Delicious, Fun & Healthy Food


Spring Salad With Strawberry and Orange Dressing

Salad, RawLina LiwagComment

In the warmer months, our bodies crave for lighter foods .  This is not accidental as nature has its way of resetting our bodies according to the season.  In Ayurveda, Spring is the start of the ‘detox season.’  In contrast,  we eat high fat and high protein foods in the winter to keep ourselves warm and nurtured.  Fast forward to spring and summer and it’s clean up time.  Ever wonder why Spring’s harvest brings us greens, sprouts, microgreens, berries and cherries? Read this article here by one of my favourite teachers at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Dr. John Douillard. 

This is a Spring salad that my family has been enjoying recently.  It consists of fruits and vegetables of the season which I find very refreshing.  At this time, I’ve been trying to get away by not using oil in our dressings.  The good fats from the avocado and walnuts are enough.  Trust me, you will definitely not miss the olive oil that’s present in the dressings that we’re so accustomed to.  I highly suggest organic strawberries as the conventional ones are on the dirty dozen+ list of produce high in pesticides. You can check the full list here.  And by the way, this is also salt-free!


Spring Salad With Strawberry and Orange Dressing

Ingredients (Preferably Organic)

6-8 Romaine lettuce leaves, torn to bite-size pieces
2 handfuls of baby arugula or other greens of choice
1 handful of mixed microgreens (pea, sunflower, daikon radish and corn) 
3-4  red radish, thinly sliced
20 organic strawberries
1/3 c. raw walnuts
1 avocado, sliced
2 tbsp. red onions, minced

Optional add-ins:
sulphite-free cranberries or
sulphite-free dried cherries or
dried golden berries


10-12 organic strawberries
juice of 1 medium orange
2 tbsp. lemon juice
a pinch of grated ginger (optional)


1. Wash the lettuce, spin dry and tear them into bite-size pieces. Also wash and prep the rest of the ingredients and place them in a salad bowl.  
2. Juice the orange and lemon then put them with the strawberries in a blender and process until it becomes thick and smooth.  
3. Mix the dressing  into the salad just before serving.  Enjoy!


1. Feel free to substitute the lettuce, greens, sprouts and the berries with fresh produce available in your own area.  I sometimes add mangoes in.

2. Another option for the dressing is using just oranges which you may have to increase accordingly so approximately 1 - 1 1/2 depending on their size.  You also have the option of blending the oranges instead of juicing them.  I sometimes do that if I happen not to have any fresh strawberries. 


Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Arugula and Avocado

Salad, Lunch, DinnerLina LiwagComment

It's now officially spring but if you live in Toronto like me it doesn't really feel like spring at all...yet.  We had snow everyday last week but thankfully, it was mixed with some sun and some blue skies every now and then.  We tend to have the tendency to complain and be impatient...we seem to forget that there were previous years with more snowy days. I keep on wishing that next week will be a bit warmer and I think it will be.  I'm looking forward to the pretty blooms of the season.  So while waiting for that ideal spring weather and hopefully crank up the blender and the juicer, this semi-warm salad is perfect for now...comfort food for me and my family.


Fennel is one of my favourite veggies  and I've been buying them weekly for different varieties of salads.  This mixture happens to be a hearty one...great for the last snowy days of the year.  Fennel is so delicious and's a good source of Vitamin C, folate, potassium and fiber.  It also contains a powerful phytonutrient called anethole which has anti-inflammatory properties.  This salad is a great mix of yummy goodies and big enough for some packed lunch for the next day.



Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Arugula and Avocado
Ingredients (Preferably organic) 

2 c.   thinly sliced fennel (about 3/4 of a large fennel bulb)
1 c. dry quinoa
2 c. water
5 oz.  pack of wild arugula ( read item #4 on Method)
 1  1/2 c. sweet potatoes,  peeled and cut in cubes
1 avocado cut in cubes
1/3 c. sulphite-free dried cherries (or cranberries)
 1/3 c. green onions, chopped
 1/4 c. lightly toasted sliced almonds
1/2 t. coconut oil, melted 

2 Tbsp. cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
 juice of 1  1/2 lemons
2 Tbsp. sulphite-free balsamic vinegar
1/4 t. (or to taste) Himalayan Crystal salt
pinch of black pepper

  Rinse the quinoa under cold water by using a wire sieve and then drain.  Put the rinsed quinoa into a sauce pan and add the 2 cups water.  Cover and bring to a boil and as soon as it starts boiling, turn the heat down to simmer.  Open the lid to prevent from  boiling over.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed  then the lid can be put back on.  The quinoa turns a little transparent with spiral sprout when cooked.   Fluff and let it cool down.
2.  While the quinoa is cooking,  add the coconut oil to the sweet potatoes and roast them at  at 350F (I used the toaster oven)  for about 20-25 mins.
3.  Wash the fennel, cut off the green tops and stalks close to the bulb and also about 1/4" off the root end.  You can reserve the stalks for vegetable broth or soups. You can peel off the tough outer layer but if the bulb is tender, no need to do that.   Cut the bulb in half and clean out the hard core in the middle then slice thinly.
4. You can use regular arugula leaves.  Cut the leaves into 2 segments (maybe 3 for longer leaves)  so that they are not too long and stringy and easier to manage when the salad is being eaten.   Prep the avocado, green onions and lightly toast the almonds.
5.  Place  all the ingredients of the dressing in a jar including 1/2 of the green onions and with the lid on and tightly  closed, shake until well combined.
6.  Assemble the salad in a big bowl  by mixing the quinoa, greens, fennel,  sweet potatoes and 1/2 of the dried cherries.  Add the dressing then top with avocado, almonds, the rest of the dried cherries and the rest of the green onions.  Enjoy!  

1. Feel free to use another type of greens (baby spinach, mixed greens or baby kale) 
if you happen not to be a fan of arugula.
2. Dried golden berries can also be substituted for the the dried cherries.



I hope your first week of spring was awesome!  And for the rest of us who are still waiting for that perfect weather of the season, I know it's just around the corner now and pretty soon we will be enjoying the beautiful flowers and trees all around us.