and after a while most people can’t stand another vinegary dressing!

I prefer to make my own salad dressings at home with fresh ingredients and combine them in a blender. You can even use a basic blender or a hand blender to make this recipe.

This Raw Vegan Strawberry Pecan Spinach Salad recipe is delicious AND nutritious! Even Karmyn’s young son Andrew loved this recipe, and as you know it can be hard to get some kids to eat raw greens and vegetables. But not Andrew, he was begging for more!

This recipe is part of my Savory Raw Dinner Recipes DVD and book collection that has received many rave reviews from friends and customers. They’re 100% oil free and much lower in fat than traditional gourmet raw salad and nut heavy entree recipes.

For more yummy recipes go to:

Savory Raw Dinner Recipes

(We even have a 100% digital version for those who don’t want to wait for shipping!)

With this set of recipes you’ll be on your way to enjoying more fresh salads and learn my tips and tricks for making delicious oil free low fat vegan dressings that you will actually enjoy eating! No more buying expensive store bought dressings that only last a few meals that don’t tickle your taste buds anymore.

I have to say that I wish I could have this salad right now as we bought a big bag of spinach and I’m having a craving for it! (Sadly I did not bring any chia seeds with me to Hawaii!)

Low Fat Raw Vegan Chef's Strawberry Pecan Spinach Salad

Raw Vegan Strawberry Pecan Spinach Salad

Makes 2 dinner servings or 4 side servings


Strawberry Pecan Spinach Salad:

11 oz. container baby spinach leaves
2 cups of sliced fresh strawberries
1/2 cup red onion, diced or sliced (your choice)
1/3 cup raw pecans

Strawberry Chia Dressing:

1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
1/4 cup clementine mandarin orange juice (use the sweetest FRESH oranges you can find)
4 small dates, pitted (or you can sub 1-2 tbsp of liquid sweetener)
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp chia gel (or 1 tsp chia seeds)


  1. Slice pecans lengthwise on a cutting board so they are in long halves. (This makes them go farther and you’ll use less in the recipe)
  2.  Arrange salad ingredients into 2 large bowls or 4 medium sized bowls for starter salads.
  3. Blend dressing ingredients together and drizzle over salad.
  4. Serve immediately.
Additional Tips:
I don’t recommend using frozen strawberries for this recipe as they are usually too tart and sour. Use dark sweet strawberries. Store bought orange juice is also not a good base for this dressing. I don’t like store bought orange juice because it’s highly processed and quite acidic compared to fresh squeezed orange juice. Clementines or mandarins are preferable because they are mild and sweet, but you can also use Cara Cara or Valencia oranges if that’s what you can find.
You can make this dressing and keep it for 2-3 days in the fridge. Raw dressings ARE perishable and will not stay fresh for weeks like cooked salad dressings. So this is best enjoyed soon after making it.

What is Chia Gel?

Chia gel is just chia seeds mixed with water. I learned this from Victoria and Valya Boutenko when I met them in my home town of Calgary.  When chia seeds absorb water they create this gel that suspends them and it great to add to dressings because it will hold it together much like oil would. So when you use blended fruits or juices for the base of your dressing it will be a little thicker and a better consistency. You can also use psyllium husk powder if you don’t have or don’t want to use chia gel. Psyllium husk powder is something people often add with some flavour to water to get extra fibre in their diet (not something we generally need as a whole food vegan) BUT it is useful in making dressings because it add some bulk to the liquid and holds it together nicely. You cannot taste it and it will not affect the flavour of your dressing. It just makes it more into a thin gel than just stay a watery dressing.

To make chia gel I mix 1/3 cup chia seeds into a container (that can go in the fridge) with 2 cups of water. You have to add chia to the water, and not pour water over the chia to prevent it from clumping together in uneven clumps. This lasts for 2-3 weeks in the fridge and you can add a tablespoon or two to your dressings or smoothies to get some whole food omega 3’s into your diet. This is more of a recommendation for raw foodists, if you’re not into raw food and won’t use this amount of chia gel you can just add 1 tsp of chia seeds to your dressing or smoothie if desired instead.


For more information go to:

Savory Raw Dinner Recipes


What do you think of this recipe? Have you ever had strawberry spinach salad before or chia seeds?

