Photo provided

Editor’s note: At the Table with the Gabels features tasty recipes and tips from Vanessa Gabel and her daughter, Kaitlyn, of Danville.


Kaitlyn: Salads are a quick and healthy recipe that are also quite delicious. 

They are easy to customize for anyone in your family, and they’re super easy to make. 

We didn’t put any meat in the strawberry spinach salad this time, but we usually do, which is just as good. You could either grill some chicken or even use lunch meats if you’re in a hurry. (I would stick with a sliced chicken breast or turkey.) 

You could also add lettuce to the recipe to add some more greens, or add a variety of berries and fruits to give it more of a fresh taste. 

This is a very refreshing meal and I always feel like I’ve made a healthy meal choice after eating it. 

Another way we like to put together these salads are with different nuts (such as walnuts), which add more textures to it. 

Salads are a timeless recipe full of thousands of possibilities, they are easy to customize and switch up so you’re always trying something new.

Vanessa: Fruity salads, like this strawberry spinach salad, offer bursting fresh flavors and textures that I love to experience in my dishes. 

This time of year is perfect for taking advantage of ingredients that are in season. 

When we first made this particular salad, I found it odd that it paired red onions with the strawberries and cucumbers. To me, none of those ingredients sounded appealing together until I tried it. Now I’m a bit more open-minded in these concoctions.  

This salad tastes amazing with chicken breasts, soaked in a fruity marinade, such as the dressing listed below the salad recipe, then grilled. 

However, if you’d prefer to use an alternative dressing that you can purchase, I enjoy a light raspberry vinaigrette. It maintains the fruity base of the salad, and adds an extra layer of flavor to the concoction.  

I don’t often grill pork chops to top my salads, but I feel like it would work for this one. 

This recipe is a great dish to keep it cool and light as the weather gets warmer.  

Many folks don’t want to stand around a hot stove cooking in sweltering heat, adding degrees to their in-home temperature.  

If you fall into this category, this recipe is for you.  

If you sweat a little just thinking about turning on the oven to toast the almonds, skip that step or toast them in the microwave or the air fryer like we did.

Always remember to rinse and spin dry your greens whether they have been grown in your garden or purchased. This will wash off anything you wouldn’t want to ingest, and by spinning the greens, they will stay crisper longer and your dressing will stick better (enabling you to use less).


Strawberry Spinach Salad


1/4 cup sliced almonds

1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced

1/2 medium cucumber

1/4 small red onion

6 ounces baby spinach



1 lemon

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp poppy seeds


Spread almond slices on a pan and bake at 350 for 10 minutes to toast. Allow to cool.

Hull, then slice the strawberries.

Slice the 1/2 cucumber in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, then slice into pieces. 

Slice the onion into thin wedges. 

Rinse the baby spinach, then spin dry to remove moisture. Place in a large serving bowl, add strawberries, cucumber and onion.  

Whisk the dressing and drizzle over the dressing. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Recommended for you