Poppyseed Dressing with Berry Spinach Salad - Cooking Up Clean

Poppyseed Dressing with Berry Spinach Salad


Adventures in landscaping part 2:  I turned my back from my planting project for a moment while the kids were out exploring the outdoor space between the large pine trees which is full of loose dirt perfect for digging and mud pies.  I should have known better.  I looked back and the girls had disappeared into the house.  Inside, I found a set of muddy footprints across the floor and onto the (light colored) carpet but no girls… they had already returned to the outdoors and were shoveling (flinging) dirt high in the air so it rained down upon them.  Awesome.  My son then met be by the garage and I saw a good portion of dirt ground into his hair and stuck to his arms. When I angrily asked him and his sisters  why they had tracked in mud and were so darn dirty, his sheepish response to me was simple and honest: “I was being happy, Mom”.   I was instantly defused and gave him a hug.  I sent him back to go play in the mud as I to, am happiest when I play in the dirt planting and digging my landscape and garden.  Despite the inconvenience of being dirty and making a mess (gasp!), I realize that that a rich childhood (and adulthood) is often made of mudpies and that we all need to continue to find that little snippet of whatever makes us happiest so we can say in that moment that we “are being happy” too.


Aside from playing in the dirt, cooking is one of those “being happy” moments for me  which can be equally fun and messy (just ask my kitchen).  Today’s adventure is a dairy free poppyseed dressing poured generously over a spinach and berry salad.  The poppyseed dressing starts with this awesome homemade minute mayonnaise and uses coconut milk to thin it slightly though you can certainly use almond milk or regular milk. The dressing gets its tang from a mixture of apple cider vinegar and citrus and its sweetness from local honey which I acquired at the farmer’s market.


Be extra fancy and put the dairy free poppyseed dressing in a cool little cruet or just use a mason jar for rustic appeal and it’ll keep for a few weeks in the fridge. The salad pairing is summery simple with fresh garden spinach, celery, red onion, blueberries and sweet cherries.  Toss it all together and you have one awesome plate of happiness with a cherry on top.


Poppyseed Dressing with Berry Spinach Salad
Prep time
Total time
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: paleo
Serves: 4
  • ¾ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk (or other milk)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh orange or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon poppyseeds
  • SALAD:
  • 1 bunch spinach
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • a few slices red onion, sliced and then slices halved
  • ½ pint blueberries
  • 8-10 sweet cherries pitted and diced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds
  1. Whisk all dressing ingredients together.
  2. Toss all salad ingredients together.
  3. Pour dressing generously over salad and eat happy.
Dressing makes about 1 cup so you will have extras. Keeps refrigerated about 2 weeks.


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