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gina January 7, 2016 at 5:08 PM

Do you think it would taste just as good if I used basil instead of spaniach?? Thanks:)


2 Veronica Grace May 2, 2016 at 12:15 PM

I do not recommend ever replacing the entire amount of spinach in a recipe with basil. Herbs are for flavor and garnishes, not for replacing lettuces with in a salad.


3 William Hunter September 17, 2014 at 8:57 AM

About a month ago I cooked some garbanzo beans. I started out with six cups of beans, soaking them in water for 8 hours. I looked at them after about six hours and found that had absorbed all the water, so I added more. After 8 hours the additional water was consumed. I drained what little water was lower in the pot, put half of the beans into a crock pot, added a half gallon of water and some Better Than Bullion seasoning to it and let it cook for more that four hours. When the beans were tender, I poured the bean juice into another pot through a strainer, scooped the beans into 15-16 oz containers and froze the beans. I also put the bean juice into a container and froze it. I repeated the above with the remaining beans, but kept some of the bean juice in a smaller container in the fridge., where I use it by adding as a sauce in various meals. I used it to sauté onions and garlic when I made some of your Baked Butternut Squash Mac & Cheezy a few days ago; I add some to steamed sweet potatoes, rice and steamed vegetables; yesterday, I made up a meal consisting of refried beans, rice, salsa, and baby spinach in a half WW pita pocket, wherein I added some of the juice to the refried beans to thin them out in order to make them more spreadable. So I have a lot of uses for the bean juice.

I best quit now before I get too long winded in this comment.

Thank you very much for your web site and all you do to make eating easier for all of us.



4 Jane July 11, 2014 at 2:11 PM

The Kona Brewing Company Pub in Kona, Hawaii, has Spinach/Strawberry salad on their menu every day, but instead of pecans, they serve chopped Macadamia nuts on it. Really yummy!


5 Susan Anderson January 5, 2014 at 5:48 AM

Spinich salad


6 Nikki September 18, 2013 at 11:13 AM

I have made almost this exact salad for years… and all I have to say is if you add in avocado it makes this salad so yummy. I also sub in a low fat balsamic vinaigrette for the dressing.


7 Susan September 1, 2013 at 7:43 PM

I LOVE this recipe! I just put the chia seeds in the blender and the dressing was plenty thick and creamy. Raw spinach never tasted this good.
Since I can get strawberries fresh in abundance right now, I would like to make enough dressing for a few day’s worth. You mentioned that the blended berries would go rancid quickly. How long do you think the dressing could last?


8 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica September 1, 2013 at 7:48 PM

I would use within 1-2 days. 3 days max really. Its just like fresh juice it gets oxidized and goes bad so keep it air tight. I just make my dressing fresh every time. Doesnt take very long in the blender.


9 Kathryn March 7, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Veronica, can you use Chia gel as an oil substitute in baking?


10 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica June 9, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Hi Kathryn, I don’t think so as it’s just water and seeds. I would stick to apple sauce, mashed bananas silken tofu and pumpkin puree, for fat replacement in baked goods as they have a nice taste and texture. Chia gel won’t and it will be crunchy.


11 Ines July 13, 2015 at 6:08 AM

You could use one servings’ worth to replace 1 large egg in a baked recipe, kind of like using flax seed meal (1 Tbl. ground chia or flax seed mixed with 3 Tbl. warm water, let sit for 10 minutes) but not good to use in place of oil.


12 Teresa de Souza January 17, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Good to remind Me ! Thank You , dear V eronica ! I almost forgot that I can still buy Spinach here – Winter – right now . I will do it tomorrow . I ‘ m also cravingg for them.
And the Strawberries , I ‘ ve found also , totally Fresh . Now I know where to find them . Great !
I know the Combination is Delicious AND Healthy .
The Pecan , I have found in an Organic Food Shop . So , it will be a Wonderful Dinner !
The Dressing … yes , Mandarine Juice . I agree . But I can add Fresh Orange Juice too .
The other Ingredients , as Red Onions , are easy to find in Discounters .
So , all Ingredients of this Wonderful Salad , including the Dressing , will be my Favorite Dinner … or maybe Breakfast . Who knows !
Thanks to our Friend Karmyn Malone ! And send my best Regards to Andrew . I remember Him . Karmyn has introduced Him to me , already , 5 Years ago .

