Mandarin Pecan Spinach Salad

Spinach Mandarin Orange Salad -

I've found that this Mandarin Pecan Spinach Salad is lovely to share with loved ones.  Speaking of loved ones, I just got back from an amazing extended weekend in Vancouver.  It wasn't my normal Vancouver trip, filled with eating out and shopping, etc.  This trip was more about reconnecting with friends that I haven't spent time with in a while.  I feel so refreshed after all the intense conversations about life and personal experiences (including passed relationships and life-changing travels).

I even met with a friend-of-a-friend who is a life coach (something I had looked into becoming a few years ago).  He helped me to become more focused instead of being lost in my ever-growing to-do lists, among other things.  He told me about the intensive training that he went through last year (there are varying types of training for life coaches, but his sounded amazing).  Seems like a life coach can be an amazing resource for making life changes.

There aren't many friends that I keep in touch with from elementary school, but I was able to spend an evening with one of my oldest friends.  Although he was very gracious in accommodating my paleo needs, he and his partner kept tempting me with an amazing chocolate cake (you may have seen the photo of this sexy cake on Twitter or Instagram), but don't worry:  I was strong.  I'm still committed to the 30-Day Paleo Challenge.

It didn't matter what the activities this weekend, the conversations with beloved friends (including an ex and her husband) were fun and meaningful, and full of support (in the paleo challenge- but more importantly life in general).  Thank you to everyone who touched me this week (including the stranger at the gas station who genuinely wished me a a great day – I don't know what it was about that interaction, but his positive energy was palpable).

This feel-good Mandarin Pecan Spinach Salad takes only minutes to make (peeling the mandarin slices takes the most time, but this step is well worth it) allowing for more time spent with loved ones, and is a fresh delicious addition to almost any meal.  In fact, I made it 4 times last week to go with seafood, chicken, steak, and Pecan Encrusted Salmon.


Spinach Mandarin Orange Salad -

Mandarin Pecan Spinach Salad

  • Author: Raj -
  • Category: Salad


  • spinach (how do you measure spinach for a salad? Use as much as you need and adjust the amount of dressing as to the amount you'd normally use – I like a lot of dressing, so it won't go as far for me. I use about 1/3 cup dressing for 4 large servings of salad – assume that's the size of this recipe)
  • 2 mandarin oranges (skin each slice)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pecan halves
  • dressing
  • 2.5 Tbsp oil (olive or avocado)
  • 2.5 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • zest of 1/4 lemon


  1. Vigorously shake dressing ingredients or use small blender to emulsify.
  2. Mix solid ingredients, add desired amount of dressing, and toss everything together in a large bowl.


I woke up thinking how garlic prawns would be awesome in this salad too!


About the Author:

I’m trained as a pharmacist, but my passion lies in changing people’s mental and physical health through amazing food… and laughter. I’ll laugh at my own jokes even if you don’t. I love food. Lust may be a more appropriate word. Prepare to get your Paleo-induced drool-on!


  1. Ruth Parsad January 24, 2015 at 5:30 am - Reply

    You know, I think this salad would go really well with Dad’s fresh kokanee salmon. But, what do you suggest in place of mandarins which are all gone from our stores now?

    • Raj January 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm


      Any fruit would be great, even fried fruit like craisins, but I really like the citrus here. Try navel oranges (skin them too), or even the canned mandarins.

      And yes, it is good with salmon!

  2. Fatima January 24, 2015 at 9:11 am - Reply

    This would go well with the chicken wings!

  3. allysonmeyler January 25, 2015 at 7:30 pm - Reply

    This looks so good! Loving citrus right now.. I think focusing on this and postponing never ending to do lists sounds pretty appealing!

    • Raj January 25, 2015 at 8:26 pm

      Haha, good call Allyson!

  4. Phillip || January 26, 2015 at 8:16 am - Reply

    This looks sooo fresh and delicious. I need a good dish to remind me of summer during this miserable winter!

    • Raj January 26, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Yeah, I think I’ve been craving something like this because I haven’t been eating as much fresh fruit. My body is probably saying “I need vitamin C!”

  5. Stephanie Powers January 26, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

    I love oranges in salads! And your comment about measurements for salad made me laugh. I always struggle when writing a salad recipe too. Every time I write something like “8 oz baby spinach leaves” in my recipe I imagine some engineer friend (or my husband) sitting there with a kitchen scale tearing leaves in half to get the perfect weight.

    • Raj January 26, 2015 at 10:15 am

      Hahaha, so is that the “proper” amount, Stephanie?
      I have that problem with all my recipes because I don’t like measuring when I’m cooking. Slowing down to do so when playing in the kitchen is probably the most frustrating thing for me when creating things haha.

  6. Michele Spring January 26, 2015 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    haha, first I have to say that was the cutest thing ever to see your first reply was to your mom. 🙂 Love it! But this looks really good. I’ve been all in a citrus mood lately and craving greens, so it looks like the perfect mid-winter salad!

    • Raj January 26, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Haha thanks Michele! Yeah she’s usually the first to comment. One of my biggest fans for sure. Some times my reaction is the classic “ahh, Maaaaaaaaam! That’s so embarrassing!”, sometimes “oh, good point/idea!”, and other times “thanks Mom!”.

      Thanks for noticing!

  7. grokgrub January 27, 2015 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    I just say “handfuls” of things like spinach. Close enough, ha!

    • Raj January 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      Sweet! I might go with stomach-fuls next time… Thanks Rachel

    • grokgrub January 27, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      1 stomach-ful, love it. 🙂

    • Raj January 27, 2015 at 11:57 pm

      “1”… as if, haha! 😉

  8. Kara @ Yaya Recommended January 28, 2015 at 8:46 am - Reply

    This looks so fresh! I’ve never tried white balsamic vinegar. I need to pick some up and try this out!!

    • Raj January 28, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Prior to finding this unopened bottle in my sister’s pantry I had only had flavored white balsamic vinegar (peach, coconut, jalapeño, etc.). It’s lighter than the red ones, kind of in the way white wine is lighter than red.

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