This post may contain affiliate links. See site Terms here.
This Smoked Salmon & Blueberry Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette is not only good for your gut health but delicious and packed with flavor – filled with arugula, chopped pecans, crumbled goat cheese, sweet blueberries, smoked salmon, and the best homemade creamy lemon apple cider vinaigrette. You know I love a great flavorful salad! (See my other salad recipes here.)
After struggling with some gut health issues for the past year, I got a gut biome test with my doctor (this is the one I used through my doctor, and she helped me go over each of the results). I actually thought Biohm did a great job with making the test easy (not sponsored! just a great process) and my results were processed quickly – if you do the test, be sure the go over the results with your doctor.
After getting the results and scoring poor gut health (some of the issues are genetic, some linked to my anti-anxiety medicine), I’ve started on a regimen with my doctor to get as many gut-friendly foods into my system as possible (in addition to lots of gut health supplements she gave me). I haven’t created a specific food plan yet, but for the time being I’m staying away from all flours and sugars, and trying to eat from the most gut-friendly and anti-inflammatory foods. Soon I’ll be creating a list of all those for you. I’ve been doing a lot of research every day about the best gut health foods, and I’m starting to compile them in categories.
After talking to my doctor, the first foods she immediately said were really good for gut health and inflammation were:
- Salmon (and Omega-3 fatty acids)
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Flax Seeds
- Tree nuts
I thought, “well at least I can make a lot of great salads with those foods.” So here we are – my first salad made with only gut-healthy ingredients. Below is a list of each element of the salad and dressing, and the gut-health properties:
- Arugula: cruciferous vegetable, packed with Vitamin K and calcium, high fiber good for your colon, intestines, gut lining, and other digestive organs.
- Pecans: a great source of gut-friendly fiber, anti-inflammatory fats, essential vitamins and minerals, and polyphenols that can fight off cell damage from diseases like cancer
- Blueberries: rich source of anthocyanins, an antioxidant, which helps good bacteria grow in your digestive tract
- Smoked Salmon: rich in omega-3 fatty acids which are good for heart health and boost the diveristy of your gut microbiome; smoked salmon is also anti-inflammatory, and high in vitamin B12
- Goat Cheese: full of beneficial probiotics, healthy fats, and many minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium; more vitamins and easier to digest than cow’s cheese
- Lemons: rich in fiber and vitamin C, which protects the cells against free radicals, and has the potential to reduce gut inflammation and boost the immune system
- Apple Cider Vinegar: contains acetic acid which boosts digestion and discourages harmful gut bacteria, it can improve glucose response, and contains polyphenols which can fight off cell damage from diseases like cancer
- Olive Oil: reduces inflammation throughout the body including the gastrointestinal tract
- Whole Grain Mustard: great source of dietary fiber, magnesium, calcium and iron, and mustard seeds contain sinigrin which is a powerful antioxidant
- Cashews: Cashews contain dietary fibers that aid in digestion, unsaturated fatty acids, and polyphenols
This salad is just delicious!! The salty salmon, the sweet blueberries, the peppery arugula, the crunchy pecans – oh and the creamy lemon dressing! It’s honestly one of my favorite dressings I’ve created. I challenged myself to use only gut friendly ingredients – and I knew I wanted something creamy to offset the lemon flavor – but I didn’t want to use mayonnaise or other processed types of cream, so I decided to test out using cashews. (I love cashew cream!) I’ve used it in many recipes before (see here), so I thought it might be worth a shot. Not only would they make the dressing creamy, but cashews are full of fiber and aid in digestion. See the full Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing recipe here.
Smoked Salmon & Blueberry Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette
- chopped pecans (you can sub any kind of tree nut, just don't use any sweetened nuts if you're worried about gut health)
- smoked salmon, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces
- fresh blueberries
- crumbled goat cheese
Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing (See Full Recipe Here)
- I typically make this salad for 1 (for lunch!) so I just eyeball the ingredients into a large salad bowl. Here's the best way to assemble it.
- Start by adding your arugula into a large salad bowl. The dressign will cause it to compress a bit, so add a little more than you think you'll need.
- Next add in the chopped pecans. Then add the Lemon Vinaigrette and toss these 2 ingredients only. (I find the nuts and arugula benefit the most from being well coated in the salad. The other ingredients can just go on top.)
- After the arugula and pecans are well coated, top with pieces of smoked salmon, blueberries, and crumbled goat cheese.
- If desired, you can add more dressing to the top before serving. Enjoy this delicious gut friendly salad!
I really hope – especially if you’re trying to improve your gut health – that you get a chance to make this delicious Smoked Salmon & Blueberry Salad with Creamy Lemon Vinaigrette – if you do, be sure to send photos tag me @plumstreetcollective on Instagram. Thanks for reading!