My best Regards , dear Veronica . Thank You again .



13 Teresa de Souza November 15, 2012 at 1:40 PM


The 2_two Things that I love : Spinach and Strawberries ! GREAT ! I have never thought of this , dear V ernonica !
It might be Wonderful ! And so , so , so Healthy !!

I will prepare it to me . Am already Happy .

Peccan … I will try to find . Maybe NNuts … in general … well , I will see .
If I find Pecan , I will do it with it . ´

I love the Collors ! II really llove ! Red and Green … and Pecan … ttoggether .

Pecan adds also , a simply Wonderful Combination of Colors ! AND together with these Colors , the Color of the Mandarine _ Orange Color ! The Yellow of the Orange Juice ! Too … including .
All ttogether … oh , great ! Also to serve to Friends . GGREAT !

I will , as always , kkeep this Recipe , as the others , in my Archive , in order to use them all … when needed and wanted .

Thank You , my dear V eronic !





14 Karmyn September 15, 2012 at 5:17 PM

This recipe also tastes good substituting raspberries for the strawberries.


15 peg kelly jackson June 8, 2012 at 2:01 PM

We just had the vegan strawberry,Spinach salad and also made the strawberry dressing. It was to die for . Wish I knew if you could make this dressing and freeze it. We used home grown strawberries and the dressing was wonderful.


16 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica June 8, 2012 at 2:13 PM

I wouldn’t freeze the dressing, but if you have fresh strawberries you can freeze those and make the dressing later and let them thaw before blending.

Raw dressings are always best when used right away as the blended fruits are more perishable.


17 Karen April 27, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Mmmmmmm…… I have made this twice now and it is so so good!
Thanks Veronica x


18 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM

So good to hear. 🙂


19 Charlene April 24, 2012 at 8:14 AM

Great recipe! Made it today and it’s already a favorite. I can just imagine how much better it’ll be when I use fresh strawberries from my strawberry plants. I hope they start producing soon!


20 Zan April 19, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Great recipe. Thanks.
I have not found Chia seed gel to last that long in the fridge. I would suggest 2-3 days only and smell before use. Also, you can add water to Chia. Just stir or shake. I use a glass jar and just swirl it a few times and it doesn’t clump. I make up a couple of tablespoons in the evening and use in smoothies and juices the next day. Chia seed should be soaked in water for at least an hour and preferably overnight.


21 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica April 21, 2012 at 6:13 PM

I find in small quantities it’s ok, but ground chia and large quantities of chia seed should be sprinkled into water and not have water dumped over it.

Also I found no problem with my chia gel for 2 weeks. It didn’t smell funny. Chia seeds are the whole seed and do not go rancid quickly like ground chia or let’s say blended fruit or juice.


22 Erin April 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Yum! I can’t wait until we go strawberry picking in the summer. The strawberries from the organic farm here taste nothing like store-bought! (So much better!)


23 lilach April 19, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I am going to make it for sure.


24 Em April 19, 2012 at 9:37 AM

I love this recipe from your book too, Veronica! Would be perfect in a restaurant! Have made it quite a few times, and it’s foolproof – always tastes great – of course it helps if you have sweet strawberries…

One question about chia: from your description above, it sounds like the chia gel has more nutritional benefit than just adding the seeds directly? Is that right – or have I totally misread that and there is no discernible difference? It’s easier to just throw in a spoonful of seeds – but if it’s better to do the gel, then I’ll go to the extra effort – I used to do it that way when I made the salad the first few times. Then I got a bit lazy…:(


25 Heather Mamatey April 19, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Just in time for strawberry season! Thanks Veronica…


26 Jo April 19, 2012 at 9:12 AM

Yay! I have the recipe now! You made it for us at a dinner party once and we all loved it! Thanks for sharing it, I am sure I will be making it again now!


Leave a Comment

{ 4 trackbacks }

Previous post:

Next post:

© 2011-2013 Low Fat Vegan Chef by Veronica Grace. All rights reserved.