Spinach, Strawberry, Avocado Salad with Goat Cheese & Pecans

Thanks for following along with our new adventures! We recently moved from Pittsburgh to Haiti where we are starting a 5 year volunteer assignment with a non-profit relief and development organization. We will be in transition for the next few months as we complete our in-country orientation, language study, spend time living with host families in both the countryside and capital... and lest we forget, have our first baby somewhere in there as well! Please bear with us as we will not have ready access to internet or a kitchen throughout this time. We will continue to share new recipes that we've prepared in advance, and updates on our new life in Haiti as often as we are able.

Even before I became pregnant, I was no stranger to food cravings, but looking back, pregnancy has taken me down some odd paths. There was the stage at the beginning, when in between bouts of vomiting, I madly craved salty, tangy and pickled foods. For a while I ate lentil salad with tangy vinaigrette and feta for breakfast every morning. Luckily, the intensity of my craving passed before I fully pickled our baby. In the second trimester, my cravings swung towards tex-mex, and sour-cream became the condiment of choice on everything. Mid pregnancy was notable for my lack of interest in dessert, with an occasional craving for canned peaches. Thankfully for my health, this third trimester has brought a renewed love of fresh fruits and veggies. So while I recognize that this Spinach, Strawberry & Avocado Salad is in no way seasonal, I have happily scarfed it for lunch and sometimes dinner for the month leading up to our departure to Haiti. I like the contrast of crisp spinach, sweet strawberries, creamy avocado nestled beside tangy goat cheese, toasted pecans, and topped with a balsamic vinaigrette.

Print Friendly and PDF

Yield: Serves 4



  • 2 pounds spinach
  • 1 pint strawberries, cut into thin slices
  • 2 ripe avocado, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 4 ounces goat cheese

   Balsamic Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference.
  2. Assemble the salad ingredients; spinach, strawberries, avocado, pecans, and goat cheese. Add some balsamic vinaigrette and toss gently to combine.
  3. Serve immediately with remaining vinaigrette on the side.

Note: If you are prepping this salad ahead of time, wait to cut the avocado until immediately prior to serving so it doesn’t discolor.