Summer Pesto Spinach Salad

This delightful spinach salad is easy to prepare. The main component of this salad, spinach, is a good source of Iron. Iron is a trace element, which is required by the body for the formation of haemoglobin, the red pigment in blood. Haemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Iron is also a constituent of a number of enzymes such as the muscle protein myoglobin.  

Proper dietary intake is required to maintain sufficient levels of Iron and optimal health.

Some concerns have been addressed for those who are vegetarian/vegan, in that plant based diets may lead to Iron deficiency. Plant diets tend to have lower amounts of Iron (compared to diets containing meat sources) or Iron absorption efficiency when proper diet guidelines are not established. Fortunately, with proper planning, preparation, and attention, Iron deficiency can be avoided by most vegetarians/vegans.  

The absorption efficiency of iron from plant foods can be improved by consuming meals high in Iron with vitamin C (ascorbic acid), other organic acids such as malic acid (e.g. in pumpkins, plums and apples) and citric acid (in citrus fruits). This recipe includes lemon juice, which contains ascorbic acid which will aid in the absorption of Iron from the spinach.

If you are changing your diet or have health concerns that may affect your body's Iron levels, consult a qualified health care professional.

Consult a nutritionist to determine the best sources of Iron for your diet and methods of increasing the absorption efficiency.


Clean and dry 1 bag fresh baby spinach or tatsoi (Asian salad green similar to bok choi).

Mix these greens in a salad bowl with the following:

  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce 
  • (in blender, add 5-7 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parmesan cheese, 2 bunches basil, 1/2 cup Italian parsley, 2 tablespoons of pine nuts, 2 teaspoon sea salt. Begin to blend while adding extra virgin olive oil in a stream until mixture resembles thick paste)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup peas (if frozen - boil salted water and add peas for few minutes then run under cold water) or mixture of 1/2 peas and 1/2 asparagus (follow same procedure for asparagus only slice on diagonal)
  • 2 chopped ripe tomatoes
  • Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts just before serving and add additional grated parmesan cheese.

Kreg Weiss is a co-founder of My Yoga Online and certified Hatha Yoga Teacher. Several years ago, Kreg discovered yoga while teaching health and fitness. Yoga dramatically transformed Kreg's approach to teaching health and wellness as well as changed his personal life bringing new direction in finding physical, mental, and spiritual growth.

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