Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Breakfast Spinach Salad and Pear Juice

This morning we had another one of our unorthodox breakfasts. I made us a spinach salad with miso mirin dressing and a cardamom scented pear juice. This breakfast was packed with nutrition and we had approximately 6 servings of raw vegetables and fruit this morning for breakfast. I prefer to start our day this way, with a big boost of nutrition. When we start of day this way I know we will have no problem getting at least 10 servings of fruit and vegetables that some doctors now say is required for good health.

Lunch today will be leftovers from dinner last night (spinach salad with bulgur and falafel). For the hubby I also packed some celery sticks to dip into walnut butter and roasted edamame to eat while he sips his green tea at work since having soy and green tea together improve the absorption of both.

Here is what we had for breakfast this morning.

Cardamom Scented Pear and Ginger Juice with Apple Cider

Serves 2


3 Bosc pears
¾ inch fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 cup apple cider
½ teaspoon cardamom, ground (or to taste)


Place the pears, ginger and apple cider in your blender and process until smooth. Add cardamom to taste.

Serve cold.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 248.26
Calories From Fat (2%) - 5.14

Total Fat - 0.61g
Saturated Fat - 0.06g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 8.02mg
Potassium - 560.44mg
Total Carbohydrates - 64.75g
Fiber - 10.14g
Sugar - 30.86g
Protein - 1.47g


I happen to adore cardamom, so I loved this juice. You could substitute cinnamon if you prefer but I highly recommend the cardamom.

If you are unfamiliar with cardamom it is a plant that comes from the ginger family. It is native to South India and Sri Lanka. The ancient Romans imported large amounts of cardamom and used it not just for cooking, but also for a breath freshener and digestive aid. You can either use the cardamom pods (lightly smashed) in a cooking liquid to add flavor and then remove the pod. Or you can open the pod extract the seeds and grind them. Cardamom is also sold ground if you don’t want to grind it yourself. Cardamom is typically added to Turkish coffee. It has a wonderful aroma that is almost floral

Each serving of this juice contains approximately 70IU of vitamin A, 15mg of vitamin C, 40mg of calcium, 1mg of iron, 23mcg of folate, 15mcg of vitamin K, 40mg of phosphorus and 25mg of magnesium.

If you prefer you could serve this as a fruit soup instead of juice. It would make a nice starter course or dessert.

To go with the fresh fruit juice we also had this quick spinach salad.

Spinach Salad with Miso and Mirin Dressing

Serves 2

8 cups baby spinach
4 inches seedless cucumber, cut in half and thinly sliced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon yellow miso
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds


Place the spinach in a deep bowl, top with cucumber and tomatoes. Whisk the miso and mirin together until smooth and creamy. Top the salad with the miso and then the raw sunflower seeds.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 83.72
Calories From Fat (31%) - 25.68

Total Fat - 3.5g
Saturated Fat - 0.43g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 419.75mg
Potassium - 886.23mg
Total Carbohydrates - 13.38g
Fiber - 4.13g
Sugar - 1.47g
Protein - 5.65g


The miso and mirin dressing works just as well on veggie salads as it does on veggie and fruit salads. While this salad dressing is a little high in sodium it has a nice flavor punch for the calories.

Each serving of this salad contains 11,500IU of vitamin A, 40mg of vitamin C, 135mg of calcium, 4mg of iron, 250mg of folate, 585mcg of vitamin K, 130mg of phosphorus, and 105mg of magnesium.

If you compare the nutrition of the salad to the juice you will see that the salad has much higher nutrition. This nutritional difference is almost entirely due to the spinach. Raw spinach is a nutritional superstar. I use it when I can to make our salads, and in place of lettuce on sandwiches.

Unrelated note:

Today I am carrying a little stress in my shoulders. As soon as I get this posted I am going to get back on my foam roller to work the tension out of my back. If you don’t have a hard foam roller I highly recommend them. I use a mine whenever my back doesn’t feel quite right and it seems to almost instantly feel better.

After I “play” with my foam roller I have a little work to do at home. I also have a date with my Pilates Wii game to keep. With a little luck this afternoon I will be able to spend some time decompressing in the kitchen. Either way I will be back later today. I hope you are all having a great day.


  1. The salad looks so yummy. I love baby spinach. My lunch today will be a salad with baby spinach, red leaf lettuce, carrots, broccoli, and green beans. I will likely top with salsa.

    Hope the foam roller helps. Enjoy your pilates!

  2. I laughed when I saw this post, I am so glad you also eat unorthodox breakfasts and I'm not the only one;) I would totally eat this for breakfast!
    Your pear juice is really yummy. I would like to try this version too, but all of the cider available this time of year here is full of additives. I could just use a whole apple and some water, right?

  3. Heather,

    Those foam rollers work great. I love those things. Worked the stress right out of me in under 10 minutes. Now I still need to do the Pilates, but at least I feel up to it now.

    We typically eat at least 5 pounds of baby spinach each week and another 5 pounds of mesclun. We are salad junkies around here.

    I agree salsa is great on salads as dressing, but sometimes I want a change.


    I am glad I could make you laugh. We eat things like this all the time, as odd as most people think it is. Thanks for letting us know we aren't alone.

    When fresh apple cider is in season I buy it an freeze it in one cup portions for things like this. No OCD here. ;) I would think an apple and water would work fine. You may need a little sweetener to get a similar taste since cider is sweet. I did actually serve it in a glass this morning, but it photographed better in the bowl as soup. I hope that didn't make the post confusing.

    talk to you later,

  4. Thanks Alicia, I figured that would work, and I can always add a tsp. of agave if needed, but I think it will be sweet enough for me without it. Hope you have a great day!

  5. You have me craving pear juice now.

    Breakfast looks really healthy and delicious.

  6. Rose,

    I really like the combination of pear and ginger. Anything more is just the icing on the cake. I considered cherries this morning in the juice but didn't feel like pitting them when I was half awake. I bought a big box of organic cherries at Costco yesterday.


  7. Organic cherries sound great... makes me miss summer.

  8. Rose,

    That was exactly what I thought, which is why I picked them up. With the mornings here being 19 degrees I could use a little reminder of summer.


  9. Hi Alicia,
    I really love the look of your pear juice. What a fantastic photo! I love the idea of eating spinach salad for breakfast and I can't wait to make this miso and mirin dressing. It sounds so delicious!

  10. Oraphan,

    I took pics of the pear juice/soup both in a glass and bowl and the bowl pic was the clear winner. Thanks for letting me know you liked the pic. I did too.

    I love salad for breakfast. Odd, I know but I think of it as a green smoothie that I need to chew.

    talk to you later,

  11. Alicia, What a great way to begin ur day..a healthy and colorful Breakfast. Ur Spinach salad looks awesome with all the grape tomatoes. Love the dressing..will try this dressing. Love ur pear juice and ginger combo as well.


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