This muscle-building salad has gorgeous colors from the pink-hued salmon, cherries, spinach, and pine nuts, which make for a gorgeous snapshot.

Recipe and photo by Stacey Mattinson, M.S., R.D.N., L.D., nutrition communications expert and food blogger based in Austin, TX. On Instagram @staceymattinson.


  • 1 lb salmon
  • ½ tsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • ¼ tsp. poppy seeds
  • ½ Juice of a lemon
  • 10 cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 2 large white mushrooms, chopped
  • 5 cups raw spinach (about ¾ of a bag)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (or ½ cup uncooked)
  • 2 Tbsp. goat cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • ¼ cup light mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. Truvia (or 4 tsp. regular sugar, or other alternative sweetener to taste)
  • 4 tsp. red wine vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Place salmon (skin down) on a baking sheet. For easier cleanup, you may place a piece of foil between the salmon and the baking sheet. Top salmon with canola oil, and spread around with the back of a spoon.
  3. Top salmon with honey, and spread with back of a spoon. Sprinkle salmon with poppy seeds. Set aside until oven is preheated. Place salmon in oven once oven is preheated.
  4. In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, add together mayonnaise, Truvia (or sugar or other sugar substitute), and red wine vinegar. Whisk together thoroughly. Set aside.
  5. Prepare cherries, mushrooms, and quinoa while salmon is cooking.
  6. In a large bowl, toss together spinach, quinoa, goat cheese, pine nuts, cherries, mushrooms, and salad dressing. Once salmon has reached an internal temperature of 145° (about 15 minutes) and is no longer pink internally, remove from the oven and place on top of salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy immediately.
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